|(ZARA TZANEV for the boston globe)|
"Steakhouse restaurants don't get much culinary credibility," says Jamie Bissonnette, chef de cuisine at KO Prime. When he and consulting chef Ken Oringer planned the menu for the steakhouse that replaced Spire in the Nine Zero Hotel, they looked at other restaurants around the country to see how they could "chef up" their menu and balance the appeal of a steakhouse with more inventive dishes, says Bissonnette.
One of the preparations they settled on is a grilled short rib appetizer ($14). The flavorful, chewy meat is a traditional steakhouse cut in Argentina, says Bissonnette. But rather than pair the rib with chimichurri as it would be in Argentina, the chefs tapped into their fondness for Southeast Asian flavors to complete this dish, looking at Korean and Vietnamese beef preparations for ideas. Bissonnette marinates the meat in Coke and aromatics to give it a sweet-and-spicy flavor, then pairs it with a refreshing green mango salad sprinkled with peanuts. Coke, steak, and mangoes? It's the taste of culinary credibility. KO Prime, 90 Tremont St., 617-772-0202; koprimeboston.com. - LEIGH BELANGER