Last night Chowfish and I celebrated our 20th year of marriage at Boulevard in San Francisco. I had never been before. She usually goes to places like this with members of the A list but on this special occasion she cut me some slack.
The building is from the late 1800's, very cute with a Mansard roof and other French touches. The interior was decorated for Christmas which makes it even more charming.
The one big problem with Boulevard is eliminating dishes from the menu. Everything sounds better than the thing before it. I settled on lobster bisque and roasted duck breast. Chowfish consulted with the waiter and the Joint Chiefs of Staff before finally giving the nod to Dungenesse crab salad and roasted pork loin chop--provided I agreed to let her steal freely from my selections. Boulevard seems to have a knack for uniting ingredients that would not have occured to me. For example, there were shrimp and thinly french fried potatoes floating in the bisque. The shrimp weren't surprising but I never would have thought of french fries. However, there they were, very very crisp and thin and delicious. I got almost halfway through the bowl before it was hijacked by you-know-who. My roasted duck breast perched on a bed of wild rice, white corn, chanterelles, butternut squash, toasted pecans and blueberries. The combinations was delicious but I never would have come up with blueberries and pecans. Chowfish's crab consisted of a little dome made of the meat from several claws enclosing a mass of shredded crab meat and avacado. Little wedges of ruby gratefruit (sweet, not too tart, they must be from Texas) surrounded this dome on the range. Her pork chop was served with a chestnut, apple and cranberry stuffing wrapped in bacon. There was broccolini and cider roasted potatoes, too. While eating all this we sipped a Bien Nacido Vineyard (California) Barbera called Boun Natale. It was delicious and not terrible expensive either. We were only going to look at the dessert menu. Right. Chowfish ordered a chocolate overdose and I chose the pumpkin cheesecake. We had Peets coffee with these desserts. Frankly, I thought the bill would be a lot bigger than it was--just under $150 including tax. Service was attentive without being bothersome. Our little corner table gave us a commanding view of the restaurant and the outside world. I hope I don't have to wait another 20 years for her to take me somewhere nice.