Sunday, December 23, 2007

10. Peru: Boulevard Restaurant

Boulevard Cafe
161 Harbord St
(between Bathurst and Spadina)
416 961 7676

We were greeted cordially and then ushered through a kitchen area upstairs where we were somewhat left to our own devices to choose a table. We sat at the top of the stairs with a view of the washrooms. Service was fairly prompt and genial.
The food rated highly. There must be umpteen restaurants in Toronto selling chicken, rice and veggies in differing styles and this one proved to be near the top of the list. We tried one of the daily specials the Pollo Gitano - grilled chicken breast in a spicy spinach, garbanzo (chick peas) and wine sauce served with garlic rice and veggies, $18.95, and the Camarones Ajillo - marinated and grilled shrimp in a spicy garlic, pimento and wine sauce served with rice and vegetables, $23.00 from the regular menu. Both are ample portions. The vegetables were colourful and crunchy and the shrimp were done to perfection, not overcooked.
We share the recommended "authentic" Peruvian starter from the specials board: Humita - creamed corn with basil wrapped in a corn husk and fresh salsa, $12.95, which was excellent.
The cheapest wine on the list is $35 a bottle but we manage to negotiate a half-litre of house red off menu, an Argentinian Cabernet, not a snip at $26. A small pot of fresh mint tea, although delicious, is overpriced at $4.00.
Understated holiday decorations and pleasant Latin background music added to the overall effect. Dinner for two came to $111.30 including tax and tip. A good restaurant for a treat.

Rating: Ambiance (3)
Service (3)
Food Presentation (4)
Food Quality (4)
Value for Money (3)

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