Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bokx 109: Truchard Winery Dinner

When I arrived at the Hotel Indigo in Newton, I was unsure what to expect from its restaurant, BOKX 109 American Prime. Sometimes hotel restaurants can be lacking, too generic, too boring. From what I had seen on their website, the restaurant had promise, a Las Vegas-influenced steakhouse with a very intriguing menu. So, I was hopeful yet with a little trepidation.

I had been invited by a PR firm to attend a special wine dinner, which was showcasing the wines of Napa Valley’s Truchard Vineyard with special guest Anthony Truchard. Executive Chef Evan Percoco had created a five-course dinner to accompany the wines. The menu was enticing and I knew the wines should be quite good too.

This will actually be a joint review with my good friend and fellow blogger Dale, of Drinks Are On Me. I will primarily be reviewing the food while Dale will primarily review the wines. This is kind of an experiment so your feedback on the results are welcomed.

When I first walked into Bokx 109, its look and decor were impressive, lots of dark wood and leather. It has the look of a high-end steakhouse. There was a lengthy bar, which was quite busy, and I sat to have a drink prior to the dinner. The bartender, Michael, was very professional and I enjoyed a very pleasant drink of Bokx Bubbles, St. Germain and Prosecco.

The kitchen is open, and you can watch the chefs in action. While I sat at the bar, I had a perfect view of the kitchen and spent some time watching them work.

Our dinner began with some hors d'oeuvres as we stood around, with a glass of Roussane, and chatted. These little items included oysters with lychee & a green smith apple mignonette, mushrooms pupussa with hen of the woods, farmers cheese, and green papaya slaw, and crispy chicken with sausage, and corn jitters. Servers constantly came by, carrying trays of these foods, and you could enjoy as many as you wished. I was very partial to the oysters, though the other items were quite good too. I especially enjoyed the combination of flavors and textures, and it boded well for the rest of the dinner.

It was also at this time that I met Anthony Truchard. He was quite personable and we had a very interesting conversation about wine, food and more. As he also sat next to me during dinner, we were able to continue our conversation. I found within him the passion I seek in chefs, wine makers, and more. Plus, I very much enjoyed his wines.

Our second course, the first we had while sitting, was Bass and Lobster with artichoke, asparagus, and preserved lemon butter. I was struck by the apparent freshness of the ingredients. The bass was moist, plentiful and tasty, as was the lobster. What really intrigued me though was the wonton, fill with a seafood mousse. The crunchy wonton was fried just right, and the filling was delicious, creamy and bursting with taste. They could easily make a regular appetizer with these wontons.

Next up was Wood Grilled Quail with cranberry, wheat berry, almond, and licorice. This dish reminded me very much of Fall, more rustic flavors. The tender quail meat was very appealing, especially as I am a fan of quail. The flavors blended very well and I could easily picture this as an excellent alternative to a commonplace chicken dish. In addition, the quail had plenty of meat. They did not skimp on portions.

The next course was another of my favorite meats, Shepherds Pride Lamb Loin with morels, candy fennel, chard, and chippolini. The meaty and tender lamb slices had that unique lamb taste, slightly wild, which I very much enjoy. The earthy morels paired well with the lamb and the fennel added an interesting element. Once again, they did not skimp on portions and I very much relished this dish.

Though dessert was next, we were able to get an extra dish to try, the Bokx Fries. These fries are fried in duck fat, and come in three types: truffled, herbed and smoked. Duck fat does make a difference! These were just exceptional fries, with a crisp exterior, fluffy interior and lots of flavor. The truffled fries were my favorite though I very much enjoyed all three.

Finally, dessert arrived, a Lookout Farm Braeburn Apple Tarte with almond and bourbon. Somehow I found sufficient room to eat dessert, and was very glad that I did. A flaky tart, fresh apples and a nice blend of flavors.

Service was excellent. Overall, I was impressed with dinner and the culinary skills of Chef Percoco. All of the dishes were not items that you might necessarily relate to a steakhouse, but show the creativity and versatility of the chef. I will be sure to return, as there are plenty of items on the menu that intrigue me.

It was also great to share this dinner with friends, old and new. It was a very fun and interesting time, and I would recommend that my readers check out their future wine dinners.

BOKX 109 American Prime
399 Grove Street (Located inside Hotel Indigo)
Newton, MA
Phone: 617-969-5300

BOKX 109 on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

adele said...

Sounds like a great dinner - particularly those fries!