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“Wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles 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, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
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.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

We walked from the Sonoma mission inn not sure what to expect. What we got was real, serious food. On the comfort food scale, but everything was delicious. For the devil eggs with bacon and some kind of cheese crip to the very simple field green salad with a light lemon vinegrette, to the cowboy steak which really was big enough for two, we had a fabulous meal. Tight, well priced wine list too. We wanted to go back a second night because there we so many other dishes we wanted to try but unfortunately a power outage caused the restaurant to close for the evening.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Emaily2
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
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Disappointing service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

I was really looking forward to eating at this restaurant, reserving it for our final night's meal before returning home.

THE GOOD: We both ordered the Winter Tasting Menu, and while the teeny lettuce wrap was an odd pairing with the other courses, it tasted good. Our butternut squash soup was delicious as was the chicken and pot roast, and their desserts were excellent.

THE BAD: While the kitchen area and chefs were super sharp and were the visible shining star of the restaurant, there was a distinct lack of ambiance in the dining area, from the small bistro chairs and table, to the plain decor. It was one step away from being dingy.

THE UGLY: Please replace your servers!!! Non-smiling and disinterested, our server lacked every possible people skill necessary to make a dining experience memorable. I take that back....her inattentiveness is what we will remember from our experience there and because of that and other disappointed reviewers who also, on this site and others, complained about poor service, all of that will be a reason for us not to return on our next visit.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Sharon32655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Superb Hot Box Grill”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2014

My wife and I went here New Year's Day - almost by default because little else was open in and around Sonoma. But, we are so glad we did go! The food was superb - everything was excellent from my "Chicken Paillard" to my wife's swordfish to our dessert! We would highly recommend Hot Box - the location is out of the way and the ambiance isn't perfect, but it is charming and the cook certainly seems to know food.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Perigrinator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Interesting”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2014

I was very excited about the menu at Hot Box, but everything I had was super greasy or oily. The Brussels sprouts were too soggy to enjoy. The duck-fat fries were nothing to rave about. Good food, good service. Small space so get reservations early.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bellis2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Nice presentation....... Disappointingly bland!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2014

After reading many reviews we were anticipating imaginative tasty fare to celebrate the New Year. We ordered the roasted beet salad which my friend enjoyed and the crab bisque which was overwhelmingly acidic and had little other flavor. Because of the rave reviews we ordered the Cornish Game Hens. The server advised us to purchase the whole order to split which was way too much food. The presentation was appealing and the cornish hen looked surprisingly like a typically sized smaller chicken. What we found was that it was indeed a small game hen, but had so much breading that at least 80% of the portion was the breading. Unfortunately the lovely looking golden crisp breading had no flavor except that of nearly raw flour. A little salt and pepper would have gone a long way! After peeling the breading off it filled half of my dinner plate. The cole slaw was tasty and seasoned, but the corn "bread pudding" and the mac and cheese sides were mediocre.

The service was good as far as the seating and food service, but even after seeing all the breading removed and laying in our plate our server did not inquire about out satisfaction with our dinner.

One funny note: We had peeled and boned a small amount o chicken for the dogs who were waiting in the car. We made a stop on the say home and my friend commented that we probably shouldn't leave the chicken in the car with them. When we came out the chicken was untouched by our canine companions.

Back to Glen Ellen to the Fig Cafe for us!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kathleen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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