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May 8, 2007 05:30 PM

Any reports on KO Prime Steakhouse (replaces Spire)?

I think today was opening day. Any reports?

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  1. We have reservations for Saterday would love to hear any reports!

    6 Replies
    1. re: babyblue

      Has anyone been yet? I was thinking about going after work for a drink and app. to check it out before I fully commit. I am presuming that they have a bar area but does anyone know? If so, do they have a bar menu or the same menu as tables?

      1. re: JWR

        I checked it out the other day. I was really hoping that they would change the bar to make it more drink and apps friendly, but alas it is the same seating arrangement as Spire. There are two real tables and then these low tables with very modern furniture, that don't allow for enjoyable eating. Same bartenders, so the drinks are bound to be good.

        It looked like they had a bar menu, but they have a variety of hot and cold apps, so perhaps you can order those too.

        The restaurant is dark, unlike the bright white Spire and they added some cow print, I am not sure that I am that thrilled by the changes.

        You should check it out, but it may be difficult to get a seat.

        Good luck!

        1. re: JFBoston

          They're going to have a bar menu soon, but late-night only, is my understanding. Regular menu has plenty of apps, though, including awesome offal--no surprise coming from Bissonnette.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Last night we had a chance to check out some of the "awesome offal" - the bone marrow and the sweetbread fritters. The delicious fritters and that big old plate o' bones were excellent. Looking forward to exploring more of the menu.

            1. re: Rubee

              What a coincidence--that's what I tried! :)

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. very limited seating this weekend. will open for real business on tuesday.

        7 Replies
          1. re: babyblue

            We had diner last night the service was horrible(not surprised).The food was nothing special we expected much better from KO we love his other places.

            1. re: babyblue

              Can you elaborate on "horrible" and "nothing special"?

              1. re: tatamagouche

                Went this weekend. Overall, an excellent experience. Party of 4, sharing everything. Lots of wine, so these will not be the most vivid descriptions (sorry!) and no online menu yet to reconfirm ingredients.

                Weirdly, the service started out with the server giving us a lecture on Kobe/Wagyu beef, a preamble to pushing the $30/ounce (3 ounces minimum) steaks. Offputting. Felt like a time-share spiel at a Caribbean resort. And annoying, given that most of our party worked in professional food world. (Which wasn't his fault at all.) But, whatever: He did his required stumping, and we moved on.

                This will not end up being an entire diatribe on service. However, we ordered a bottle of red, and it tasted macerated. I informed our server, who (correctly) took it back without a pause. But then, he came back, saying that he'd “poured glasses for the people back there" and they agreed that it was exactly how this varietal was supposed to taste, and that maybe we just didn't like the style and should consider a different wine. I took a deep breath, smiled, and said that we'd just like a second bottle of the original, thanks. (It was delicious.) Who knows? Maybe he was conscientiously trying to make sure we didn't get stuck with something we would hate, but it rubbed us the wrong way.

                Alrighty: the food.
                • Salmon-belly sashimi with black bean sauce and plated with a sprinkling of ginger powder was made from superb ingredients, but the black bean sauce was a little overpowering, both in flavor and in texture, against the subtlety of the salmon.
                • The sweetbreads came out as a row of little breaded nuggets lightly glazed with a sweet-sour sauce and served with toothpicks sticking out. Reminded us of the tenderest General Tsao's chicken imaginable.
                • Fresh Kumamoto oysters served with a very spicy cocktail sauce and some sort of mignonette (didn't try).
                • Caesar salad was traditional, garlicky dressing with broad, paper-thin swaths of parmigiano (?). Soggy "croutons."
                • Foie gras terrine: exceptional. One of the best I’ve EVER eaten. Served to me from the other end of the table, so I can’t give plating details.

                • Kobe flat-iron steak (steaks are served à la carte). Great-quality meat, cooked to a perfect medium rare. $28
                • 14-ounce New York strip. Also fabulous. They really get a nice char on the exterior without messing up the pink interior. Well-seasoned. (mid-$30s?)
                • Dover sole ($42). Did not get a chance to try; reports were favorable.

                • Frites were very crispy, but they were cooked so long that the interior was desiccated. Some people love that; I prefer softer interior.
                • Aligote-style mashed potatoes; perfectly executed. Cheesy, stretchy, and rich...
                • Roasted asparagus: the really, really fat ones, peeled almost all the way to the tip, cooked to the perfect tenderness.
                • Sautéed pea tendrils: Beautifully fresh, and cooked only to the point that they were tender, still a bit of crunch, and well seasoned.

                One of my favorite parts about the menu is the five choices under the “Mushrooms” heading. Forget the steakhouse standard of watery buttons. KO Prime offers a choice ($8-$10 each) of Morels, Hen of the Woods, Chanterelles, Black Trumpet, or Mixed. We got the Morels and the Hen of the Woods, and both were flawlessly executed: buttery, salty, and cooked to just the right texture.

                DCs ordered the chocolate bread pudding and one other dessert, but I was heading deep into my own private grappa coma at that point and had to be carried out of the restaurant.

                We ordered three specialty cocktails (which were just OK), the embattled bottle of Mourvèdre ($45), and a splurge-y California Zinfandel ($78), and our whole bill came to around $500 for four people, plus tip.

                Expensive, but we definitely ordered more than we needed. I would go back. The food was excellent, and I liked the small changes to the décor: cowhide upholstery, ceiling paintings, leather placemats.

                1. re: wittlejosh

                  wow, sounds like quite a feast. Thanks for the great details.

                  1. re: wittlejosh

                    Great Review. Our server was actually one of our favorite parts of the KO experience. Her recommendations were great and she didn't push anything. We were interested in the Wagyu beef and she helped us order it, actually suggesting a smaller portion than we were originally thinking of.

                    I had the Kobe Flat Iron which was awesome and my husband had the Wagyu which was amazing. It reminded me of the best Toro I ever had at Yama in NY. It was so expensive but I'm glad we tried it. Also, the side dishes were amazing - we especially loved the sweet potatoes. We loved the foi gras Hot appetizer - it was matched with rhubarb and absolutely perfect.

                    I'd say the desserts weren't anything too special, though. We shared the Lime Curd and chocolate bread pudding. The Lime was nice and refreshing, and the chocolate bread pudding was a bit much after such a heavy meal. I wish they had a nice chocolate mousse option.

                    They have the same wine selection as Spire, so that's still really good.

                    1. re: wittlejosh

                      We've moved a digression about sending wine back to the Not About Food board, at

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Zagat email just came if anyone is interested.

                "Ken Oringer has rustled up KO Prime, his first steakhouse – which looks like a cross between a hunting lodge and a posh nightclub – in Spire’s former digs at Downtown Crossing’s boutique hotel, Nine Zero; young chef de cuisine Jamie Bissonette (ex Eastern Standard) is turning out not only classic chops and fixings but also his trademark offal."

                1 Reply
                1. re: ginnyhw

                  Of course, all these posters know that already... :)

                  Yeah, I agree with Slim that the waiter should have turned to the sommelier in a case like that.
                  I've been second-guessed a couple of times but rarely. It happens more with by-the-glass selections for obvious reasons.