HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

KO Prime - Restaurant Week + $20 gift card (Review + Pics)

  • 6

I just got back from a Restaurant Week experience, so I decided to write a review for KO Prime. I've been a huge fan of Ken Oringer's Clio since 2006, and I've slowly been checking out his restaurants (I'm originally from Toronto, so it's taken me a while to try all his new places - I'm now a permanent resident, so I'll be hitting his places a lot more now!). I've been excited to try KO Prime for a while, so when I received notice from the mailing list that they were offering a FREE $20 gift card for dining with them during Restaurant Week, I couldn't pass up the deal! $33 pp + $20 off a future visit? What's there NOT to love?

My SO and I ordered as much as we could to sample what KO had to offer during RW: we had the two apps (one soup, one salad), the fish + steak entrees, and one each of the desserts. The soup was done in a classic way of bringing out the garnishes in the bowl, and the server pours the soup at the table as to keep the flavours as "unmuddled" as possible, and to keep the textures and colours fresh and vibrant. It was a veloute of parsnip, served with roasted beats, goat cheese and surprisingly - what seemed like marcona almonds. I don't think I saw the nuts on the list of ingredients on the menu, but it was surely the highlight of the soup. It really took it up a notch (not sure if people with allergies would appreciate it though). There was no promised brioche to go along with the soup, but I didn't really miss it. The beets helped cut the monotony of the colour of the soup, as well as the flavour and texture. Though I'm not usually a fan of goat cheese, I found it helped round out the flavours of the soup and add a bit of necessary sharpness. Overall, the soup was pretty on par with what I would expect for RW from KO- nothing earth shattering, but it was solid.
Soup: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

The salad was a wedge of iceberg lettuce, one of the most misused and misunderstood veggies (IMO). They get a bad rep, but if handled well, they could be light and refreshing. KO did a good job, though I felt they were a bit heavy-handed with the Blue Cheese Sauce that was ladled on top of the delicately flavoured greens. The fried onions/shallots were a nice, sweet touch, but the bacon was almost lost under the thick slurry of cheese. The lettuce was fresh, and this is the ONLY way I'll enjoy an iceberg lettuce salad (in a wedge).
Iceberg: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

Throughout the meal, the bread was topped up regularly (a selection of 3 different breads: a white, what seemed like a rye, and a multigrain with some anise flavour
)Bread: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

The mains came up next: I had the steak, SO ordered the cod. The steak was pretty disappointing, given they were a steakhouse and I was pretty adamant that I disliked overdone steak and that I wanted rare, rather than medium-rare - and that most restaurants tended to overcook the steak. The waitress assured me that they knew how to handle steaks in this establishment, but when it came it out, it was medium/medium-rare. As a result, the steak was tougher and drier than I would have liked. She didn't check back with me on the steak, so I didn't get a chance to tell her it was a bit overdone. The steak itself was a bit tougher than I was used to for a NY Strip as well, but the flavour was divine. It was well grilled and the sauce was quite good, if not a bit too salty. I must have drunk a few gallons of water when I got back home to compensate. The steak was pretty much the only misstep of the evening. I was impressed with the portion though - 10oz during RW? Wow.
Steak: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

The cod was amazing. That was the winning dish of the evening. Everything else was good, but this was EXCELLENT. The skin was exceptionally crisp, and the flesh was tender and lightly flaky. It was handled oh-so-well! It wasn't overcooked, like how most restaurants like to serve their fish (if I wanted an overcooked piece of fish, I'd go to a low-end restaurant that uses low-quality fish and charges accordingly). This was a super fresh specimen, and there was nothing marring the delicate flavour (the lemon sauce was left on the side so you could add as much as you desired). SO loved the sauce. I found it a bit overpowering, so I used it in moderation. The lentils du puy were lovely and al dente, and really rounded out the dish well. The onion rings on top were top notch and sweet. I could have eaten a whole pile of these.
Cod: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

Dessert was pretty standard. Nothing really stood out. The espresso ice cream with brownie was probably a bit stronger than the other entry, because I enjoyed the ice cream. It was velvety and tasted of espresso. The financier wasn't in the typical mold shape I was used to, and was instead a standard sliver of sponge cake/curd. The wafer on top made it a bit more satisfying and was actually my favourite part of the lemon dessert. It seemed like they dialed-in the dessert course, and could have done much more with it to showcase what they could do.
Ice Cream & Brownie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...
Financier: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

Overall, I had a great experience - service & food was good. Atmosphere was casual and nice. And all at that price? Bravo! I will definitely head back to KO to use up the coupon, though I probably wouldn't have rushed back if they didn't offer this promotion. It was good, but some dishes were hit and miss. I doubt I'll reorder a steak entree next time, as I found it a bit mishandled. There were a number of items on the regular menu that caught my attention, including the short rib macaroni & cheese, and the foie burger (and some sides).

I hope you enjoyed the review and found it helpful. I wanted to post it early on during RW to help fellow Chowhounds in terms of ordering, and notifying them about the giftcard. Call ahead to confirm they're still doing this. I had to ask the waitress at the end, because it didn't come with the cheque. She had to go searching for them. This is only my second review here in Boston, but I hope to catch up on some old ones I haven't posted ASAP.

Cheers & Happy Eating!
BokChoi

-----
KO Prime
90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Nice, detailed review! Please post more!

    I've found KO Prime less interesting since Oringer moved Jamie Bissonnette over to Toro (and now Coppa). There are far fewer interesting offal dishes on the menu, like the calf brains piperade I had there once upon a time.

    Of course, it also made my "27 Really Terrible Boston Restaurant Names" list for calling itself KO Prime and serving choice-grade steaks.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    -----
    Toro
    1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

    KO Prime
    90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

    Coppa
    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    5 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Thanks MC Slim JB! I appreciate the kind words. I would agree that I too am stalking Jamie Bissonnette (unfortunately, I'll be heading to Toro tomorrow to try it out without him running it - I went there last year and it was amazing). I can't wait to try out Coppa as well. You're right - there's absolutely nothing too interesting about KO Prime's menu, which was surprising for a Ken Oringer franchise, but not as a steakhouse per se. I love offal and look forward to trying Coppa's offerings. Any suggestions?

      Agreed as well about the quality of the steaks. Too bad, I was hoping to love it, but only came away happy with the value.

      -----
      Toro
      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

      KO Prime
      90 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108

      Coppa
      253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

      1. re: BokChoi

        Actually, Jamie still oversees Toro's kitchen, so Restaurant Week issues aside, you should be happy there. (And yes, I find the fancy steakhouse format boring. Jamie kept KO Prime interesting with his non-steak stuff.)

        At Coppa, there's plenty of wicked offal dishes. I recommend the pig tails, brains ravioli, baked tripe, beef heart crostini, and the marrow/oxtail pizza. I think I've eaten through that entire menu a couple of times but managed to miss the sweetbreads dish somehow.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        -----
        Toro
        1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

        Coppa
        253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Thanks for the information, MC Slim JB. I can't wait to try Coppa - all the things you mentioned sound right up my alley. I'm happy this stuff has made it into mainstream dining arenas.

          -----
          Coppa
          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        Have you found that Toro has slipped at all since Jamie moved over to Coppa?

        -----
        Toro
        1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

        Coppa
        253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

        1. re: Gordough

          These days I'm more likely to be at Toro for drinks and Coppa for food, but I understand that Biss is still shuttling between the two.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          -----
          Toro
          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

          Coppa
          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118