The Boulevard in Floreat is a lovely pub. With its modern, spacious fit out that includes plenty of great outdoor seating options for sunny days and balmy nights, a solid menu of very tasty offerings and a drinks list long enough to keep everyone happy it’s definitely a great place for a meal or to settle in for a sesh. One other big tick for The Boulevard is that the crew there sure know how to put on an event. They run them like well-oiled machines. I first noticed this when I headed along to one of their School of Cheese afternoons, which was a lovely way to wile away a few hours and then more recently when I was invited along to one of the Vino on the Verandah evenings. These are held every month or so and are a three course dinner, where a different winery’s range will feature. On the night GG and I headed along the winery in focus was Domaine Chandon, so sparkling a plenty!
The evening commenced with guests milling around the main bar area, enjoying their first fizz and partaking in some new choice canapés.
- Oscietra caviar, salmon, blini
- Salt and pepper prawns, chilli prawns
- Chandon Blanc de Blancs 2012
Caviar is such a lavish addition and upped the fancy factor of the salmon blini. Special mention must also go to the salt and pepper prawns. I would have been happy to just sit there and polish off a dish of these… or a large bucket of them if that was an option 😉
Everyone was then ushered outside to the enclosed verandah. It is such a beautiful space. Wrapping around the main bar, the long tables were adorned with fresh blooms, glowing candles and a healthy amount of glassware. It was entirely inviting and soon the space was buzzing with happy conversation amongst eager diners. And sure with long tables you never quite know where you’ll end up or who’ll you’ll end up near, but it is always with people who also love food and wine and that’s a great basis for a chat.
Each course was matched with two wines and the menu was a shared affair so there was plenty to go around. As we waited for the first course we enjoyed some very good bread, Loafers sourdough, with a generous slathering of butter. Ahh butter, I love your work.
- Chicken Terrine, pancetta, buttered young leeks
- Fried squid, taramasalata, lemon
- Chandon Vintage Brut 2012
- Chandon Altius Upper Yarra Cuvee 2012
Entrees included a delicious squid dish. Tender pieces had been lightly battered and well-seasoned. A generous spritz of fresh lemon provided a nice citrus lift, while the accompanying taramasalata was an ideal dipping sauce. It was a solid dish and I consider squid to be a pub staple and they were on point with the classics at the Boulevard, with some welcome modern touches.
The second starter was a terrine. I am sometimes on the fence with terrines but I was all in for this one. Very meaty, particularly with the indulgent wrapping of pancetta on the outside of the abundance of pressed chicken.
Having two types of sparkling with a course is always going to be something of a treat and I enjoyed the subtle differences between these two wines.
- Shark Bay pink snapper, fennel, citrus, thyme
- Slow roasted duck, maraschino cherry, endive
- Domaine Chandon ‘Yarra Valley’ Chardonnay 2014
- Domaine Chandon ‘Yarra Valley’ Pinot Noir 2014
On to mains and the kitchen was again out to impress and did just that. The pink snapper was glorious, with a subtle drizzle of fresh lime, it was fresh and light and showcased the fish at its simple best.
And the duck was equally as enjoyable. I’ll admit I’m not much of a Maraschino cherry fan, but I could appreciate the sweetness they brought to the dish, which offset the bitter crunch from the crisp endive and the indulgent richness from the tender, shredded duck. All very tasty.
There was something about the accompanying green salad that was really impressive. An array of greenery with a light dressing, it was just very refreshing and despite feeling fairly comfortable at this point, it was actually really nice to have the salad to round out savoury proceedings.
- Mandarin, rhubard, mascarpone, shortbread, meringue, basil
- Chandon Cuvee Riche
A sweeter style sparkling was an ideal partner for dessert and this three course affair was completed on a high with a creamy and fruity creation, plus it looked a treat in the cute pink and white cups. The tropical flavors of the fresh fruit really cut through the indulgent richness of all that cream and the crunchy meringue added some nice texture. It was a very pleasant dessert.
It had just been a lovely evening and as with previous visits here it further highlighted that The Boulevard team has gotten running their events down to a fine art. They put on a wonderful night out, great value ($75pp), with amazing food and will give you the opportunity to perhaps try a few new wines too. Seriously fun times. Definitely sign up to The Boulevard’s mailing list so you are the first to hear about all their great events!
Please note that GG and I were guests of The Boulevard for this event. It was seriously wonderful and we’ve already booked in for the next one 🙂