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Patio and gelato bring Boulevard Bistro to life

Published August 14, 2013 11:28 am

Dining out • Restaurant needs a punch of excitement and some staff training
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Boulevard Bistro has all the makings of a stellar neighborhood bistro with its location on Salt Lake City's Foothill Boulevard, a beautiful interior design and a surprisingly relaxing patio given the busy shopping area.

With a few tweaks — namely a more exciting menu and friendlier, more knowledgeable service — it could become a worthy dining destination.

Inside Boulevard Bistro, shades of tan, pops of blue and glass and stone accents have transformed this location from an uninspiring restaurant chain to modern bistro chic.

A large portion of one wall has been devoted to the pizza oven. For lunch, we ordered the Italian meats pizza ($14) with salami, capicola, Creminelli proscuitto and pepperoni and a heavily repeated San Marzano tomato sauce. It was a fine thin-crust pizza with quality meats but the sauce didn't offer the pizazz I expected—making the Neopolitan-style pizza I desired only an unfullfilled dream.

Similarly, the San Marzano tomato soup ($4 cup, $6 bowl) was an off-putting orange color and begged to be poured over pasta rather than dipped with crusty bread — which wasn't offered.

The lunch menu also has salads, several entrees and seven sandwiches, including the Boulevard burger ($11) and the caprese panini ($10). The rocket arugula salad ($9) with shrimp ($5) was a well-balanced mix of pungent blue cheese, crisp Fuji apples and toasted almonds tossed in honey-sherry vinaigrette.

Boulevard's flower-adorned patio seemed the perfect place to enjoy the refreshingly bright heirloom tomato and burrata salad ($12) with crunchy French green beans accented with basil oil.

For dinner, the generous portion of lasagna ($12 lunch, $17 dinner) included high-quality sausage and ground steak layered between al dente noodles and a plentiful amount of sauce.

American Wagyu beef stroganoff ($17) was advertised as pappardelle pasta, crimini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. When delivered, the meat that was tough, sinewy and had the slightest tinge of gray—rendering it inedible. To make matters worse, neither the mushrooms nor the broth delivered any flavor beyond the one note of pepper.

While service was prompt, it ranged from unfriendly to downright curt. On both visits I could get no information regarding wine recommendations or selections. In fact, I ordered a $6 glass of wine, the server forget what I ordered, came back to confirm and then delivered a $9 glass of wine from the same vineyard—and added the higher price to the bill.

When I asked about the gelato selections of the day, our server told me they change all the time and suggested I walk over to the gelato counter and taste them. While a nice idea, it would have been better if the server had explained the flavor choices, suggested his favorites and then offered a tasting.

Fortunately, I didn't let the taste-it-yourself gelato service keep me from indulging in the well-executed creamy, cool treat. You'll find eight flavors of gelato ($4 small, $5 large) at Boulevard every day of the week. Flavors change frequently but citrusy blood orange, tart lemon lime and sweet coconut almond all offered a temporary respite from the heat of summer.



Boulevard Bistro

Food • HH

Mood • HH

Service • HH

Noise • bb

A welcoming, modern atmosphere pairs nicely with thin-crust pizzas, salads, Italian-inspired entrees and gelato at this bistro on Foothill Boulevard.

Location • 1414 S. Foothill Boulevard, Salt Lake City; 801-953-1270

Online • http://www.boulevardbistrofoothill.com

Hours • Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Children's menu • Yes

Prices • $-$$

Liquor • Yes

Corkage • $15

Reservations • Yes

Takeout • Yes

Wheelchair access • Yes

Outdoor dining • Yes

On-site parking • Yes

Credit cards • all major