Any reports on BOKZ Prime?
It's actually called BOKX 109 (how do you even pronounce that; bahk-eks?), and its gimmick is D-list celebs as occasional guest chefs. Some copy from their promo material:
"Introducing BOKX 109: A Performance in Dining with a Vegas Vibe. It’s all about STEAK WITH ATTITUDE. BOKX 109 will offer diners an interactive experience featuring an eight seat chef’s table which will be the home of Chef/Partner Evan Percoco, who also opened The Kitchen at the Hard Rock Hotel, Orlando. The chef would work side by side with the likes of Joan Jett, Sammy Hagar, Dave Davies of The Kinks, skateboard baron Tony Hawk and Johnny Carson’s sidekick Ed McMahon in preparing their favorite dishes."
It basically sounds like a steakhouse with a loud stereo system. I don't think I'd want Ed McMahon anywhere near my food.
I also think the name is silly, but had dinner there recently and much to my surprise, it was good!!!! (you pronounce it 'box').
Things that I loved:
Le Craie Vouvray by the glass. Total summer wine!
Delicious Duck Fat Fries that arrive in a trio of three flavors: truffled, herbed, and (I think) spiced.
One big Crab Cake made with giant lumps of crab and hardly any binder, so fresh and so sweet.
The Bone-In Sirloin arrived a perfect medium rare and though expensive ($42?), the portion was quite large... two meals worth for me.
Things that were just ok:
The room, there's nothing special about. It looks nice, but it's weird to have a swimming pool view when you're not on vacation. You can't quite shake the feeling that you're in an ex-Holiday Inn in Newton.
I understand the steakhouse concept of ordering your meal ala carte, but the prices add up quickly when you're starting with a $42 steak and you still haven't picked your sides. I didn't pay, but my mental math tells me that dinner for two was probably in the neighborhood of $150 (without wine).
On to wine, the list has some gems but for the most part, I found it to be pricey with very few wines under $60.
The side dishes were fine, but honestly I wouldn't have missed them. The gratin of potatoes was cheesy and creamy, but almost drippy. The haricot vert were overcooked. I'll admit that I barely touched either, I was way too into my steak.
Service was solid, considering they are quite new, I thought our server did a great job.
Things that were less than great:
The tables and chairs look cheap, in some sections almost diner-ish. The table tops are bare wood which works at some restaurants, but it definitely collected crumbs (and no one cleaned the table in between courses) if I'm paying $42 for a piece of naked meat, I kinda want to eat it off a table cloth.
I don't think I will be racing down the Mass Pike to return anytime soon, but it's a nice option if you find yourself in Newton with a craving for a steak.
Any idea if the steaks are dry- or wet-aged? Prime or choice?
I like the idea of poolside cocktails, but I wonder who besides folks from nearby suburbs who can't be bothered to drive into the city will head to Newton Lower Falls for pricey steaks.
Suggesting that the vibe and crowd will be Met Bar-ish is not a plus in my book. That place seems the very definition of a comically overly-self-impressed suburban restaurant. My recent meal there, chosen for its convenience to folks who live nearby and find dinner in Boston too much work, was pretty weak. My steak was fine, but the Caesar salad was about what I'd expect to get at an Outback. Middling service for the price point, too.
Also, if BOKX 109 (new candidate for worst all-time Boston restaurant name) serves a bone-in sirloin for $42 a la carte, what kind of a bottle of wine will you be able to get and keep the tariff under $200 after apps, a couple of sides, desserts, tax and tip?
re: MC Slim JB
According to the Herald, "the Bokx in BOKX 109 refers to the breaking down of an animal carcass into manageable pieces of meat, known as boxed meat. The number 109 is the North American Meat Processors Association's call number for a standing rib roast."
And the gym at the hotel is apparently called "Phi.tness." Kinda...sto.opid.
I have to admit - the pool scene on the website does look pretty "WOW" for tired ol' Boston - I might be willing to pay $42 for just an ok steak in such a fun environment (that would also be keeping with the Vegas vibe, no? Or is that just the Foxwoods vibe?)
Unfortunately, in order to fit in, the update to my wardrobe will be at least as much as the bill. (Safe to say I am probably not their target audience.)
