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Boston Food & Drink Website|Monday, April 21, 2014
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Fall Menu at Bokx109 Newton 

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I have to be honest: Bokx109 has been everything to me except a restaurant. I’ve sat at the bar for cocktails a few times. I’ve partied in a cabana for a bachelorette party. Most recently, I sipped, tasted and mingled at the Urban Grape two-year anniversary party. But dinner? Nope. There was one bar incident involving onion rings that left me a little lack luster about their food.

Octopus Carpaccio

Enter Chef Stephen Coe. As a sous chef under his predecessor, he has taken over the reigns with gusto. You can find him in the thick of things in Bokx109′s open kitchen. For a closer look, reserve the Chef’s table and Coe will cook right in front of you. Sounds fun, right? I was able to dine at the chefs counter last week, as Bokz109 set off to showcase their new fall menu.

Coe at the Chef’s counter

A few quick general notes about Bokx109 for those unfamiliar with the space. This American Prime restaurant and bar sits nestled into Hotel Indigo, just off 95 and walking distance from the end of the Riverside green line in Newton. The bar is always packed, filled with lively patrons and sometimes live music. The dining room is situated such that noise from the bar does not carry over, but instead provides a cozy atmosphere. Appropriate for a business dinner, first date or 15-year anniversary, the attentive wait staff offers high-quality service. Situated just off 95/128 in Newton, and walking distance from Riverside station on the green line, this “destination” for city dwellers may just be worth the trip.

Our group was presented with a 12-course (!!!) menu with wine pairings. Here are my highlights.

Presentation: This dish was one of the most interesting and impressive presentations I’ve ever seen. A wine glass is served atop the sacchetti and is tipped back away from you to allow the dishes aromas to be released in a control manner towards your nose. For such a dramatic demonstration, these small bites of pasta lived up to the hype.

Pear & Mascarpone Sacchetti, stuffed with pear and Mascarpone, topped with a cream sauce, arugula, pickled red onion, and lemon

Classic: As much as I love oysters in-the-raw, I also enjoyed them dressed up and this appetizer is one I would order again in a heartbeat.  The chive really stood out in this dish, its herbal notes helping to break through some of the creaminess of the fondue.

Grilled Oysters topped with fennel pollen, tomatoes, panko bread crumbs, pancetta, and chive fondue

Comfort Food: As fall approaches, I’m craving soup more and more. This dish takes the idea of tomato soup and grilled cheese and morphs it into a beautiful dish fit for fine dining. Tomato bisque was just creamy enough without being too heavy, and the simple piece of fried mozzarella brings in that grilled cheese element we all know and love.

Tomato Heirloom Soup-Cambell style, tomato, garlic, onions, basil and finished with parmesan foam

Delicate: Large chunks of lobster were nicely cooked and served with house-made pasta, part of Coe’s program to make everything from scratch.

Lobster Cavatelli – Lobster meat, shitake mushrooms, edamame, and finished with a chive cream sauce

Daring: I’ve had rabbit three times now and this has been my favorite preparation thus far. Wrapped in bacon, the rabbit stayed tender and moist while butter beans added a contrasting texture.

Decon Rabbit – Bacon wrapped rabbit with stewed butter bean

Decadent: Braised veal cheeks was my favorite dish of the evening. Falling-apart tender, in a rich glaze that left me wanting more. The true essence of fall comfort, with all of the decadence.

Sous Vide Veal Cheeks with Tarragon Pappardelle and Parsnip puree

Wine:  The Hogue Reserve Cabernet is bottled only for Bokz109 in the state, and was an incredible pairing with both the veal cheeks as well as our dessert course.

Sweet: A stunning dessert plate was filled with small bites and a little bubbly. The highlight here for me was Chocollate Cyclone, which was as fun to eat as it was delicious with a rich chocolate mouse stuffed into a dark chocolate cone and topped with whipped cream and caramel cone.  The twist had sweet notes of an ice-cream cone, and like a fall version of a summer ice cream cone delight.

Blueberry & Prosecco Shooter, Strawberry & White Balsamic Jelly, Petite Tiramisu, Chocolate Cyclone

Fun: Chef brought is back to our childhood with this very fun, mini Popsicle topped with Pop Rocks!

Pop Rocks – Frozen Lemon Soufflé with pop rocks

As Chef Coe expertly cooked and plated in front of us, we got a fabulous view of the lively kitchen behind him. I know some argue that they do not want to see their food being cooked, but enjoy open kitchens and watching the hustle and bustle, hard work and toil that goes into every plate of food that is served in from of you. Coe’s enthusiasm is contagious, and he’s one of the most approachable and easy-to-talk-to chefs I’ve met, and I wish him success at the helm of Bokx109.

These items are expected to be on Bokx109′s fall menu, not yet available but check their website for the new menu.

I was a guest of Bokx109; all opinions are my own.

What childhood item have you seen incorporated into a menu recently?



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