“These are the best chicken wings I’ve ever had!” is not something I expected to exclaim during a romantic, candlelit anniversary dinner in the city’s best new fine dining restaurant, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar.
John and I recently enjoyed an epic dining experience at Boulevard, and I use the word epic because a six course pairing menu, with impeccable service, starting with oysters and ending with coffee and hazelnut semi-freddo is worthy of the adjective.
Our night began with some bubbles to toast the occasion, 9 years of marriage and our first visit to this award-winning restaurant in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. We put ourselves in the hands of Executive Chef Alex Chen as multi-course meal was prepared for us along with a few special requests from John — the Iowa boy who has to try the pork on every menu.
Our fresh oysters were served with Taittinger Brut Réserve, and a delicious frothy Thai fish sauce along with chardonnay and pinot noir meunier options. Next came the Yellowfin Tuna Crudo, paired with a 2011 Verdejo from Bodegas Naia.
The crispy chicken wings were next. Crunchy, crackly, and smothered in sticky fish sauce caramel served with sambal chili and pickled vegetables. The texture was my favourite part, with such a loud crunch even though it wasn’t over battered. The succulent morsels of chicken soaked up the sweet and spicy flavours that were buoyed by the Sperling Vineyards 2013 pinot noir pairing. Delicious.
Reeling from the party in my mouth caused by the chicken wings, we got down to business as two preparations of Boulevard’s popular entrees arrived at our table. Roasted sablefish with coconut rice, gai lan flan, beech mushrooms, shallot, and lemon grass vinaigrette paired with Laughing Stock’s 2013 Viognier was bright and aromatic.
John’s Snake River Farm pork chop made him smile with the accompanying daikon choucroute, confit carrot, bacon, caramelized apple, and mustard jus paired with a 2012 Zweigelt from Arrowleaf.
We honestly turned down another course at this point as we were getting so full and our taste buds were loaded with so many explosive flavours that they were dancing and waving a white flag, content and perfectly satiated. But we couldn’t miss out on dessert.
Affogato parfait with layers of coffee and hazelnut semi-freddo, mocha hot chocolate, vanilla ice cream with a glass of Château d’Orignac sent us from cloud nine to cloud ten.
Although we haven’t been back yet for Boulevard Bar Manager Justin Taylor’s highly-praised cocktails, we definitely have plans for another date night there soon. The impeccable and professional service, the wide selection of wines, and the European ambiance with modern decor will make us regulars soon enough. That, and those chicken wings. They’ll keep me coming back for sure!
Boulevard Happy Hour
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar is giving guests a new reason to look forward to punching out at the end of the work day thanks to the restaurant’s new, seasonally-inspired additions to the lunch and dinner menus from Executive Chef Alex Chen, as well as Happy Hour drinks and small-plate specials available from 3:30pm to 5:30pm daily beginning Friday, March 27, 2015.
Justin Taylor’s new daily Happy Hour drink menu features
- Russian Standard Moscow Mule, $5
- Vodka, Gin and Bourbon Highballs, $5
- Red Truck Ale, Lager and India Pale Ale by the bottle, $4
- Granville Island Lager on tap, $5
- Nichol Vineyard and Estate Winery Wine by the glass, $7
Chef Chen’s Happy Hour food menu offers a range of small-plate selections
- Buck-a-shuck Oysters, $1 each
- Octopus Ceviche with lime, cilantro, onion, tomato, chipotle tortilla chips, $10
- Heirloom Beet Salad with hazelnut, frill lettuce, white balsamic, $9
- Clam Chowder with smoked black cod, sawmill bay clam, potato, fennel pollen, $9
- Crispy Chicken Wings with fish sauce caramel, sambal chili, pickled vegetables, $10
- Crispy Stuffed Olives with anchovy, ricotta, spiced citrus aioli, $6
With all of this in mind, I am more than happy to announce an amazing giveaway from Boulevard to celebrate their new Happy Hour offerings.
Boulevard Happy Hour Giveaway
You can enter to win Boulevard Happy Hour for 8 People valued at $250! Here’s how:
- Leave a comment naming a menu item you’d love to try (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
Must be 19+. Please enjoy responsibly. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, April 3, 2015. Find Boulevard in the Sutton Place Hotel, located at 845 Burrard Street just off Robson. Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information about Happy Hour.
Update The winner is Janice!