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Restaurant & Bar Guide


XYZ information

// Location80 Seawall Road
Manset, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679

// Hours 5:30-9 p.m. Friday to Tuesday

// Contact207-244-5221

// Price Range$$$

// Cuisine Type

// Features

// Reviews

⇢ Southwest Harbor might be the last place you'd think to look for delicious Mexican food

Manset, a tiny village that makes up part of Southwest Harbor, might not be the first place you’d look for skillfully executed, creative Mexican food, but thanks to XYZ restaurant, it should be. The name, which stands for Xalapa, the capital city of Veracruz; Yucatan, a state bordering the Gulf of Mexico; and Zacatecas, a mining city in the country’s center, reflects the broad, pan-regional scope of chef and co-owner Bob Hoyt’s cooking. Together with co-owner and partner Janet Strong, who acts as general manager for the frequently packed restaurant, the couple create an animated and transportative experience that begins (and may end) with excellent margaritas. Hoyt’s menu features engaging, simply plated versions of classic dishes, like fiery, aromatic chicken in orange sauce and slow-baked pork shoulder in a Oaxacan green mole. Eleven years ago, in a four-star review, our critic marveled at its “sharp and brilliant” flavor. Today, it is every bit as good. Even better are Hoyt’s original dishes, especially a light, citrusy cold avocado soup, and a phenomenal – and phenomenally simple – appetizer of barely dressed Maine crabmeat. A sign in the back garden warning “Ticks & Hornets!” should probably be amended to include the pesky mosquitoes that maraud indoors, but they are a minor annoyance. Dinner at XYZ is well worth a little itchiness.