Skybokx 109 - Natick, promising...
Went to Skybokx 109 across from Neiman Marcus at Natick Collection for dinner last night with the family. This was previously Owen O Learys space.
I've been waiting for a decent sports bar in the Metrowest area and this place certainly has some promise. The bar area is huge and has a vast amount of plasma TVs on both sides of the bar and plenty more TVs spread around the restaurant. The layout kind of reminded me of the Yardhouse in Dedham and they definitely are counting on a big bar scene.
There's really little to no similarity between the other Bokx109 in Newton. This menu is focused on bar-type food with only a few entrees on the menu. We tried the buffalo wings and I really enjoyed them. Good size wings, nice and crispy on the outside and the sauce has a nice kick. There's a few other sauces to try and I plan on giving them all a try. We saw a nice platter of nachos pass by and they looked good but for some crazy reason, the restaurant chose to use cheese sauce instead of melted cheese. To me it's a rookie mistake and hopefully they change the menu and use the real stuff.
We stuck with sandwiches and a salad for dinner. I had the Turkey Club which was good. Avocado, bacon, decent bread. Solid B+. The fries are very good. Very thin. Think Houstons. Everyone liked them.
Kids had a burger. Looked decent but I didn't try a bite.
Wife had the Fall Farmer salad with chicken and enjoyed it.
Beer list was just ok, nothing special. Hopefully they get a few more craft beers on the list. It has all the basics but only one or two microbrews. Didn't bother to checkout winelist.
Although the place officially opened on 1/9, it still hasn't had a full blown opening yet. I think last night was the first night they were offering all of the menu items so I'm sure they will tweak it a little over time. The manager was very friendly as was the rest of the staff.
Overall I think this place will be a solid place to go watch a game, grab some drinks and enjoy upscale bar food. You won't make the trek just for the food, but there's really no other place in the area that as nice and has a ton of tvs. I, for one, hope it does well and sticks around.
Thanks for the report. I too have been waiting a long time for a decent sports bar to open in the area. I also completely agree about the cheese sauce on nachos. Unacceptable especially for an establishment portraying itself as a gastro sports pub.
I wonder if Beer Works is still planning on opening down the road in the old Bugaboo Creek space.
I'd hold off judgement on the cheese sauce until you try it.....lots of chefs these days are trying the simple molecular gastro trick of making what looks/behaves like nasty "nacho cheese sauce" using sodium citrate and quality cheeses:
I'd inquire first....could be the real McCoy (of course if it isn't, I agree completely)!
Think " Tavern in the Square" with 1/8 the beer and food menu. It's a big open space with lots of smaller TVs in random places and a poorly curated bar. The food menu looks like it comes from the "Gastro" section of a Sysco truck so I skipped on that. If you want a beer have some backups in mind, they didn't have th first three I ordered off the list, and don't bother with the Long Island Iced Tea.
re: Bob Dobalina
re: Science Chick
Those two bro-dudes probably just looked at the menu and realized there are *five* types of wings, and a "piccata schnitzel" sandwich with "frizzled Amish chicken breast". If you weren't aware, the frizzled Amish are among the most sought-after of organic farmers. Also, they are clearly excited to be hanging out at the sports bar of a suburban Hampton Inn.
(That website does commit multiple cardinal sins of good design. So annoying and unhelpful.)
Ate there on Saturday night with friends. Asked for a table with a view of one of the big screens so we could watch the B's, and they gave us a table with a great view. This was not where they were originally taking us, we were pleased they could change our table so easily.
Menu had tons of interesting choices, waitress was very helpful with recommendations, but she seemed a bit overworked as visits were few and far between. Everything we had (apps, salads, burgers, etc) was very good.
Per the waitress, the owner of Bokx 109 sold that and opened this, which explains the similarity of names. Doesn't make sense to me, but I'm not in charge.
went back there on Friday and it was a whole 'nother story.
Had the same table, so that was nice, but different waitress, and lots of issues. I got the clam and bacon chowder . . . but no spoon. By the time I flagged someone down (and I was literally standing to do so) and got a spoon, it was cold. And my wife wouldn't let me do my famous "waiter, I can't eat this soup" routine!). Got a fresh one, didn't taste any bacon in it, but whatever.
One diner: "No peanut sauce, I am very allergic. Not on the side, don't even bring it". Dish came with the peanut sauce on the side. Asked for a manager now, he came over and took away the peanut sauce and confirmed with the kitchen that none was put on the food. Asked if everything else was alright, so I pointed out the 4 empty glasses on the table (out of 5). Refills came . . . eventually, with his promise that he'd be "right there if we need him".
Other problems were less interesting. Portions were definitely smaller than last time when we had a ton of leftovers.
Bill came, no adjustments, no apologies, nothing. I got the host who got a different manager who seemed to be the GM. Told him of our prior success at the restaurant and the multiple issues that night, including the "right there if we need him" manager. "yeah, that's a problem, I'll take care of this". Brought back the bill with all the apps removed, which was about what I expected at that point. Ended up having a lengthy (friendly) conversation with the GM, but I don't think we're going back.