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KO Prime, Boston

KO Prime is Ken Oringer’s new baby; he has four other restaurants in Boston (Clio, Uni, Toro, and La Verdad) covering French, Japanese, Spanish and Mexican cuisine, so of course it was time for him to cash in on the steakhouse craze.

 

Let it be said now: The best steak in the country is at Peter Luger in Brooklyn, NY. R and I have made a sport out of trying to find its equal in Boston. We have never done so. KO Prime had outstanding appetizers but everything else was mediocre.

 

I’m a girl who does her research; I read the reviews from the Globe, Herald, Phoenix and a million Chow.com postings. The reviews have been mixed, but I selected menu items that have consistently earned thumbs ups. Poor R didn’t have much of a vote in the ordering process.

 

Apps:

Charcuterie Plate – excellent, lots of variety and interesting meats, such as duck prosciutto and antelope sausage. There was even some blood sausage (which was previously on the list of 5 things I won’t eat) that was pretty good. Nice mustard selection.

 

Roasted Bone Marrow – three large beef bones, roasted to perfection. Very rich and indulgent.

 

I loved the appetizers, but R didn’t share my opinion. I don’t think it was so much about the food itself, but the selections. In his words, “at the end of the day, I’m eating immune system and expensive luncheon meat. Not what I would choose.” (alas, he didn’t have a choice J )

 

Entrees:

Skirt steak w/ North African Spices – the meat was tender, but the spice rub was way too salty. I love my salt, but I ended up scraping what I could off the steak to eat it.

 

New York Strip – This is the only dry aged steak on the menu. It was dry. It was bland. It was a waste of money.

 

Dessert – Frozen Mint Mousse – inside a cylinder of mousse was a liquid chocolate center a la molten chocolate cake. It was okay, a pint of mint chocolate chip from Christina’s would have been half the price and twice as good.

 

Service was attentive. On a funny side note, a member of the Boston Herald reviewer’s party had a choking incident and another diner had to give him the heimlick, and apparently “Not one KO Prime employee came to our assistance during the emergency or inquired, afterward, if she was all right.

R took a sip of water and it when down the wrong way and he started coughing and making choking noises. Instantly, the manager was at our table and then even brought over unsolicited bread after, stating that it helps sometimes. I guess they have corrected that flaw in their service.

 

The other thing to note was that Ken Oringer was in the restaurant that night; he was arm’s length away at one point. I had just read an article about how chefs are never in their own restaurants anymore, i.e. Mario Batali isn’t back in the kitchen making your pasta. Admittedly, Oringer isn’t quite to the status of “celebrity chef,” but with 5 restaurants in the area he’s pretty well known. 

 

Last thing, the decor is just weird. The first thing you see when you ascend the stairs is a giant antler chandelier, a la Bugaboo Creek. The next thing is the leather placemats. Ick.

 

The hunt for Peter Luger quality steak in Boston continues on.

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