Boulevard Steakhouse: the kind of treat worth saving for
Your idea of a special night could be almost anything — a movie with your sweetheart, an evening of dancing, or just a couple of hours without the kids screaming in your ears. Usually, though, special nights include dinner and there aren’t many places better suited for it in Oklahoma City than the Boulevard Steakhouse.
Reservations aren’t required to get a table at Boulevard, but it’s kind of fun to make them anyway. For those of us on a limited budget, a trip to this restaurant isn’t a last-minute, spur-of-the-moment kind of thing. Truthfully, there aren’t many places in Oklahoma City that accept reservations, so it’s nice to know that by calling ahead a few days or maybe even a few hours, you can walk into the restaurant with no waiting.
I don’t know if the décor is elegant, but it’s certainly rich. Nothing inside looks cheap or slap-dash. The Boulevard Steakhouse is dimly lit. The white tablecloths are topped with lights for just your small table. The waiters and waitresses are also dressed up (though you don’t have to be) and they will give you the kind of personal attention you haven’t had since your mother — and maybe not even then.
The ambiance is great, no doubt about it, but when the food arrives, you won’t even care. It’s simply that good.
While the main event here is steak, if you’ve got the cash, give the appetizers a try. The crab cakes are substantial and packed, not with filler, but with sweet, lump crab. The shrimp cocktail, too, is a delight with giant shrimp and a spicy, tangy cocktail sauce.
But when my wife and I visit, there’s no point in avoiding the inevitable — the Portobello mushroom soup. Never before or since have I had a soup like this with a creamy texture and that rich, full flavor of roasted mushrooms in every bite. My wife has threatened to skip the steak altogether in favor of three bowls of this soup — which wouldn’t be all bad considering the prices.
As with any fine dining option, the downside is always the price. In typical steakhouse style, Boulevard does not include sides with their main dishes, so when you order a filet mignon, that’s what you’ll get. It will be prime beef and expertly cooked, but that’s all you’ll get. With prices ranging from the $20 range for seafood and chicken to upwards of $50 for a steak or a nightly special, the pricing can be a bit tough for value-conscious diners to swallow. On the other hand, this isn’t an everyday place to eat (at least not for me). The experience is a big part of the price and, for special occasions, I personally think it’s worth it.
The filet is an obvious choice, but I also recommend the Steak Diablo — a spicy, pepper-encrusted tenderloin — and the filet tips and mushrooms. Usually, steak tips are a budget choice but here you get amazingly tender bites of beef, mushrooms swelling with flavor, and a sauce that ties it all together.
If you do crave vegetables, or if you’re searching for vegetarian options, Boulevard has a number of tasty salads and sides. The sweet onions and vine-ripened tomatoes are excellent, as is the mozzarella and tomato salad. While those are for the individual, other sides are served family-style, with enough potatoes au gratin, button mushrooms, asparagus and hollandaise, and steamed broccoli to share.
If by some miracle you still have room for dessert, they have an ice cream and puffed pastry dish that is somehow tender and satisfying.
Boulevard is a hit to the wallet, but one worthy of a birthday, an engagement, an anniversary or any other big event worth celebrating. Most of us can’t afford to eat at Boulevard Steakhouse every day, but hey, it’s not everyday food that they’re serving.
Let us know what you think in the comments.