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“Great food”
Review of Hot Box Grill - CLOSED

Hot Box Grill
Price range: $25 - $45
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Boyes Blvd
Description: Serving locally sourced ingredients in a relaxed atmosphere, the Hot Box Grill is a wine country gem. Chef Norman Owens is at it again creating inspired comfort food.
California
2 reviews
“Great food”
Reviewed October 14, 2013 via mobile

My partner and i ate dinner here last week. I ordered the buttermilk/brined fried game hen and it came with sides of macaroni and cheese (fantastic), cole slaw, and hit sauce for the bird. I ordered the half order and still had some left over for a small lunch. We also had the beet and goat cheese appetizer (delicious) and the summer peaches and prosciutto. Everything was exceptional and we really enjoyed this little restaurant located a funky strip of hwy 12 close to the Sonoma Square with several other great little restaurants nearby. It is a short walk from the Fairmont Mission Inn as well.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cnewellsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

119 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    73
    25
    17
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Key West, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A real disappointment”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

I first visited Hot Box just after they opened about 2 years ago. The food was excellent and the wait-staff friendly and accomodating. I recently went back and was almost shocked at the difference in both the food and the service. The food was creative but not outstanding and the service was horrible. The waiter could not have been more disinterested...and one could say he was arrogant. It's really a shame because it had such promise when it opened.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Marguerite W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Deviled Eggs to Die For....”
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We were hungry in Sonoma. We were tired in Sonoma. We were driving along the main road and stumbled upon Hot Box Grill. We got seated right away without reservations. This place is not pretentious or formal. Just great food and wine. I will travel back to Hot Box Grill just to eat their deviled eggs!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sarah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napa, California, United States
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
68 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Hot Box not so hot!?!”
Reviewed August 4, 2013

This was our first visit based on a close friend's recommendation. Unfortunately, our experience was different. There just were too many negatives than positives. First, the positives:
1. We started with an appetizer of deviled eggs. They were delicious. Not sure how they were made, but they were very good. We got 4 deviled eggs in the order. The only slight was they were small (more on portion size later). Before our entrees, we had 2 delicious red wines. My wife had a local syrah (Akoma Zoume 2008 "Athena"). It comes from a boutigue vineyard in Sonoma. I had the more traditional cabernet (Benziger). If you enjoy full, robust reds, then you can't go wrong with either. By the way, while the wine list is limited, every one you can buy by the glass, half bottle, or full bottle. That was a very nice touch.

Moving on to the entrees, my wife thought her mixed green salad was ok (usually can't screw that up). On the menu, it was listed as "when available". The server explained sometimes they can't find or get fresh greens locally ???

Now, the "negatives". Our server, while efficient and fast, wasn't very warm. In fact, he was robotic in his responses with no emotion. When we received our entrees, they were only so-so, despite being somewhat creative. For example, I ordered the Pot Roast. The meat was tender, but I think the flavor was dulled by the liquid and polenta bed. It seemed like a good idea, but it was just too watered down. Both Nita and I also ordered the vegetables sides. The romano beans lacked flavor and perhaps overcooked/soggy. The dessert menu was not exciting for us (perhaps for others). We skipped dessert, but ordered a side of mac n cheese to go. I have yet to eat it, but my wife sneaked a taste and said they were good.

Oh yes, it's a local/family place. The restaurant is small and not elaborate, and that was ok. It's located close to the Sonoma Mission Inn, so it appeared they also attracted a few visitors as well. The restaurant was busy and tables mostly full. After all, it was a Saturday evening. To take away from the overall experience, several tables had screaming kids. Oh well.

By the way, the menu items seemed overly expensive for the quality and small portion sizes.

So, if you go, keep in mind the pluses and minuses.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank johnnnita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great food, but unfortunately uninspired service”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The tasty food couldn't make up for the crappy service. Our server made really no effort to engage us, so I guess it's a good thing we enjoyed our meals, which is the only reason for the three stars. For the price, and the other selections in the area, I would not come here again, especially since its also in a taco-bell-like building.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Chksrgn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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