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Hot Box Grill
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Hot Box Grill
18350 Sonoma Highway
Sonoma, CA 95476
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$30 and under
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Hot Box Grill Details
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Californian, Comfort Food
Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Late Night, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Hot Box Grill
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.
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The Hot Box Grill is unassuming
from the street view, but the food and service were outstanding! A must when in Sonoma. Be sure to try the beet grapefruit salad, duck fat fries and homemade ice cream. Well worth indulging on this night!"
Dined on 2/26/2014
There are a lot of great places to
eat in the wine country but Hotbox really stands out for fabulous food. It was pouring rain and the night we went and the night's menu was just the right mix of comfort food and more adventurous options. Starting with warm from the oven sweet potato rolls we had a great meal. The tuna tartare timbale was amazing - whatever the spice was, it was addictive. The pot roast with a drop of horseradish creme fraiche served with potato pancakes was lick-your-worthy. My husband raved about his crispy chicken paillard. The weekly ice cream specials are to die for. Spiced coffee the night we were there and I hear next up is bourbon salty carmel. Yum, we will back!"
Dined on 2/26/2014
Food was great. The tuna appetizer
was amazing and I am already craving more!. We had the flat iron steak and fried Cornish game hen and everything was delicious. The homemade ice cream was also very good!"
Dined on 2/22/2014
Our first visit to Hot Box Grill,
and we will be back! Food was wonderful, nice variety, beautiful presentation, and delicious! Thank you!"
Dined on 2/19/2014
Ribs were great, steak tough,
fries could have been thinner cut and more tasty, aoli ok, a bit too much vinegar for my taste. Service great. Ice cream great."
Dined on 2/15/2014
Quirky and delicious. We have
heard wonderful things about Hot Box Grill and decided to treat ourselves for Valentine's Day. It's a small place and in a modest neighborhood not far from the Sonoma Mission Inn. Walk inside and look to the left. The entire wall is one big chalkboard with the day's specials. The menus come clad in retro plastic sleeves. Friendly, willing servers are quick to respond, happy to explain and don't hover. At first the menu seems pretty straightforward, but read the descriptions. The chef/owner's high end restaurant experience turns the common into the exquisite. We each ordered one of the chicken dishes and absolutely loved them. Servings are generous. Wine list is good too. Looking forward to the leftovers."
Dined on 2/14/2014
This is a foodies place. The
ambiance is okay and the service is pretty good, but the food is the main attraction. Simple, fresh ingredients prepared well. Never had a bad meal here. I recommend the Ahi tuna tartar, the deviled eggs, and brussels sprouts."
Dined on 2/14/2014
We live nearby and have eaten here
every six weeks or so. The core menu repertoire is a great selection of comfort food peppered with some specials on the blackboard wall at the end of the room. All this is good but it'd be nice to see something new. The tasting menu hadn't changed in 6 weeks (big disappointment) and the special main seemed overly familiar. Service is indifferent, and a little variable. Hot Box is a good restaurant but seems to have lost its way in the creativity department."
Dined on 2/14/2014
Admittedly, it doesn't look like
much from the outside, but don't let that deter you. The food is amazing, fresh and innovative. A++"
Dined on 2/5/2014
Meat of port roast was dry with no
sauce and Iron steak had no taste with oily French fried potato."
Dined on 2/1/2014
The food was good, but it was a
long drive (45 minutes) or a rainey night."
Dined on 1/29/2014
This restaurant is a great
alternative to guests staying at the Fairmont hotel if you do not want to dine inside the hotel. It is walking distance from the hotel, price is reasonable, and food served here is more homey than santé at the hotel."
Dined on 1/25/2014
We had the swordfish & the lamb
meatballs. DELICIOUS. Our server forgot to bring our bread until after the appetizer course. I was unhappy that the first thing that went down on our table were two tall glasses of water after California just announced a drought. Particularly in a restaurant setting where the water usage is already high, at least the potential for waste could be managed at the table, requiring customers to ask for it. One other thing, there was only one Cab on the wine list & it was on the pricey side. We opted to try the Muscardini syrah & we were told that they were out, of all the syrahs. We ended up buying the Cab & it was quite good. We were happy we ordered it but would have appreciated more choices. We will go back."
Dined on 1/23/2014
Not sure if they have new
management, or have a new chef, but this place has gone downhill. It used to be our favorite place to go in Sonoma. A little gem. During our most recent visit, we were handed a tasting menu that sounded nice. But, only one of us (2 diners) wanted to get it. Our waitress informs us that both of us would need to order the tasting menu because it is too much of a bother for the chef if only one of us orders it. Mind you, the food on the tasting menu was also on the a la carte menu. Nothing special or unique. Nothing exclusive to the tasting menu. Excuse us for being a bother to the chef. We ordered a la carte instead and were a bit disappointed. We will not return."
