San Francisco (last visit: May 2008).
Located in the Ferry Building Marketplace, this is another place that receives frequent mention in foodie forums like Chowhound and eGullet.
Boulette's serves breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch. The menu is small, offering unusual interpretations of usual foods. Breakfast offerings might include yogurt with rose petal jam and rose syrup, or ricotta with dates, pistachios and honey. For lunch, how about beet salad with feta cheese, pistachios and various greens?
Half store and half restaurant, it's small and informal. There are a few tables inside, and more outside. The outside tables have a view of a parking lot, with trucks loading and unloading supplies. Not exactly a great view. However, there's also a view of the Oakland Bay Bridge. Very nice on a sunny morning.
My first good decision: I sat outside (see the photo of the Bay Bridge, above). My second, even better decision: order Eastern European Style [hot] Chocolate. This was by far the best damn hot chocolate I've ever had. It was very, very thick and very, very dark, with barely enough sugar to cut the bitterness. It was as if they melted unsweetened chocolate, added a dash of sugar, some cream, and a spice or two. Some people might find it too strong or not sweet enough; others might find it to be so rich they couldn't drink it. To me, it was pure heaven.
As an entrée, I had "wild Alaskan king salmon belly crudo with chickpea blini, olive oil, lemon, sea salt and European herbs." Quite a mouthful, but it was an accurate description. Strips of raw salmon were drizzled with olive oil and a little lemon, with lots of chopped dill and parsley, plus chives and coarse salt. Three small, crisp blini had good flavor. It was very simple but actually pretty good. It couldn't compete with the hot chocolate, but then, what could?
I would go back to Boulette's for the hot chocolate alone; anything else is a bonus.
The hot chocolate was $5. The salmon was $16; most items were less expensive.
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