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“Superb Hot Box Grill”
Review of Hot Box Grill - CLOSED

Hot Box Grill
Price range: US$25 - US$45
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Boyes Blvd
Description: Serving locally sourced ingredients in a relaxed atmosphere, the Hot Box Grill is a wine country gem. Chef Norman Owens is at it again creating inspired comfort food.
Reviewed 3 January 2014

My wife and I went here New Year's Day - almost by default because little else was open in and around Sonoma. But, we are so glad we did go! The food was superb - everything was excellent from my "Chicken Paillard" to my wife's swordfish to our dessert! We would highly recommend Hot Box - the location is out of the way and the ambiance isn't perfect, but it is charming and the cook certainly seems to know food.

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Thank Perigrinator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (118)
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11 - 15 of 118 reviews

Reviewed 2 January 2014

I was very excited about the menu at Hot Box, but everything I had was super greasy or oily. The Brussels sprouts were too soggy to enjoy. The duck-fat fries were nothing to rave about. Good food, good service. Small space so get reservations early.

1  Thank Bellis2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

After reading many reviews we were anticipating imaginative tasty fare to celebrate the New Year. We ordered the roasted beet salad which my friend enjoyed and the crab bisque which was overwhelmingly acidic and had little other flavor. Because of the rave reviews we ordered the Cornish Game Hens. The server advised us to purchase the whole order to split which was way too much food. The presentation was appealing and the cornish hen looked surprisingly like a typically sized smaller chicken. What we found was that it was indeed a small game hen, but had so much breading that at least 80% of the portion was the breading. Unfortunately the lovely looking golden crisp breading had no flavor except that of nearly raw flour. A little salt and pepper would have gone a long way! After peeling the breading off it filled half of my dinner plate. The cole slaw was tasty and seasoned, but the corn "bread pudding" and the mac and cheese sides were mediocre.

The service was good as far as the seating and food service, but even after seeing all the breading removed and laying in our plate our server did not inquire about out satisfaction with our dinner.

One funny note: We had peeled and boned a small amount o chicken for the dogs who were waiting in the car. We made a stop on the say home and my friend commented that we probably shouldn't leave the chicken in the car with them. When we came out the chicken was untouched by our canine companions.

Back to Glen Ellen to the Fig Cafe for us!

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Thank Kathleen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2013

Friends spoke highly of the restaurant as did the reviews here so we deemed it worth a try.

The restaurant is only three years old and quite small, seating about 36 in the dining area and another 10 in the bar area. The chef/owner apparently was formerly at Cafe La Haye, a fine restaurant in its own right. The relatively plain decor/ambiance does not seem befitting of the fine food served here. The chairs and tables are basic wood and lack nice table clothes. The tile floor is a noise reflector, but there are wall hangings to liven up the otherwise plain walls.

The food however is first rate. All of the dishes had the presentation, preparation and flavors of fine dining - nothing simple, lots of complexity to enjoy. While this was our first visit we sampled quite a few dishes and were impressed with the consistent quality of among them and found none of them wanting. We tried Deviled Eggs (unique recipe), a lettuce wrap, Turnip Soup, Honey Roasted Pear Salad, Crispy Chicken Paillard, and Slow Cooked Pot Roast. Desserts were a lemon-like custard and a chocolate one similar to a Boston Cream Pie. We brought our own wine served by the staff for a $15 corkage fee.

Service was excellent with our needs anticipated and met efficiently.

This is a fine restaurant whose only shortcoming is the ambiance, which is adequate, but does not measure up to the fine food. So go for some very good food and ignore the setting - we did and will again.

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2  Thank flylikeahawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2013 via mobile

Stopped in for dinner on a whim and almost didn't go in because it was so small. Had a delicious hamburger, spicy ahi tuna poke and duck fat fries. Best gourmet diner ever!!!

1  Thank Pittbull72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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