Dined on 1/18/2014
This has been my third time there.
Every time the food is outstanding. When I have guests visiting me I always take them to the Hot Box."
Dined on 1/18/2014
We thought the portions were small
for the price. The $6 deviled egg, was 1/2 of an egg, if bought as an appetizer. That price is ridiculous. The carrot-ginger soup was devoid of a carrot flavor, rather bland. Chicken entree was good as was the dessert."
Dined on 1/17/2014
I was REALLY looking forward to
dining at this restaurant. Unfortunately, I left the restaurant with mixed feelings: The food was excellent. We ordered the Winter Tasting Menu. I will say that my lettuce wrap appetizer didn't pair well with the butternut squash soup or pot roast but each little course was delicious. We must have been served by the same sullen server as the other disappointed reviewers. Either she didn't want to serve us or she didn't want to be there herself. 3) I get it...it's a diner. However, the decor and stark, on the edge of, but not quite, dingy design was disappointing. However, the restaurant kitchen and appearance of the chefs were sharp looking. Perhaps the juxtaposition was intentional? Hopefully not."
Dined on 1/4/2014
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 presentation was appealing and the cornish hen looked surprisingly large, but had so much breading that at least 80% of the portion was the breading. Unfortunately lovely looking golden crisp breading had no flavor except that of unseasoned nearly raw flour. Bring salt. After peeling the breading off it filled half of my dinner plate. 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 our satisfaction with our dinner."
Dined on 1/1/2014
Since moving to Sonoma a few
months ago, we have been trying a different restaurant every weekend...this is now one of our favorites! Think home cooking meets Wine Country! Serving staff takes their food seriously, but without pretension....and the food is wonderful! Husband had the Chicken Paillard, which he said was one of the best yet, and I had the delicious pot roast. They have an extremely well priced tasting menu ($29), which includes 4 courses and is a great way to experience the kitchen's expertise,,,,and the best part was when we left, one of the chefs came out to ask us how our dinner was...nice personal touch! Will definitely go back!"
Dined on 12/27/2013
Game hen was outstanding and leave
room for their delectable desserts!"
Dined on 12/22/2013
Hotbox has been one of our
favorites in Sonoma. The owner-chef is a fantastic cook, having studied in Asia and in Europe. However, this was such a disappointing experience mostly due to the unbelievable behavior of the waitress. It was not a busy Sunday evening, and the waitress was incredibly rude. We were treated as if it was a bother to have to serve customers. She is doing no favor for the owner chef and for the food/ambience. The chicken dish is good as always; however, other dishes were nondescript. It's hard to comment on the meal, as the service was so abominable that we couldn't wait to pay and leave. We hope that the service issues, so that customers will have a memorable dining experience in the future."
Dined on 12/22/2013
We had a butter leaf salad,
prosciutto and melon, and some soup. Everything we ate was outstanding! We would have stayed and ordered more food, but I think the server was having a rough day, and it was obvious. We felt tolerated.....but the food was SO GOOD that we looked past the service. ABSOLUTELY worth the drive. Go and dine well!!"
Dined on 12/13/2013
One of the best local spots in
Sonoma. Really good food, a small and comfortable space with freindly staff."
Dined on 12/15/2013
This restaurant has little pomp
and lots of outstanding food. It's one of Sonoma's "sleepers" especially if you want a great meal at a very reasonable price. We drove past it for 2 years before friends recommended making a stop and we're glad we did. Try it---guarantee you won't be disappointed."
Dined on 12/12/2013
We ended our trip to Sonoma with
this great find, only wish we had found it earlier. The food was excellent and fresh. The service was excellent and when one of our party want to mix and match two items on the menu the server was happy to accommodate. What can I say about the Duck Fries and Mac n' cheese, nothing as they were awesome! We ended our trip to Sonoma and the Hot Box with the Lemon Fool, which was the perfect ending to a great meal and a great stay, as it was memorable."
Dined on 12/1/2013
Expected a great experience with
new lady ... Dinner was good not great ... We ordered thr fries ... Undercooked. Wine list was limited and pricey ... Service and atmosphere were good ...dinner for 2 plus wine was $120 with tip"
Dined on 11/20/2013
Very disappointed with the recent
dining experience. They were sold out of their dinner special by 6:30 and they were out of several wines which we tried to order. The Cowboy Steak, for two, was very fatty and tough. Service was also not up to par. In addition, I sent an email to the restaurant the day after we were there with the above comments and they never responded. I guess they do not care!"
Dined on 11/13/2013
The food is always good. The
specials of the day are the best bet usually but everything is good."
