The Boulevard Woodgrill

Written by on October 6, 2012 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Clarendon neighborhood, Arlington, Virginia

How I heard of this place: While our neighborhood walks have taken my husband and I past the Boulevard Woodgrill on more than one occasion, it was not until our dear friends, Kit & David, suggested it on this first brisk autumn evening that it had crossed our minds as a place to dine.

Type of cuisine: Sophisticated meets casual in this neighborhood grill, where “an incredible array of delicious American fare (with a hint of other cuisines), from juicy wood-grilled steaks to fresh seafood to our signature molasses & rum baby-back ribs” are offered. At Boulevard, they strive to use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, including the hardwood fuel, which comes from Miller’s Farm just outside of the beltway.

Ambiance: The “atmosphere is casual, yet sophisticated. Bring a date, bring a friend, bring your family… no matter who you bring, you will be in a comfortable atmosphere with outstanding food and service.”

From the outside, the vanilla street-front establishment with black awning boasting the restaurants name in white, blocked lettering had only caught my attention long enough to take notice. Upon entering the large, open setting with windows along the front and side of the corner establishment, one immediately feels comfortable in the midst of dark, library-esque wooden banisters and pillars, booth seating for two and tables set for four. The hardwood floors lead from the front, through a maze of tables and chairs to the expansive kitchen at the back of the restaurant, following the curve of a lone orange neon light set into the ceiling, recessed lighting creating ambiance as the daylight wanes. Stainless steel are the only words to come to mind as we gaze over to the kitchen, where a number of staff are busily preparing meals for the hungry diners in the full cafe.

The Boulevard Woodgrill is located on Wilson Boulevard at Fillmore Street in the heart of Clarendon, just two blocks from the Clarendon Metro stationThe Boulevard Woodgrill is a classic American kitchen featuring lunch and dinner seven days a week, as well as brunch on the weekends.”

What I ordered: We enjoyed the presence of five of our good friends on this evening dinner venture, three of which ordered the Molasses & Rum Baby-Back Ribs ($22 each), a full rack of woodgrilled tender pork ribs served with fresh-cut fries & homemade cole slaw.Chris substituted buttermilk mashed potatoes for the fries, adding a Large Cranberry juice ($4.50) to his order, while Chase substituted creamed spinach, selecting the Four Cheese Mac & Cheese ($6.50) as a side. David kept the fries, extra crispy, and chose the creamed spinach as a replacement for the cole slaw. Speaking of  mac & cheese, Aleksey quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the Steak Gorgonzola ($21), black Angus flat iron steak brushed with a savory steakhouse glaze, topped with gorgonzola cheese, served over buttermilk mashed potatoes, two fried onion rings and woodgrilled asparagus. Not satiated enough after that glorious meal, he added a Four Cheese Mac & Cheese ($6.50). The only other lady in our midst chose wisely: Tomato Basil Bisque ($6) to start, a creamy, veggie laden tomato and basil soup topped with a melted mozzarella crostini, and the Grilled Shrimp & Penne Genovese ($20), sun-dried tomato, spinach, pinenuts & prosciutto tossed with penne in pesto cream, finished with a skewer of woodgrilled shrimp. Continuing our culinary tour around the table, at the recommendation of our server, Mitko selected the Trout Pecan ($19), pan-seared trout encrusted with toasted pecans served over fragrant basmati with seasonal vegetables (broccolini), finished with a rosemary beurre-blanc. My delectable plate consisted of the Chilean Seabass Chimichurri ($24), a pan-seared filet brushed with basil, garlic and spices over basmati rice (which I substituted for buttermilk mashed potatoes) and the day’s seasonal vegetable: broccolini. The table could not pass up dessert, and with the peer pressure abound, we were no different! One Mocha Peanut Butter Pie ($5.50) for a rich layer of rich fudge topped with a creamy layer of peanut butter mousse on a pool of vanilla sauce, one Key Lime Pie ($5.50), house-made with a praline crumb crust and topped with whipped cream, two Crumbcake Macchiato’s ($6 each), warm coffee cake atop a pool of creme anglaise topped with Great Falls espresso ice cream, whipped cream and caramel, and a decadent Fudge Tart from the specials menu, thick, dark chocolate mousse tart with chocolate shavings, drizzled with chocolate and served with a halved strawberry.

What I loved: The fries, even at the end of my meal were exquisite! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The ribs were tender, sliding off of the bone, and adequately doused in a to-die-for BBQ sauce, leaving nothing save the satisfied sound of finger-lickin’, lip-smackin’ goodness behind. The chimichurri sauce fabulously garlicky and full of the fragrant scent of fresh basil truly made my sea bass as good as it could have been. Of the two desserts I sampled, the Key Lime’s (over the crumbcake macchiato’s) light, fluffy and abundantly sweet-tartness made me wish we had reconsidered our – also delicious – order.

Why I loved it: The large space with window views of the bustling Clarendon neighborhood offered a cozy space with friendly service, generous portions and truly well-prepared and presented meals.

Cost: Average to high ($15-$25 per dinner entree)

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