The executive chef of Boulevard is Alex Chen, who led team Canada to a top 10 finish in the 2013 Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France. That is like the Olympics of cooking. I had the pleasure of attending the event and watching all the action.
Fast forward to 2021, I reached out to Alex to see if he could prepare a meal for us with Alaskan King Crab as the main ingredient. He had complete carte blanche.
The booking started with the assistant GM. This part of the process had me a bit worried. The communication could of been improved and more formal. I think that with these types of meals, the experience has to be perfect from the beginning and every interaction needs to set the stage. For example, walking into a 3 Michelin star restaurant is like walking into a Holy Temple. There is something about the whole process from the beginning that makes you feel like you are in a special place and about to embark on a very highly regarded journey. This experience did not start out that way.
Anyway, all doubts were cast aside once I saw the beautiful private room they had set up.
Everything was perfect from the chandelier to the beautiful tiles. My only complaint about the room was that the party in the next room was separated from us by a divider and they were very loud at times. Anyway, here was the menu for the evening:
The meal was created using two whole crabs. We pre ordered some champagne and Chablis to pair with the meal. The pairing was suggested by the restaurant and went well. The first course was the crab wrapped in black truffle with a crab broth gelee. The presentation and taste were excellent. A very delicate dish and great start.
The second course was a pasta, hand made of course. The pasta was cooked well and the dish was delicious. The peas were very fresh, there was a slight amount of heat from chilies, and lots of umami from what I thought was fish sauce but later learned from the chef was anchovies.
The third course was the star of the evening. An absolutely delicious caulibiac with a caviar butter sauce. The puff pastry shell was perfectly buttered and the dish was very very delicious. We took home the leftovers and I had them for breakfast, and it was even better! Outstanding.
The main part of the meal was the crab served 8 ways on a platter. I liked that the crab was presented in various ways to reflect the diverse and multicultural nature of the city. My favorite was the “Cantonese style”, followed by the Singapore style. The Singapore style had an amazing black pepper sauce. So savory!
I do not remember the details of the dessert, but it was good too.
Overall, the service was excellent and Alex and his team did an amazing job. It was an incredibly memorable and enjoyable evening. Thanks Chef!