After nine years of admiring this restaurant when I lived in San Francisco during college and living on a broke student budget, it finally happened! Moving to Seattle after college, I was able to land a wonderful job which allowed me to live a bit more comfortably and actually save money – which was non-existent before; especially with the high cost of living in SF. I’m sure everyone has those few restaurants they dream of dining at and this was one of them for me.
Four years after moving to Seattle, I decided to take a two week trip back to San Francisco to have a foodie experience for my 27th birthday. My best friend who lives in Long Beach now came up as well and we all had a mini reunion with other besties that I haven’t seen face to face in four years (other than Skype). That was the main highlight of this delicious birthday trip! I made reservations for lunch at Boulevard mainly because I knew there were specific things on that menu I wanted.
Opened in 1993 by chef/owner Nancy Oakes, Boulevard is a James Beard Award winning restaurant that combines American and French flavors. This was the perfect spot for lunch since it was such a gorgeous day in San Francisco. We luckily snagged a table by the window next to the Embarcadero for a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge.
Two in the party were vegetarians and they quickly gravitated to the Burrata & Heirloom Tomato Salad. The salad had a very nice balance of textures throughout. From the crisp radishes and cucumbers to the smooth and creamy burrata cheese. My friend also got a soup dish that was a special on the menu (not pictured since she started inhaling it fast).
I went for the Crispy Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Shrimp and Lobster and it was sooo delicious! Perfectly crisp batter and a rich, creamy shellfish filling; this was my favorite of the day. I almost forgot to swirl these around in the lemon aioli; they were just fine on it’s own. If cost wasn’t an issue, I could seriously eat a whole bucket full of these like they were chicken wings!
Who has two thumbs and is addicted to shellfish? This gal right here! Continuing on my seafood theme, I got the Maryland Soft-Shell Crab. Im a soft-shell crab fanatic and must order it whenever I see it on the menu. The cornmeal coating on the crab and tartar sauce at the bottom gave that Cajun flair. I felt I was taken to Louisiana for a minute. Also, below the crab was a garbanzo bean and corn salad turned up with andouille sausage. I could have scooped all of this up from the plate and sandwich it between two pieces of french bread!
After the meal and the Moscow Mules, we were stuffed! The server came by and asked us if we wanted to dessert. Immediately we said no, but she mentioned since it’s my birthday, it’s complementary. Okay! I picked the Warm Summer Berry Crisp and it came with this beautiful chocolate “Happy Birthday” sign. We tried to consume it, but we were just too full at that point. I tried my best though!
The staff was very friendly and attentive, the food was spectacular, and the ambiance was inviting. You could come here for a casual meal with friends or a romantic dinner with that significant other (*cough cough* one of these days…). This experience was everything I wanted and more for my birthday. I will make sure to return on my next trip!
Address: 1 Mission Street – San Francisco, CA 94105