Sunday, June 3, 2012


Coming from a Spanish background, and having visited Spain several times, I am constantly looking for an enjoyable, authentic dining experience that will invoke memories of my time there. While I have visited a few Spanish restaurants here in Miami that serve delicious tapas and offer traditional dishes, I was deeply impressed and so incredibly taken aback with my recent adventure at Xixon, located at 2101 SW 22 Street.

The word Xixon, is Asturian for Gijon, a coastal city in northern Spain known for its unique gastronomy and delicious pastries. A visit to Xixon restaurant is a journey deep into the heart of Spain; a combination of traditional, authentic cuisine, with an innovative flair that will entice even the most discriminating palate. That is how I felt from the moment I savored my first bite until the ending of a most memorable meal.

But it's not just the food that will leave you breathless. The layout and decor of the restaurant is amazing as well. It consists of 4 different dining areas: the Main Level, where you also find the Tapas Bar (as well as a Delicatessen and Market); the Mezzanine, which is perfect for larger groups and gatherings; the Vinoteca, a cozy ambiance with a fabulous Wine Cellar patrons can wander in and out of as they choose their wine; and an outdoor Terrace. We had the pleasure of being seated at a very nice table in the Vinoteca area, surrounded by a curtain of bottles of wine.

Their fabulous Wine Cellar
Xixon's dinner menu is extensive, offering a large selection of hot and cold tapas. There are also a variety of Tablas (Platters) boasting cured meats and Spanish cheeses, Pintxos (Small Bites), such as Dates wrapped in Bacon and Duck Croquettes, Meat and Seafood dishes, along with salads, soups, sandwiches, and their Daily Specials. We were able to engage in a true adventure, as their incredibly talented Chef Jon Gonzalez, created authentic and savory dishes for us; most of which are not currently on the menu, but capture the essence of Xixon's cuisine.

Chef Jon, me and Carlos, the owner

Crema de Calabaza and Gazpacho
Sardinas en Escabeche
We started with a shot of both their Gazpacho and their Crema de Calabaza. Gazpacho is a tomato-based vegetable soup, traditionally served cold, that is both refreshing and tasty. Theirs was amazing; zesty yet full of equally balanced flavors, where each ingredient made a subtle appearance. The Crema de Calabaza, or Cream of Pumpkin Soup was the best one I have ever had. I practically inhaled it, it was so good! Served warm, it was velvety and rich, and totally intrigued me, since sometimes pumpkin soup can be a bit acidic and this one was not. I loved it! Next, we were served Sardinas En Escabeche (Marinated Sardines) on top of a slice of toast. Divine! The flavors were so genuine, I literally felt like I was sitting on a seaside tapas bar in Spain.

Ensalada de Carpaccio de Pulpo
Tosta con Queso de Torta del Casar
The next dish blew me away the moment I saw it: Ensalada de Carpaccio de Pulpo, translated to Octopus Carpaccio Salad.  The presentation was gorgeous; both colorful and aromatic, it was a treat to the senses. A delicate balance of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, sweet red peppers, croutons and a slightly sweet sauce, combined utterly well with the thinly sliced octopus. Outrageous! Not quite sure what could follow such a treat, out came a Tosta Con Queso de Torta del Casar. "Tostas" are popular tapas in Spain, consisting of a particular toast, or bread topped with some savory delight. These were topped with an exquisite cheese with a creamy texture called Torta de Casar; which is made from sheep's milk in the Extremadura region of Spain. Very rare, it is made from the milk of Merino and Entrefina sheep, which only produce 75 liters of milk per year per sheep. The cheese was crowned with strawberries in a vinegar reduction that was sublime; incorporating salty with sweet in a magnificent way. Bravo Chef Jon!

Langostinos Gigantes 
Secreto Iberico
Taking us to food oblivion, the next dish was Langostinos Gigantes Salteados Con Puerro, or Giant Prawns Sauteed with Leeks. The prawns were sweet and succulent and the mild onion-like flavor of the leeks, together with the accompanying juice, created a burst of flavors that lingered after each bite. The dish also had a spicy kick to it that took me to yet another level.  Excited to see what was coming up, I smiled when I saw our friendly waitresses Auri and Maria Angeles, coming with our next surprise. It was Secreto Iberico. Secreto Iberico is a special cut between the shoulder and loin of the iberico pig, which is a very lean meat and lightly marbled with fat to produce a rich, exceptional flavor. Wow! It was magical; served on caramelized onions and a tantalizing sauce, and paired with crispy shoestring potatoes that I loved swirling in the tasty juices.

Torrejas con Helado de Turron
Bizcocho de Chocolate
I seriously had to sit back at this point and relive in my mind the grand feast we had just experienced. But there was more coming. No meal is really complete without a happy ending, and ours was coming in the form of Torrejas con Helado de Turron and Bizcocho de Chocolate also served with ice-cream. Torrejas are a kind of bread similar to French Toast, dipped in a sweet syrup that makes you want to lick your fingers. It was soft and somewhat creamy inside, and impossible to put down. Pairing it with a homemade nougat ice-cream that was smooth and luscious made it pure ecstasy. The Chocolate sensation was just as much out of this world; melting slowly in my mouth. Once I reached the center, and the creamy, chocolate filling eased out and onto my spoon, all I could do was look to the Wine Cellar, and wonder if there was room for me to set up a bed and just move in. I can do this everyday!

By the way, the service was spectacular throughout our meal. Since each dish was so intrically and carefully prepared, I had many questions to which everyone I asked was excited to answer and were very knowledgeable about the dishes. I also learned from Maria Angeles that they offer different wine samplings on specific days so it's a great outing in both food and spirits. In case you were wondering, there is complimentary Valet Parking provided so no worries in that department.

I have to end by saying my adventure was of gastronomical proportions and I can't wait to return!  For more information, you can contact them at 305 854-9350 or visit their website at

Xixón Café on Urbanspoon


  1. Hello,
    Wow!!!!!!!such a nice dish i like it so much..........

    1. They were all delicious! I could close my eyes and find myself in Spain just by the enticing flavors!