The rib eye ($45) is from “Myers Farm, Black Foot Valley, Montana.” This really is a single source, with a pedigreed red Angus herd. The animals are fed an all-natural (but not necessarily grass) diet, and don’t receive hormones (that’s the BOKX 109 bottom line). It makes for fine — not amazing — beef, served medium-rare as ordered, with onions and peppers.
Our salmon ($29) was from Scotland; it was wood-grilled a little too long, but to no great harm because it’s such a fat fish. It was served on baby spinach (not the collard greens described on the menu, but again, no issue for me) and undercooked white beans flavored with that too-smoky bacon — and maybe a somewhat old slice at that. I know white guys can’t jump, but why can’t they cook dried beans? It’s pasta that’s supposed to be al dente; dried beans are supposed to be soft. The description of the salmon also lists “Karma jitters.” That’s not the condition of a boutique hotel investor in October 2008, but a tangy barbecue sauce based on Karma-brand coffee. Scallops ($28) are from Georges Bank and they’re terrific: pan-seared with lots of sharp micro greens and a wisp of Champagne butter sauce.
The wine list is expensive, and special older bottles can be astronomical. We had two nice reds by the glass. The first, 2006 Peltier Station zinfandel ($12), was a deep basket of dark fruit, with a flavor that just kept on going. The second, Donna Paula 2007 malbec ($10), had a little volatile acidity when poured, but it aired out to a fruity glass of wine with some structure. Decaf coffee ($3) was very good. Teas ($3) are Tazo bags; select one quickly and pop it into the pot of hot water or it won’t brew.
There’s a cool complimentary dessert of green-apple cotton candy, but more refined palates might prefer the “red velvet cupcake BOKX” ($12). These are like two Hostess cupcakes served on a plate, except there’s no filling and they’re made with real Southern red-velvet cake, and given two little scoops of intense chocolate gelato with chocolate pieces.
Pistachio trio ($12) is a pistachio crème brûlée (yes), pistachio ice cream (oh, yes), and pistachio shortcake (not available our night, so the dessert was comped). “Nuevo York” ($12) is one half cupcake of classic cheesecake, slapped together with a half cupcake of cheesecake topped with dulce de leche. (Dulce de leche is caramelized milk, in the sense that Aretha Franklin is a female singer.) The only dessert I would throw out of bed was a carrot cake ($12), gussied up vertical and served with a sort of chai foam and ice cream with some kind of alcohol in it.
More complimentary sweets came with the check: banana gummy pyramids, micro brickle cookies, and little ginger-sugar wafers.
The room is reasonably calm, despite the techno soundtrack and an open kitchen. Service, except for not enough hot-pepper warnings, was wonderful, with the extra consideration one expects at this price level — though it was less formal than at many steak houses. It’s the kind of service that draws local celebrants to hotel dining rooms.
Robert Nadeau can be reached at RobtNadeau@aol.com.