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  • Hot Box Grill

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Hot Box Grill

Hot Box Grill Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.hotboxgrill.com
  • Email: info@hotboxgrill.com
  • Phone: (707) 939-8383
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Sunday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Californian, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Norman Owens
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Late Night, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Boyes Blvd
  • Parking: Private Lot
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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "If you want an upgrade on your fried chicken, try this little diamond in the ruff. Located off the well-beaten path of Sonoma Square, this 'little box' holds an abundance of flavors. From fish to pasta to the delectable fried Cornish hen, there's nothing fancy going on except the food. The service was attentive and pleasant. If you need a view, choose another spot, but if you wanna eat, need I say more?"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I think this restaurant has been open for a couple of years now. It remains steady with good food, service and ambiance."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Hot Box Grill hit it out of the ballpark again. Last time the chicken, this time the melt-in-your-mouth sweet Mahi Mahi on a kale and farro salad. Beautifully, perfectly executed. There was a bit of attitude too. Usually when we ask for something a bit off the menu, our servers act interested and imply that it would be their pleasure to check with the chef if what we asked is possible. In our case all we wanted was a serving of the kale and farro salad as a dish in its own right. Our server seemed bothered by our inquiry. In the end it was fine with chef. We also strongly suggest adding non-carbonated non-alcoholic alternatives to wine. Lemonade, apple juice, iced tea would be fine and shouldn't seem to be a hassle."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Our waitress could have been a little more pleasant and friendly"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We live close by and really wanted to like this place. Most things were good, although key items were off. What we ordered: Duck Fat Fries, Deviled Eggs, Cowboy Steak for 2 and a Boston Cream pie thing."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Not great food...was surprised for Sonoma! Steak was under seasoned and not tender. Appetizer was a chicken wrap, no flavor! Would not go back......"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "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