HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 7, 2000
OUT ON THE BAYOU
This is no Big Mac
It's easy to be captivated by that one block
of Europe between Richmond and Oakley
on Montrose Boulevard, a place where tiny
white lights are wrapped around large oaks
and diners fill the sidewalks.
This scene is real, in part because of
BOULEVARD BISTRO, owned by revered
Houston chef Monica Pope. It continues to
live up to its reputation as one of Houston's
Boulevard Bistro is swank
and trendy. But with
the sleek wood interior and dim
the place more *X
like a classy <^
neighborhood cafe. Af
On a recent visit, the ^$p
hors d'oeuvres of corn meal Ofy
and sage crackers were delicious,
although the dry texture makes one long for
some sort of dipping sauce or butter.
We started our meal with Cornmeal-
Fried Calamari ($7.50) which were meaty
and lightly dusted with a crunchy, grease-
less batter. The tomato sauce was fairly
pedestrian—likable, but nothing special.
Two other appetizers lend just a hint of
the magic Boulevard Bistro can deliver
with a slab of salmon. The Tempura of
Tuna and Salmon Nori Roll ($12.50) is
heavenly, with the tender meat soaking up
the orange chili sauce and sting of roasted
garlic wasabi mustard.
For a more break fast-like side of the
great pink fish, try the Citrus and Dill
4319 Montrose Blvd.
Opt for bread, water at home
OK, if you really must
Fine for most
Worth the drive, so live a little
As good as it gets
Cured Salmon ($7). The rye toast seems the
perfect choice to hold the tangy salmon
piled with capers, chopped egg and red
onion. The solid, mild flavor of the egg
mingled with the more potent vinegary
capers, onion and fish.
Salads don't come with entrees, but
some are worth the extra bucks to complete
your meal. The Organic Field Greens
($5.50) is a classier, tastier version of the
simple dinner salad, with handsome
chunks of shaved romano and
., , crunchy apple and hazel-
"^A VJ iN 1 C ^ nuts thrown in. The
jb Endive Salad
O ($7.50) is more
^ri with grape-
•* fruit, bleu
OS cheese, candied pecans
and a sweet
red wine and
and quality of the
DI STR^ entrees illustrates the high
standards that make Boulevard
Bistro stand out from other restaurants.
The Venison Chops with Blackberry Glaze
and Truffled Country Potatoes ($28), the
most expensive item, feature tender meat
with a sweet-sour sauce that isn't overpowering or too sweet. The Hanger Steak
($16), according to two friends who
ordered it, offers a rich steak sauce.
The Thyme Fries lend a smoky, Italian
twist to the typical French fry. Like the
creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes,
these can be ordered as a side dish. Even
when some of the selections didn't knock
our socks off, there was something about
each one that made it impressive.
The Pistachio Crusted Salmon Filet's
($19) spinach salad proved rather bland
and watery, but why complain when the
rocky pistachio flakes seem baked right
into the fish, creating a nutty and smooth
combination of flavors. The special for the
evening, Grilled Mahi-Mahi ($16) was
served in a well of black bean and corn
ragout. It was sheer bliss.
When a friend ordered the Hamburger
($12.50), 1 had to rescan the menu to make
sure she didn't misread. The idea of a burger
plate next to the Hazelnut Baked Duck Breast
($20) seemed out of place; I was mistaken.
This is no Big Mac. The B3R Ranch Burger
on Pizzette is served with mild, white Cheddar cheese, a caramelized onion with rich
saute and apple-smoked bacon.
Our server continued to win points by
suggesting the most egalitarian, and decadent dessert option, for our large group.
The dessert sampler tray included a chocolate cheesecake, a cherry chocolate bread
pudding, creme bailee, banana walnut
gelato and tiramisu. There was enough for
eight of us, making a delicious finale to our
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