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Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill
As soon as you step into Kosar’s Wood-Fired Grill the richest aroma of burning hardwoods washes over you. All of the excitement of the Rocksino’s many games and events slows into an electric hum. You slip into the causually elegant dining room and allow all of the scents to permeate your senses.
Located in Northfield Park’s Hard Rock Rocksino, Kosar’s is a steakhouse featuring Wagyu beef, which Executive Chef Chris Poplin says is similar to the famous Kobe beef. “It’s basically the same exact breed; it was just brought over here and raised in the United States. So it is very tender, lots of marbling, lots of flavor,” says Poplin. Another positive attribute of Wagyu beef is its price. Poplin says that is considerably less expensive to the consumer while still being an incredibly tasty steak. “We really use all fresh, USDA grain-fed beef. We don’t get too cute with the seasoning or the preparation of the steaks. We use a wood-fired broiler and we only season with salt, pepper, and a little bit of olive oil. We believe that the steaks should stand up on their own, which they do,” says Poplin.
Originally from San Diego, Calif., Poplin has been cooking up scrumptious creations in casinos such as The Venetian in Las Vegas and the Coushatta Casino Resort in Louisiana. Now at the Rocksino, Poplin has built a menu that highlights the restaurants major show piece – the wood-burning grill. The large grilling surface can be manually raised and lowered for temperature control and is heated with local firewood. “The wood that we’re grilling off of is right here in the dinning room, which is also bought locally,” says Poplin.
If you are not a fan of steaks, don’t worry, there are many options available at Kosar’s. Poplin recommends the blackened halibut with a raspberry demi-glaze. The restaurant also features a fresh salad bar.
The dinning room is sprinkled with Bernie Kosar memorabilia, which added to the football-textured chair backings, gently hints at a sports theme without over-doing it. The dinning area itself is divided for different dining experiences. “The dining room is basically broken up into two sections. One of them is our more formal white tablecloth area and we also have an area that is closer to the kitchen, with nice high-top [tables] and leather-backed chairs. It’s a little more of a casual feel,” says Poplin. In the high-top section, diners have a view of both the ongoing work in the kitchen and of their food as it sizzles upon the grill.
Though Poplin says that Kosar’s is currently a tough table to get, and reservations are recommended, it also caters to a wide variety of patrons. “We are unique in the fact that Kosar’s doesn’t have to be a special occasion restaurant, yet we do a good enough job that it certainly can be. It’s really both. We’ve got extensive wine and cocktail lists, a great bar, and a good place to watch the game – there are all kinds of reasons [to come here].” Whether you are celebrating your 50th anniversary or your 21st birthday, Poplin says that they can make it an experience to remember.
When asked what he would order, Poplin didn’t hesitate for even a second. “Hands down, our best stake is what we call “The 19.” It’s not even our most expensive steak, but it’s our best. We label it “The 19” because of Bernie Kosar and his number 19 that he wore when he was playing, but it is a USDA Prime New York Strip and it’s out of this world. It is really fantastic.”
To learn more about the restaurant, its menu, and to make reservations, visit www.hrrocksinonorthfieldpark.com.