The term bistro has come to signify a blend of fine and casual dining: dishes refined by years and years of European tradition but served in a lively, comfortable atmosphere with plenty of affordable wine to go around. Boulevard Bistro takes this model and runs with it, led by chef Alan Burch and the team behind Toscano and Bistro 222.
Like those restaurants, Boulevard draws lots of inspiration from Italy in its wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, pastas, and a bruschetta of the day. But there are also American standards, each set apart from diner grub by fresh accents such as the herb aioli on a burger or the apple-cabbage slaw completing a plate of beer-battered fish and chips. Mexican dishes include juevos with refried black beans, roasted tomato and tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, and eggs to order in two corn tortilla shells. Even the Hangover Pizza is surprisingly refined with its smoked gouda and oven-roasted cage-free egg, ideally enjoyed with a constant stream of texts about last night's awesome party. During daily breakfast and weekend brunch, diners may opt for build-your-own omelettes, orange-mascarpone-stuffed french toast, and house-cured salmon gravlax benedict.
For dessert, there's gelato made fresh in-house each morning, and throughout the meal plates are surrounded by pours from an unusually extensive selection of wines by the glass. (Boulevard claims it's the largest in the East Bench.) The full bar also serves not-entirely-straightforward cocktails such as a signature martini made with Patron Silver tequila. All this is packaged into a space whose unassuming facade gives way to a room of low-lit booths enlivened by turquoise place mats and the picture-pretty arrangements of the food itself.