Dine-Out: Xilantro

WAYNE, PA

Xilantro Exterior

Spelled according its ancient Mayan origin, Xilantro (meaning—cilantro, the herb) is a brand-new Mexican restaurant in Wayne, PA. The restaurant just opened on Tuesday May 31 to business partners Luis Martin (of his Sarape concept restaurants) and Joel Solomon. Xilantro is located just off of Lancaster Avenue on 103 North Wayne, across from the Anthony Wayne Movie Theater. It’s hard to miss with its stark-white entrance and glowing green sign.

Xilantro had a very, very futuristic feel. The entire restaurant was cloaked in white, and what wasn’t white was filled in with neon-green. It was incredibly spaceship-like, and I felt as if I was dining in a themed restaurant—except that the staff was normal and didn’t act as if they were our space crew. I was dining with my friend, Ally from Texas—which is definitely something to mention as she gave me her opinions regarding her experience at Xilantro. She was very excited to try out this new Mexican option on the Mainline. When we discussed the décor, Ally told me that she found conflict with the design and the food. She remarked to me that, “…the sleek, ultra-modern white interior is aesthetically appealing, but does a poor job of reflecting the food. The décor better suits a restaurant that’s doing something especially innovative—like molecular gastronomy—with their food. Xilantro serves updated cuisine, but nothing about their food screams especially modern.”

The bar was particularly remarkable in its architecture and apparently houses over 100 types of tequila. Unfortunately on the night we dined they didn’t have their liquor license, but I definitely intend to go back and try their cocktail specials!

The dinner menu was filled with many traditional Mexican eats, including dishes like: Grilled pork chops, salmon, enchiladas and a center cut filet mignon, to name a few. We had the fortune to speak with one of the staff that was there to help launch the restaurant. He told us that while they try to buy locally as much as possible, they also import herbs from Mexico in order to create authentic cuisine.

What we ordered:

  • Salsa & Guacamole – What was really surprising about this appetizer was that it wasn’t free! The Guacamole (which made up for the price) was excellent, but priced at $10. It came to the table in a mortar and with a pestle, and said on the menu that it was going to be prepared tableside, but it wasn’t during our experience. The Salsa was okay, but to us, not anything special or anything warranted charging $6. It was surprising to us because complimentary salsa and chips is such a staple in Mexican restaurants. We understood that this restaurant was a fine Mexican restaurant and was aiming for exquisite cuisine, but it still perplexed us. I’d definitely recommend to my readers to try the guacamole, though—it was worth it!
  • Queso Fundido with Shrimp – This appetizer was great and very filling! It came with melted Chihuahua cheese with shrimp on top. It was simple, but delicious. The tortillas provided were hot and fresh—some of the best tortillas I’ve ever had in a restaurant.
  • Shrimp Fajitas – My friend, Ally, ordered this. In her comments about this dish, she was a bit disappointed with the size of the entrée and the temperature. Fajitas in most Mexican restaurants tend to be larger in portion-size and sizzling—neither occurred. However, Ally loved the presentation of the fajitas and the quality of the refried beans and cotija cheese.
  • Grilled Chicken Supreme – I ordered this entrée, and I absolutely loved it! This entrée came with an entire chicken breast that was stuffed with poblano peppers and covered in a fantastic creamy white sauce with almonds. It came with wild rice on the side, which was a great complement to the mild dish.
  • Tres Leches – We ordered this scrumptious pound cake for dessert. Traditionally, Tres Leches is supposed to be entirely soaked in the three milks, but instead was sitting upon a different type of sauce. Because of this, the entire cake wasn’t moist, but dry in some areas. This dish was great, but not incredibly traditional. All desserts are $8.

Price: $$ — The price is definitely still affordable, but can easily go up to $$$ if you order a plentiful amount of food. My friend did have a bit of an issue with the prices, but that’s probably because she’s from Texas and used to Mexican food being very casual and therefore more affordable. Ally said that when she got her Shrimp Fajitas, the portion wasn’t as large as what she would have received in Texas (it would have been able to feed two people). I’d say it was a little bit expensive for some kinds of dishes that were available (like the salsa & guacamole–some dishes however I think were priced appropriately). Overall the food was delicious!

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