Boulevard – Where to go Next?

Wednesday night Mike took me to Boulevard for our anniversary. I had wanted to go there for a long time and I think he was curious as well. I loved the restaurant itself – the energy, the elegant yet wimsical Bell Epoque furnishings and gentleman’s club feel – but wasn’t thrilled with the food. It was great in itself, but not in the least original. I’d had similar dishes in other restaurants before, and often better executed. I liked their foie gras, for which they are famous, but prefer Piperade’s version. Their seared scallops were yummy, but not as good as those of Neumanali. My squab was perfectly prepared, but no different from the squab I’ve had at Aquerello and as part of a tasting menu at a score of restaurants. Mike’s pork chop was good, and yet no better than the one we had at Jojo’s for our last anniversary, and while we both really liked the roasted pork riblets, it reminded us of the better braised pork at A16. Desserts were also good, though unremarkable. I’ve written a full review which I’ll post here as soon as Mike edits it.
For my birthday which is coming up I’d like to go somewhere where the food is not only excellent but original, where I can taste something I’d never tasted before and fall in love with it.
Some options I’m exploring are:
-Fifth Floor. We loved Melissa Perello’s food at Charles Nob Hill and I can only imagine she’s only grown since. However, I’d be disappointed if her chef tasting menu wasn’t very different from the one at Charles Nob Hill.
-Quince. I just read a great review of it that gives the pasta glowing recommendations but shows less enthusiasm for the entrees.
-Manresa. My friend Lola LOVED it, it just was nominated as one of the 50 best restaurants in the country by Restaurant magazine and the people at Vinography seem to like it as well.
-Michael Mina. The Chronicle gave it a great review and I’m very curious.
Anywhere else?

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Boulevard – Where to go Next?

  1. Apparently Ron Siegel is hitting his stride (again) at the dining room at The Ritz Carleton. A friend went recently and had an outstanding dinner.

  2. You should remember that Boulevard has been around longer than those other places – their version is probably the original rather than the derivative. It is THE place to take out-of-town relatives for a safe dining experience. But it has rested on its laurels for at least six years now.

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