We were seated on the balcony of the main room with a full view of the bar and bustling activity below. With the industrial appearance of the space, we expected to be bombarded with sound, however, it was a complete opposite experience. The music was soft and the lively chatter did not overwhelm, though it would at most restaurants of this nature. Kudos to the design team.
To get the evening started, we ordered two different drinks off the specialty cocktails menu.
The Devil’s Cup, consisting of white Pimm’s, blackcurrant, ginger beer, lemon, herbs, and fruit, is served in a copper cup, keeping it nice and chilled. It looks amazing, and was very enjoyable, though the ginger beer does make it difficult to taste a lot of the other flavors.
The Green Velvet, on the other hand, contains a good combo of grapefruit oil and basil seltzer, vodka, chartreuse, lime, and supergreen. Refreshingly sweet, yet not sickly, the basil gives it a nice flair and is not overpowering as it often can be.
With so many interesting starting dishes to choose from, we had a difficult time deciding. We ultimately went with the Muhammara, a Syrian dish made with candied walnut, cumin, coriander, and yogurt, served with sesame crackers. Not overly spicy, this dish has a pleasant kick that I loved. Don’t be surprised if you witness me eating this with a spoon in the future. Especially if I can order it with extra yogurt.
We didn’t order the Beer Bread, one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, but our server Molly brought it out anyway, noting that it couldn’t go untried. Created with BBQ salt, caramelized onions, smoked beef fat butter, and accompanied by Yellowrose IPA beer jam, this fresh baked bread is sweet and smoky and explodes with flavor. We were so happy we didn’t miss it.
At a loss for what to choose on the small plates menu, we asked for a recommendation from our server, since she’d succeeded brilliantly with the starter addition.
The Yellowtail Crudo features Nuoc Cham, jalapeno, carrot, avocado mousse, fried onion, and cilantro. An amazing blend of tastes, each bite offers a different, yummy flavor, thanks to the incredibly fresh ingredients.
To be honest, we were already pretty full when it came time to choose main dishes. You could easily make a meal of starters and small plates. But, we decided a major dose of protein was in order, so we picked a meat and a fish dish.
The Oak Roasted Chicken, accompanied by charred tomato panzanella, zucchini, and basil, is lovely. Juicy, tender and seasoned with a wonderful red wine vinaigrette, this dish was cooked to perfection.
The Texas Redfish wasn’t quite as enjoyable. It’s a new menu item and while it’s flavorful and cooked well, we just didn’t love the mix of the fish with warm field pea salad, golden raisin, tomato, kale, and Herbs de Provence. It’s also served with one large piece of eggplant that would’ve been more enjoyable had it been better incorporated into the dish. The flavors of this dish just didn’t quite harmonize with one another.
As you’ll recall, we were almost full before ordering large plates, but that didn’t stop us from trying two delish desserts.
There’s nothing bad to be said about the Milk Chocolate Crunch with Peanut Butter and Sea Salt. It is tasty.
But the Chocolate Crunch can’t even compare to the Honey Hand Pies with Lavender Ice Cream and Rosemary. When Chef Emily stopped by our table before the main dishes were served, we asked for advice on dessert options and she told us the pies were a must have. These pies are a definite MUST HAVE. With a flaky crust like Baklava and a warm semi-sweet cream honey filling, this dessert is heaven on Earth. I could eat it again and again and again… you get the picture.
Overall, what makes a dining experience at Boiler Nine Bar + Grill so wonderful is the fact that nothing is heavy. Fresh ingredients, light sauces, and herbs accompany most dishes and the combo will leave you satisfied but not stuffed. We discussed the lightness with Chef Emily and were told that the staff cooks items they would want to eat and still feel able to head to another evening activity. In other words, the lack of heavy breads and potatoes keep you from slipping into a food coma.
Following the meal, we checked out the basement bar (which is held for private events early in the week) and the rooftop observatory.
Dinner and drinks with a view to a thrill. What could be better?
All photos courtesy of Dani Dudek/ ATXgossip.