Wednesday, September 12, 2007

KO Prime

After excellent visits to Clio and Toro, would my next trip to one of Chef Ken Oringer's restaurants be as good? With some trepidation, I did stop for lunch at KO Prime, Ken's new high end steakhouse.

Why trepidation? I have read some mixed reviews on KO Prime, especially concerning service issues. Yet there have been good reviews as well. So I certainly was willing to give it a try.

KO Prime is located in the Nine Zero Hotel on Tremont Street, not far from the Boston Common. You climb stairs to the second floor and encounter a bar area to the right, and the dining room straight ahead. The decor is modern with a few couches with a cowskin theme. The restaurant was fairly busy, especially with businessmen. It felt comfortable.

I took a look at the wine list though I did not order anything, mainly as I would be attending a wine tasting later in the day. They have an interesting wine list, with some more different options though the list is a bit expensive. Wine by the glass starts at $10 and goes up from there. Prices are comparable to other high end steakhouses.

The lunch menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches and some meals, usually smaller sized entrees. What to order to get a good sense of the restaurant? I figured maybe a couple appetizers might be in order.

I started with the Wagyu Tartare ($19). This was served differently than usual. Instead of being mixed already, the diner is left to do so. The dish contained quite a sizeable mound of raw steak bits. One of the larger plates of tartare I have had before. You also get an egg yolk, held in an eggshell, as well as several different mixings, including onions, tomatoes, mustard and more. You also get several baguette slices to smear with the tartare. I very much enjoyed this dish.

I did get an amuse bouche, a salmon ceviche with an Asian curry sauce. Delicious, with a nice creamy and spicy sauce.

I then chose the Charcuterie ($12). I wanted to see how well they made these sausages and such. This dish came out on a long rectangular plate with six different types of charcuterie, tiny cornichon slices, two types of mustard, and slices of baguette. Again, a plate with plenty of food. The meats were all very different and delicious. From blue sausage to Vietnamese bologna. The only thing I did not eat was the head cheese. I just couldn't get myself to try it. Just FYI: Head cheese is not really cheese. It is a terrine made from the head of a calf or a pig. Though, as everything else was so good, I probably should have given even the head cheese a chance.

Next, dessert! Carmelized chocolate bread pudding with pistachio ice cream ($10). Until recently, I had not been a fan of bread pudding. Too many of the old runny bread puddings with those black raisins. But, so many restaurants now are making some delicious bread puddings. When this pudding came out, it looked superb. A large square of a dark chocolate bread pudding, in a sea of creme fraiche, topped by a scoop of pistachio ice cream, and a thin chocolate cookie, and nuts. This was a fabulous dessert. The pudding was like a super-moist chocolate cake. Any chocolate lovers would swoon over this dish.

Service was generally very good, except that I did have to ask for bread. Other than that, the waiter was attentive and personable.

Overall, this was a very good experience. I got plenty of food, it was quite delicious and prices were reasonable for what I received. I will definitely return here to have dinner some evening. And to get the chocolate bread pudding again!

KO Prime in Boston

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