Taken from the Basque word for "the new place," Xavi Restaurant has been open in South Minneapolis for a little over a month now. As the food, drinks and patio have slowly come together and locals have been buzzing about the new American cuisine served through a worldly prism. The pork belly and watermelon salad was inspired by the dish made famous at New York City's Fatty Crab, but with chef and co-owner Michael Agan's spin, it's possibly even fresher and more delicious than the original.
Agan was also helpful when I reached out to him to inquire on how exactly we should be pronouncing that name. Pretend you're in possession of just a bit of pretension and breath, "JZHAHvay." Or just call it yummy, the ingredients are impossibly fresh and seasonal, plus many of the dishes on the current menu are naturally gluten and dairy-free.
As weather patterns pass and the clientele settles in, the menu will continue to evolve. Perhaps most intriguing dish right now is the crudo we'd long been promised. Scallops are thinly sliced, served with sea beans and full of subtle flavor. While the crudo-craze of 2015 might have calmed down, this one dish that lives up to the hype.
Overseeing the dining room is James Elm, who greets every customer like a friend and makes certain the glasses on the table are never empty. The restaurant serves beer and wine, plus there is a patio that overlooks a park across the street.
Xavi is currently open for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday.