Former Cafe La Haye chef Norman Owens has opened Hot Box Grill in Sonoma — technically Boyes Hot Springs — in what’s fast becoming a gourmet gulch. The Aqua (SF) and Canlis (Seattle) alum garnered serious cred while in the Sonoma kitchen before leaving.
His new spot in the Springs replaces Thailand Thai, and according Sonoma food scenester Kathleen Hill, he and brother Will (who will serve as sous chef) did most of the demolition, even rescuing a bar from the former Deuce location as Biersch crew start renovating that space as a new Hopmonk.
The early menu looks spot-on, with season-friendly apps like melons and grilled prosciutto; ricotta gnocchi with beets; coriander-crusted foie gras with peach gelee (yes, please); chicken paillard; hangar steaks, fried poussin (a young chicken) and cornbread; and a 35oz grilled cowboy steak for two.
Hot Box Grill: 18350 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma, (707)939-8383. Hours: 5:30-10Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday; 5:30-11:pm Friday and Saturday.
What else you can find in the Springs:
– Epicurean Connection
– Sante at the Sonoma Mission Inn (recently Michelin-starred)
– El Molino Central
– Big Three Diner
– Michoacana Ice Cream