Dined on 11/17/2013
We went to this restaurant on a
recommendation. Needless to say, we were very disappointed. The appetizers, tuna tartare and deviled eggs were fine. But, all of our entrees were over-salted. There was so much salt on my husband's rib entree that he could only eat one. I had the ricotta gnocchi which were fine but the sauted spinach again was very salty. Very disappointed."
Dined on 11/15/2013
We hadn't been to the Hot Box for
awhile and were pleased to find the food was still some of the best in the Sonoma Valley. It's American comfort food at its finest. The fried Cornish game hen was delicious - crunchy on the outside and juicy inside. We also had the daily fish special, Artic char, and it was perfectly prepared. The spicy Mac and cheese side is the best of the best!"
Dined on 11/15/2013
The food was delicious with a
unique menu. Very much comfort food with a twist. I ordered the fried cornish game hen which was similar to a small fried chicken with the most tasty batter. The presentation of this on a cutting board is fun and different. Dessert of a brownie sundae was good. Portions are perfect, not too small or large. Prices are also very good. Overall it is a great place which many people driving by might overlook due to it's exterior look and location."
Dined on 11/15/2013
This is the place to go with a
small group, an appetite and order different entrees so you can try it all! Everything was well prepared and the portions are ample. I thought the batter on the chicken was too think but no one else in may group did. We had pot roast, steak, chicken entrees; sides were mac n'cheese, brussel sprouts, cole slaw, potato pancake, onion crisps and the cornbread muffin is amazing! Can't wait to go back . . ."
Dined on 11/8/2013
The ingredients are always fresh.
Our server was a bit slower than usual, but overall a good experience"
Dined on 11/7/2013
While the soup of the day, the
pear salad, and the side of Brussel sprouts were excellent, the ribs were dry as well as the accompanying baked beans...undercooked? The cole slaw was and mac & cheese were disappointingly bland, and the sword fish unremarkable. However, the desert pear cobbler was terrific as well as pinot noir recommended by our lovely and helpful waitress. It was a very pleasant experience all in all, but the foodies in the group were less than impressed."
Dined on 11/3/2013
This is the only restaurant that I
know who makes you PAY for BREAD! I t didn't use to be that way. Generally the quality of the dishes has lowered. (We are children of the Great Depression)"
Dined on 11/2/2013
We were excited to go to the hot
box grill based on the location and overall concept of the restaurant. The menu looked innovative and we loved the ambiance when we arrived. We were a party representing the U.S. (me), Portugal (my wife), and France (my two cousins). The food just doesn't make it. The ribs were deep fried, the cole slaw was well designed and was at least 8 hours if not a full day old, the "spicy" mac&Cheese had no flavor, the brussel sprouts were overcooked, etc.. The beans (side dish on ribs) were excellent as was the service. We would not go back to this place and had a fantastic meal at the El Dorado Grill the following night (Carbonara & Duck)."
Dined on 11/1/2013
We've been to several "noted"
Sonoma dinning establishments (rhymes with Pearl and Dig) and have always been disappointed. Hot Box, which is on no one's radar, exceed expectation...3 times. Great steaks, sides, and sauces. Ambiance is next to nothing but the food and service make up for it. Please don't tell anyone about this place. Thanks"
Dined on 9/15/2013
This gem is on Sonoma Highway
right in a neighborhood and doesn't look like much when one drives by. We were impressed with the service and the food at the Hot Box Grill. My husband started with fall squash soup with curry cream which he loved. He followed that with pot roast that was cooked perfectly with fall vegetables. I started with a lovely plate of varied heirloom tomatoes with a creamy dressing and rice crackers and then moved on to 1/2 slab of ribs which were perfect with the dry rub. I didn't need to have the sauce on the side because the dry rub was so flavorful. The allow corkage for $15."
Dined on 10/21/2013
Very pleasantly surprised by Hot
Box. We'd driven past it many times and it looked a bit like a diner and never seemed to be open. So one day when I saw it pop up on Opentable as an option for dinner, we decided to give it a try. So happy we did, because it greatly exceeded expectations. It's a somewhat unassuming place, but don't let that fool you. The food was excellent and felt like what you'd get at a much "fancier" place. My only negative was the service. Our waitress was very good, but she was not very warm/friendly. But don't let that stop you from trying this place, because overall it's very, very good and I can't imagine anyone not loving it."
Dined on 10/19/2013
Stopped in for dinner at 8pm on a
Saturday night while staying in nearby Glen Ellen. The small dining room was packed with people and very loud, but the noise level lessened as several larger parties left. Great burger, duck fat fries, and fried chicken."
Dined on 10/20/2013
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