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Restaurants & Bars 4

Eating 'at the bar' at Boulevard, fairly quick report

susancinsf | Jan 11, 200511:57 PM

I had a great victory at work yesterday, the type that only happens once or at most maybe two times a year, and completely unexpected. So of course I had to celebrate. Unfortunately, hubby had class, and I was on my own...

So, I headed to Boulevard. Easy to get a spot in the bar without a reservation, especially during the week.

This was perhaps my fourth visit, and my second time alone, but for the first time, I sat at the 'counter' overlooking the cooking line. Plenty of space in the bar and at the 'counter' at six thirty on a rainy Monday night.

Started with a lemon drop. The food: starter: day boat scallops, seared, wrapped in bacon. Delicious: finally, my craving satisfied. Main: a venison veal chop, served rare (perfect for me), with trio of mashed potatoes, on sauteed spinach, with a glass of Qupe Bien Nacido Syrah. also delicious. Couldn't resist cheese, a Mt Tam, the only misstep of the evening, as it was served cold...also tried one small scoop of the house made creme fraiche ice cream: sweet and savory, indeed almost salty, all at the same time. better tasting than my description...

Great food, but for me the real treat was watching the show: I loved watching the chefs/cooks on the line firing, plating dishes, someone new being taught the nuances of each dish (in French, the perfect touch :-)) Actually rather mesmerizing. To add to the fun, Nancy Oakes was very much in evidence: she came out to the line area several times, and I very much enjoyed watching her interact with the staff: she seemed in control, yet quite relaxed with an easy going manner. I particularly liked seeing that she treated the staff with respect and ease, and pitched in to help with the plating, without looking over anyone else's shoulder or redoing their work.

Total cost for dinner for one with a drink, two glasses of wine, tax and tip, was $118. I'd go broke is I celebrated like this all the time, but still: well worth the price of admission.

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