Friends and I convened at Boundary Road last weekend for some drinks and appetizers. My initial reaction: the drinks and few plates we sampled were fine, but what I liked best about the restaurant was its casual vibe. Specifically, I appreciated the exposed brick, long wooden tables, open kitchen, and the extremely friendly and polite staff. But don’t try asking the staff what the Obamas dined on during their visit to Boundary Road. The staff’s lips are sealed. I don’t really see the point, but that’s not the restaurant’s rule. The order came directly from the White House aides who organized the dinner at one of the newest places to join the ever-increasing ranks of Atlas District eateries. Come on, White House: food lovers want to know!
I have to start my review with the much-discussed Foie Gras Torchon PBJ. Grilled country bread is topped with homemade peanut butter, peach vanilla jelly, and finished with a torchon of foie gras. Mixed greens accompany the dish. The flavor combination definitely works. The richness of the peanut butter pairs well with the rich, fatty foie gras. However, I didn’t really taste the peach vanilla jelly and I’m not sure mixed greens is the best pairing for something that’s clearly meant to be a decadent, comfort food. It’s also a rather small portion, which explains why it appears on the menu as an appetizer, but it doesn’t explain the steep price ($16). All in all, I’m glad I tried it, but I’m not sure I’d order it for myself. I think the best use for this dish is as a shared item. It’s so rich that I was fine with one or two bites.
The pierogi were good, despite the fact that they were less pierogi and more ravioli. For example, I recently tried Bistro Bohem’s pierogi (read review here), which were more in line with traditional pierogi — hearty, heavy, but also tender, and topped with grilled onions and a creamy sauce. Boundary Road’s pierogi were very delicate, soft, and pillowy. Both versions are good in their own ways, although one of my dining companions didn’t much care for Boundary Road’s version. While I didn’t sample the razor clams rockefeller, two of my dining companions enjoyed theirs.
I tried two of the cocktails — the Praha City and the Seelbach. Praha City was described to me as Boundary Road’s version of the Moscow Mule. It’s made with Becherovka (Czech herbal bitters), vodka, muddled rosemary, lime, and ginger beer. It was good, but too herbal for me. I liked the Seelbach less. Made with bourbon, two types of bitters, Cointreau, and sparkling wine, the Seelbach is overwhelmed by the bitters. To try to solve for this problem, one of my dining companions (known to many as Triple X) ordered his without bitters. It didn’t help. My other dining companion liked her drink — the obviously Italian-inspired “I’m Thinking About Getting A Vespa.” It’s made with Aperol, sparking wine, blood orange, and Cocchi Americano (an Italian aperitif). It sounds like something I’ll really enjoy during the summer.
I think I will return to sample a few more dishes and conduct a more thorough review. Boundary Road’s proximity to my day job may “force” me to become a regular. Who knows. Maybe I can work with the bartenders to create a bourbon-based cocktail I will actually like.