Alamo may be just a village but is indisputably an affluent one, which is why I have always been surprised at the shortage of interesting restaurants there. Sure, you can find fast food places, Mexican and Chinese eateries but surely there should be more.
Fortunately, there are at least two restaurants that I consider worth a visit. I wouldn’t classify either as Fine Dining but they both offer good tasty food at reasonable prices. One is Rodney Worth’s Peasant’s Courtyard that I reviewed recently. The other is Xenia Bistro.
Xenia’s is in the main Alamo Shopping Center, which means parking is easy and Sylvia and I visited for an early dinner on a recent Friday evening. At around 6.30pm it was already fairly full and this is quite a large restaurant. The initial impression is much like that of an English pub with stone walls, open beams and lots of bare wood. There is a large (and very popular) bar area, with a few tables and this opens to the main restaurant.
A glance at the menu shows that some thought has gone into the selection. So many restaurants have such predictable choices that it almost doesn’t matter where you go but at least here we saw dishes on offer that you don’t often see elsewhere.
Remembering that portion sizes were quite generous, we passed on appetizers, instead choosing to enjoy the bottle of Acacia Carneros Chardonnay we had taken with us while we waited for our entrees.
Sylvia had Chicken Cordon Bleu with a side order of fries. A great example of a tasty dish that is rarely offered these days, a rolled chicken breast in breadcrumbs, stuffed with ham and mozzarella cheese and served with a truffle-cream sauce. Very tasty!
I chose Paella for my entrée. Lots of seafood including shrimps, clams and chunks of salmon, plus slices of andouille sausage and pieces of chicken. No mussels though, not that this a criticism so much as an observation. The amount of shrimps and salmon more than made up for that.
Neither of us wanted a dessert and by the time we finished our meal, the restaurant was at least 90% full. Obviously a very popular destination for Alamo residents on a Friday and we noted couples, three and foursomes as well as many families.
I mentioned earlier that it reminded me somewhat of an English pub and the range of dishes and the price levels complete that picture. The menu includes pizza, pasta, burgers (including a Kobe beef burger) and many salads as well as a selection of steaks and various meat and fish entrees.
The most expensive item on the menu is an 8oz filet mignon at around $29 including potatoes and vegetables, while most entrees are between $16 and $18. These price levels and the range of dishes should guarantee a steady level of business for Xenia.
One thing that could perhaps be seen as a negative for some is the noise level. This is not the place to come for a quiet evening out. Sylvia and I see this as a “buzz” that adds to the pubby atmosphere but I know everybody would not share that view.
You can see the menus and read more about Xenia Bistro on their website at XeniaBistro.com.