I also wonder how the place will fare October to April when it is mostly indoors...
re: Bob Dobalina
All you need to do is wear sunglasses. I got to go to the opening party and it was an all out affair altho hard to get at everything with the big crowd. That pool area is nice, even (or especially?) if the Fixx are playing, nice little cabanas. They had all sorts of carved meat and lamb chops out with good onion strings. Altho my chop was super rare and I decided to not knaw away at it. The dining room area looked okay with the crowd altho maybe it was deceiving, servers were very nice. Alas, my pic with Dee Snyder, one of the few celebrities advertised who actually showed up (we were wondering where was Sammy Hagar, we wanted to talk Montrose), is no longer on a certain web site. I'd definitely go back for a bar or poolside snack and drink.
Hanging out with Dee Snyder is precisely why I skipped the opening.
I'm sure the place serves the same quality beef (and brand) as Abe & Louie's etc., so it's probably fine. I just wonder if the outskirts of Newton can support this idea. To me it sounds painful, apart from sitting by a pool, but I wouldn't go to Vegas with your money, and Foxwoods depresses me.
No one was forced to hang out with Dee and he was actually very nice. This may not be the best time to open a fancy steakhouse, but it would seem that with the success of the Met and some other Newton places, it could work. As people know, lots of folks just don't want to come into the "big city".
I ate there recently and normally wouldn't eat someplace that has been open less than two weeks but for some reason ended up there anyway. That being said, the food needs a lot of work, a lot. They were out of a number of items on the menu when we were there (foie gras being one) and were incapable of producing some items because they had a fryolator malfunction(funny how the steaks ended up with fried shallots on them) so we couldn't order the duck fat fries and some other things.
The BOKX of Shells(their version of a plateau) was okay, the best item being the large chunks of lump crab. The accompanying sauces were pretty nondescript. Tuna which was served two ways was fresh and good one way although completely unseasoned and braided in a weird presentation and almost rotten in a tartare that was rolled into a cucumber. Crabcakes were as the other poster mentioned good and simple with very little filler. After smelling the low tide stench coming off the mussels a couple people ordered at the bar we figured we would stay away from those.
Asparagus salad with a crispy fried poached egg was okay. It certainly didn't have much of the advertised white balsamic-truffle vinaigrette. Kudos on the egg prep though, that was good. Romaine salad was crisp and decent.
Steaks were pretty flavorless and definitely could have used seasoning. Myers farm bone in ribe eye, one of the least flavorful ribeyes I ever had. Short rib was braised properly but our server asked us what temperature we wanted it cooked to(???) Lamb rack was cooked to perfect temp (as was the steak) but the meat was really mushy.
Sauces for $3 were fairly ineptly prepared. Very plain bordelaise and a porcini bearnaise that had no perceptible porcini flavor or aroma and no tarragon either(not that I think tarragon and porcini are acceptable bed mates).
Side dishes were also poorly executed. Limp haricots verts(and I like my beans cooked more than less) with no discernible bacon flavor. Mac and cheese without seasoning and where was the advertised Saugie dogs in it??
I have the menu in front of me so that is how I am recollecting the evening's food and advertisements. If I had any idea how to scan it and post it I would because the menu is written and reads very very well. Execution needs to be improved vastly.
Our server was very good and eager. A bit misinformed perhaps but eager nonetheless and did a very good job.
I don't judge places on decor, but I thought the place was comfy with great bar seats(poorly executed cocktail), very comfy lounge seats and the dining room was comfortable. The pool area looks really nice and would def be a nice place for a drink when they light the fire pits.
I'm not going to be hurrying back but will give them a chance to iron out the kinks and then go back for a drink and an app to try again if one of my buddies who lives near there suggest we meet there.
If they could execute that menu the way it was written they might have a hit on their hands. I'm not sure where they are going to get the people to fill that place and make it a viable business entity.
Ate there last night and it was pretty much a fiasco. Poor, slow service. Couldn't figure out why the four of us got our drinks at the table at a different time. We ordered the fries to eat while having our drinks. The fries were soggy and not very good. We ordered salads, but they never arrived at all. When they brought our meals, we told them they had not yet brought our salads, so they offered to bring them anyway and take them off the bill. We didn't want them anyway. The asparagus salad was not too tasty. Then, they brought the meals without any of our sides or our $3 sauces that go on the steak. We finished our entire meal before they delivered our sides! When they finally arrived, we found that the spinach and asparagus were nothing special. Again, they offered to take them off our bil because of the long delayl, but who wants to eat a hunk of meat or fish with nothing else? I don't even do that at home! The steak was very good, not huge. The $64 bottle of wine was very good. No wines under $55, I think. They comped the dessert which they chose for us. As we were celebrating our anniversary, I had arranged for a candle in the dessert, but that did not happen. The staff was apologetic, but frankly that didn't make up for a below average meal at well over $400 for 4, even after all the things they had offered to take off the bill.