Review: Boulevard

Boulevard has been one of San Francisco’s iconic restaurants for over two decades. Located near the Embarcadero waterfront, Boulevard has continuously served delicious food in a warm atmosphere.

I’ve dined at Boulevard numerous times but when my friend said he was coming to San Francisco for a weekend, I thought this would be the perfect restaurant to take him. My friend Gianni, who’s originally from Aruba but is half Italian, and I met back in 2011 in Florence where he was also studying culinary arts. We hit it off right away and he quickly became one of my favorite eating partners!

Here are some photos from our adventures together back in Italy.

I hadn’t seen Gianni in over two years so I was thrilled to catch up with him and his girlfriend. We ordered numerous items to share family style.

Octopus Salad with Fried Calamari, Abalone, and Vegetables (7/10).

Octopus Salad with Fried Calamari and Aioli, Abalone, and Vegetables (7/10).

Dungeness Crab and Avocado Salad with Kiwi and Mandarin Segments (7.5/10).

Dungeness Crab and Avocado Salad with Kiwi and Mandarin Segments (7.5/10).

Trofie Noodle

Trofie Noodle “Carbonara” with La Quercia Lardo de Bellota, Japanese Banty Hen Egg, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, and Spigarello (6/10).

Wood Oven Roasted Filet Mignon with Smashed Potatoes, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, and Sautéed Spinach (7/10).

Wood Oven Roasted Filet Mignon with Smashed Potatoes, Oven Roasted Tomatoes, and Sautéed Spinach (7/10).

Wood Roasted Lamb with Fresh Morel Mushrooms, Potatoes, Baby Artichokes, and Green Beans (8/10).

Wood Oven Roasted Lamb with Morel Mushrooms, Mashed Potatoes, Baby Artichokes, and Green Beans (7.5/10).

Brent Wolfe King Quail wrapped in Pancetta with Foie Gras Ganache on Brown Sugar and Oat Sablée, and Roasted Rhubarb (8.5/10).

Brent Wolfe King Quail wrapped in Pancetta with Foie Gras Ganache on Brown Sugar and Oat Sablée and Roasted Rhubarb (8/10).

Meyer Lemon Icebox Cake with Toasted Meringue and Strawberry Sorbet (7.5-8/10).

Meyer Lemon Icebox Cake with Toasted Meringue and Strawberry Sorbet (7.5/10).

Butterscotch Pudding with Dark Chocolate Bavarian Cream, Pecan Shortbread Wild Pecan Granola, and Vanilla Chantilly (8/10).

Butterscotch Pudding with Dark Chocolate Bavarian Cream, Pecan Shortbread, Wild Pecan Granola, and Vanilla Chantilly (7.5/10).

Dinner with Gianni and Helen!

Dinner with Gianni and Helen!

My Ciccio!

My Ciccio!

Even though Boulevard isn’t a new restaurant, it always seems fully packed every night. My favorite dishes of the dinner were the quail, lamb, and the desserts. The King quail was served with crisp salty pancetta wrapped legs and pan seared breast, cooked to moist juicy perfection. The quail was accompanied by a delicious brown sugar and oat sablée with a creamy foie gras ganache topped with pistachios and black currants. It was also served with vibrant spinach and roasted tart rhubarb. The wood oven roasted lamb was tender and also perfectly cooked to medium rare. The meat itself was outstanding but the accompaniments served with it lacked seasoning and creativity. The meyer lemon icebox cake was their version of an ice cream cake; sweet and tart layers of frosty deliciousness topped with creamy brûléed meringue served with silky strawberry sorbet and strawberry rhubarb compote. The butterscotch pudding was scrumptious with a velvety texture served with gooey sticky caramel, rich dark chocolate bavarian cream, airy crispy pecan shortbread, and vanilla chantilly cream.

Although I enjoyed most of the dishes at Boulevard, I felt that overall the food was lacking creativity, inspiration, and some other key ingredient to make a dish good to great. Perhaps because I’ve been dining at more cutting edge restaurants, more my style, I find San Francisco has more exciting, interesting, and innovative restaurants than Boulevard. Overall, I’d rate Boulevard at a 7/10. If you prefer more classic flavors and cooking styles then this would be an appropriate restaurant for you.

3 thoughts on “Review: Boulevard

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