SF: Boulevard

Monday, February 4, 2013

I've been excited to try Boulevard in San Francisco - the location is perfect, it's right by the water on Embarcadero. My excitement built up when I found out they recently won the James Beard award in 2012 for Outstanding Restaurant after eight past nominations.

I made a reservation on OpenTable 2-3 weeks before the big night and was able to grab a table for 4 at 6:30PM pretty easily. Right when we walked through the revolving doors, I was happy to see the warm decor throughout the restaurant and the brick ceiling was a fun touch.

The dining area was extremely big, with a large bar as well

Sadly, the rest of my experience at Boulevard kind of went downhill from there. My dinner was mainly enjoyable because I was in good company. Sorry Boulevard, I really wanted to like you, but each of your dishes are so forgettable and one-note in flavor. Given how pricey you ended up being, nothing really stood out as a "must have" and I'm sad to say that you didn't live up to my anticipation.

Appetizers

We started off the night with some cocktails, which were pretty good, and we shared 3 appetizers - tuna, sweetbreads, and seared octopus.

Ahi Tuna Ito-Zukuri, ribbon-cut ahi tuna, napa cabbage maki, avocado aioli & taro root crisps


The most memorable dish of the night was the Ahi Tuna Ito-Zukuri. The ribbon cut tuna gave the fish an interesting texture, almost like we were eating tuna noodles. That in addition to the avocado aioli and the plating made for a fun dish to eat.

The other two appetizers were a bit "blah" and didn't really bring anything new to the table.

Smoked Veal Sweetbreads, crispy brussel sprouts, brussels"kraut" hash, toasted rye berries & pickeled mustard seed

Monterey Abalone and Charred Spanish Octopus, hearts of palm, pasta fregula, abalone mushrooms

Entrees

It took about another half hour or so before we received our entrees which began to feel like a long wait. For our entrees, we had one order of the sea bass, and three of us ended up ordering the butter poach lobster with mussel beignets. I think we all went with the lobster because the other meat entrees didn't speak to any of us. Sad, I know, but I only speak the truth. 

Pacific Sea Bass a la plancha, nettle & fine herbs crushed potatoes,  sunchokes w/ a meyer lemon beurre blanc

I actually didn't have a taste of the sea bass, but I was told that without the beurre blanc, the fish would be quite bland. So props to the saucier at Boulevard. Something I found quite odd was the broccoli which was covered in something like a mashed potato. It didn't look too aesthetically pleasing as my friend was cutting through her vegetable.

Then, moving on to the lobster, which I do have to admit was perfectly poached. However, the portions were a bit on the smaller side, and the "risotto" of white cauliflower  celery root and potato was just cream and cream on cream and just blended in with the flavors of the butter poached lobster. The fried mussel didn't add too much to the dish overall. I was hoping for an extra bit of acidity or something to cut through all the cream and butter of the dish.

Maine Lobster & Taylor Mussels Beignets, butter poached lobster,  a "risotto" of white califlower, celery root & potato

Desserts

So let's wrap things up with the dessert course. We ended up with two, a red velvet cake topped with a cream cheese ice cream, and a baked Alaska. The red velvet cake was really dense, almost like a brownie and didn't mend too well with the ice cream. And then the baked Alaska was just chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, but not in a good way.

Red Velvet Cake, cream cheese ice cream, white chocolate panna cotta, fudge and chocolate

Baked Alaska, chocolate chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate shortbread, almonds and meringue kisses

So if you're in San Francisco, and looking for a special meal, I'd say that you can go ahead and skip Boulevard and should go to Gary Danko instead. For a similarly priced 3 course meal, you can get a meal there that is more balanced in flavors in each dish, and desserts with more of a "wow" factor than what you would find at Boulevard.

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BoulevardYelp

1 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 543-6084

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