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Jan 24, 2001 09:56 AM

Boulevard is wildly over-rated

  • c

In case anyone is thinking of dropping a lot of cash at Boulevard, my advice after a recent visit would be don't. While there is no arguing that it is a beautiful restaurant, the food and service were both major disappointments. I know some people like that sickly sweet unsalted butter that sometimes is served with the bread, but even if you like it (and I hate it), I'm sure you wouldn't want it dominating the taste of both your main course and dessert. I thought that was just laziness from the kitchen. Additionally, our waitress was impersonal and quick with us and the valet couldn't find my car for fifteen minutes.

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  1. To give me another data point on my informal survey, were you at Boulevard for lunch or dinner. So far every complaint I've heard has been for dinner time. The conventional wisdom is that this restaurant shines at lunchtime and drops the ball at dinner. I've only had lunch there and have had good service and good food each time.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Reply to Melanie Wong: It was for dinner. I live in New York and my experience with the "biggies" out here (Gotham, Union Square Cafe, La Cote Basque, etc.) is that dinner is always much better than lunch, so I guess I'm used to thinking that dinner is when a restaurant will really be on. It was just one visit but I felt really burned by how crappy my dinner was (except for the mushroom soup, which was delicious) and how intent the staff seemed to be on making the experience unspecial (rushed service, your coat is your problem, not being able to find my car for fifteen minutes). Anyway, I'm no SF expert but I've been out there a few times and one place I would really recommend for dinner is Firefly. Very friendly and inviting and great food.

      1. re: Charlie

        We ate at Boulevard last Fall and the entrees were VERY good. However, even though the chef is supposed to be a dessert expert, we found our desserts to be rather ordinary.
        By the way, our waiter was very knowledgeable and helpful.

        1. re: Kit H.

          My son-in-law, the expert, thinks Boulevard has the best creme brulee in SF. It has been about a year since he has been there, though.

          1. re: Jeremy Newel

            We also have to been to Boulevard for dinner in a year or so. All I remember is not being all that impressed for how well rated the place is in Zagats and The Comical. Perhaps my expectations were too high going in. Sorry not to be able to offer any specifics, but that should tell you something since it's only been a year. Nothing worth remembering.

            Have your son-in-law, the expert, try Le Colonial. We had a great Meyer Lemon Creme Brulee there last night. The outside patio makes for great people watching as well.


        2. re: Charlie

          Thanks, Charles. Boulevard is an anomaly in that way. A restaurant of its reputation should be able to pull off both lunch and dinner if they choose to offer both.

          Firefly sound like a find! Some of our out of the way neighborhood restaurants can be very, very good.

      2. I disagree, have a wonderful dinner last year and some friends just ate recently and loved it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Anne

          I agree with Anne. I have been there 3 times and have enjoyed every meal. Perhaps you had an off night--I'd give it another try.