Boulevard Of Dreams:
29-02 Francis Lewis Blvd., Bayside, 461-5444
Cuisine: Grill/Café/Brick Oven Pizza
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 10:30 a.m.-midnight; Thursday, Friday
& Saturday 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; late night lounge hours.
Credit cards: all major
The dining pleasure begins on the sidewalk outside, as the smell from
their brick oven chimney fights back the increasing autumn cold. And from that inviting
starting place, this new cafe and grill delivers on being the kind of restaurant you
daydreamed about having in your neighborhood . . . relaxed and fun with simply great food
and simply the right price.
Once youre through the front door, Boulevard of Dreams has a
café style with smoky glass walls that let in the flavor of the neighborhood while
silver-screen legends like James Dean and Humphrey Bogart keep an eye on the door from a
wall mural. Central to the design and the dining floor is their brick oven, where a pizza
chef tosses dough so high you will be truly concerned for the ceiling.
You can walk through the restaurant or through the separate side
entrance to the lounge. There youll find a spacious bar, back room pool table, and a
dartboard where someone is always waiting to pick up a game. Customers are all ages, and
it is living proof that there really exist some bars where everybody knows your name.
But wherever you choose to dine . . . in the café proper or the lounge
. . . the food is truly a dream. And with the kitchen open late, youve found your
late night alternative to the usually limited fare of chicken fingers and fried calamari.
I started with the Artichoke & Spinach Dip served with tortilla
chips ($5.95) that were warm and crispy . . . totally contrary to every image of "bar
food." The dip was light, very tasty, and I supposed it is also a healthy alternative
snack or appetizer, but it is too enjoyable to be healthy.
And speaking of healthy alternatives, Boulevard is ready for you with
an outstanding selection of wraps and fresh salads. The Monroe Wrap has grilled
vegetables, Balsamic vinaigrette and cheddar cheese ($6.95) and the Dean Martin is steak
& chicken, onions, peppers and hot Jack cheese ($8.95). Not quite that hungry, try the
Mescaline Salad with a lemon and oil dressing ($6.95, $2 to add chicken, $3 to add shrimp)
and you wont be disappointed.
There is also a delightful pasta selection and their Penne Ala Vodka
($7.95) was one of the best Ive ever had. Add chicken ($2 extra) or shrimp ($3) to
Which brings us to the pizza . . . something everyone in Queens has a
favorite of. My new favorite is from this brick oven and let me recommend the Margherita
with plum tomato, Marinara sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil ($7.95) or the Old Fashion
with Marinara and fresh mozzarella ($7.95). From the super thin crust to the flavorful
sauce, theyve got it all.
Those who know their Queens dessert specialists will understand that
Boulevard has gone to the experts to finish their dining service. Their cheesecake is from
Cascon in Whitestone . . . arguably the best cheesecake in the City of New York . . . and
their Tiramisu ($4.75) is from Marrettas bakery on Bell Boulevard where Mrs.
Marretta still lovingly oversees the making of her daily pastries.
Sorbet, choice of peach, pineapple, lemon, Mandarin or coconut in a
simple and beautiful presentation ($4.75). The peach sorbet was served inside a peach
perched inside a coffee cup . . . cute, convenient, and above all, delicious.
The Boulevard has everything youve been looking for . . . great
food, right price, a casual atmosphere that doesnt shout at you, and a lounge with
all the stuff that makes a neighborhood bar great . . . and its all open when you
want it to be. No, it just seems like youre dreaming. Enjoy!