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Ross Boissoneau - August 15th, 2011

By Ross Boissoneau

It’s not often that death immediately confronts you when you enter a
But there it is, in the dessert case just inside the door at Xylo
Bistro/Cafe: Brownies to Die For.
Not that they’re really lethal or anything. But the huge, rich, flourless
brownie (“It’s more like fudge!” excitedly says waitress Jackie Kohl) is
ample evidence of Xylo’s commitment to creating interesting foodstuffs
that are a little off the beaten path.
That only makes sense for a restaurant tucked into the backside of a
building in the warehouse district. “We’re kind of hard to find,” admitted
owner/chef Matthew Walheim.
But if Xylo isn’t necessarily easy to find, it’s worth the effort. Walheim
has created an eclectic menu, with such items as Tilapia Tosca, Green
Curry Chicken, whitefish pate, and grilled focaccia pizza in a variety of

If some of the items on the menu seem familiar, then you must have
ventured to Suttons Bay to the Silvertree Deli. Walheim was the chef at
the Silvertree until it closed in December 2010. Now many of the favorite
items from that menu have been reborn, such as the Covered Wagon, a
chocolate pastry in the shape of, well, a covered wagon. Other pastries
include flan and carrot cake, there’s a host of cookies, and don’t forget
those brownies.
“Maggie (pastry chef Magdelena Bagi) does a great job,” said Walheim
In addition to the pastries, Xylo offers a variety of salads, lunch
plates, starters & sides, sandwiches and subs. Most of them are available
for carryout, a tradition which developed from Silvertree and was
furthered by Xylo’s relationship with Right Brain Brewery next door, which
doesn’t serve food but allows patrons to bring their own foodstuffs.
Walheim says there are a number of unique items on the menu. “We do
calamari a little differently than most people,” he said proudly, noting
the squid is cut into strips and served with a Citrus Buerre Blanc.
Another popular item is the Chicken Paprikash. In fact, Walheim says it’s
his personal favorite. “It’s one dish I just never get tired of,” he said
of the chicken simmered with peppers and onions, and served over homemade
dumplings in a sour cream sauce.

The interior of the restaurant is just as interesting and eclectic as the
menu. Bright sage and orange walls complement the dark brown tables and
metal chairs. Open rafters, hanging lights, and a small stage complete the
warm, friendly, and engaging interior.
And this is just the start. Walheim is hoping to get a liquor license to
enable him to serve beer and wine at least. “People like to have a glass
of wine with dinner,” Walheim said.
And the new dinner menu is currently in development. Walheim hopes to
introduce it within a week or so.
In the meantime, patrons can enjoy the subs, burgers, and ethnic fare,
along with the complete coffee bar.

Xylo is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and until 10 Friday and
Saturday. Sundays it is open from 11 to 4. Located at 221 Garland St.
Suite D in TC’s Warehouse District, next to Right Brain Brewery. Its
Facebook page is xylo-bistro-cafe. Call 421-9200.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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