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Boulevard Woodgrill, Casual American Fixture on Wilson Blvd. and N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon - Closed


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I guess Boulevard Woodgrill doesn't have its own thread, so I'll post my brief comments here. We had a late lunch/brunch there over the weekend while running some errands in Clarendon. I was looking for more sandwich options, but the brunch menu was pretty heavy on breakfast items. I wound up ordering the French Onion Soup and the Woodgrilled Miso Chicken salad. The +1 kept it light and ordered the Roman Salad (arugula w/feta, onion, tomato) with an egg (sunny side up) on top.

Everything was OK, nothing stellar or very interesting, but all serviceable. The onion soup was middle-of-the road, not drowning in cheese, and inoffensive. My salad was a hearty portion (as they usually are there), with a lot of shaved chicken breast on it; the Roman Salad was overdressed to the point that the +1 asked for a new salad with the dressing on the side. The sunny side up egg came over easy. Service wasn't off, it was just kind of 'eh' - disengaged and disinterested. On the other hand, it looked like several large groups of 20-somethings were having a great time - must be a good spot for a brunch gathering.

In hindsight, I wish we had walked down to Earl's for a sandwich. We'd have had plenty of change left over from $40+ (inc. tip and a bloody mary) we spent.

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I guess Boulevard Woodgrill doesn't have its own thread...

Everything was OK, nothing stellar or very interesting, but all serviceable.

Which makes it a Michelin Starred restaurant when compared to its sibling in Old Town. Where Overwood is laughably bad, I have found Boulevard Woodgrill to be depressingly boring. I do remember having friendly service when I made the mistake of stopping there for lunch.

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I don't know. We go here all the time, it is very kid-friendly, usually easy to get seated at, quick, pleasant, not very expensive and some of the dishes are pretty good. It's not Restaurant Eve but there is plenty of room in the world for restaurants like Boulevard. It is essentially a GAR-type restaurant.

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I don't know. We go here all the time, it is very kid-friendly, usually easy to get seated at, quick, pleasant, not very expensive and some of the dishes are pretty good. It's not Restaurant Eve but there is plenty of room in the world for restaurants like Boulevard. It is essentially a GAR-type restaurant.
I don't disagree. I have had plenty of good meals at the Woodgrill, this just wasn't one of the standouts. It's been a long time since I ate there, and the first time for brunch. I think I'll stick to dinner for future visits.
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I don't disagree. I have had plenty of good meals at the Woodgrill, this just wasn't one of the standouts. It's been a long time since I ate there, and the first time for brunch. I think I'll stick to dinner for future visits.

I agree, brunch is not the strongest meal there. I actually prefer the brunch at Liberty Tavern which has a really nice buffet for under $20PP

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I don't know. We go here all the time, it is very kid-friendly, usually easy to get seated at, quick, pleasant, not very expensive and some of the dishes are pretty good. It's not Restaurant Eve but there is plenty of room in the world for restaurants like Boulevard. It is essentially a GAR-type restaurant.
I am not sure that calling it a "GAR-type restaurant" is setting the bar very high. Frankly I like to find places that are not expensive, but I just want to walk away thinking that I had a dish that doesn't bore me to tears. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to use the best ingredients available, it just has to taste like the dish was not inspired by a Sysco newsletter. That part of Arlington does not have the best track record for places that are inexpensive, pleasant, and easy to get seated, but Delhi Club and Guajillo are two that come to mind. My real issue with Woodgrill is the same I have with GAR and Clyde's, they are just plain boring.
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I am not sure that calling it a "GAR-type restaurant" is setting the bar very high. Frankly I like to find places that are not expensive, but I just want to walk away thinking that I had a dish that doesn't bore me to tears. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to use the best ingredients available, it just has to taste like the dish was not inspired by a Sysco newsletter. That part of Arlington does not have the best track record for places that are inexpensive, pleasant, and easy to get seated, but Delhi Club and Guajillo are two that come to mind. My real issue with Woodgrill is the same I have with GAR and Clyde's, they are just plain boring.

Sure, but occasionally, or even more than occasionally, pleasant, non-chain, boring places with broad menus are a perfect fit, even for diners who otherwise like all of the great restaurants touted on this board.

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It's a good place for a night when I don't feel like cooking. It's not horribly expensive although I do tend to get the ribeye. My husband gets the burger so he keeps the final tab reasonable. I also get a Cosmo which is great. Also pushing the tab up. Staff is friendly and competent, albeit somewhat impersonal. Overall a decent place.

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I just want to walk away thinking that I had a dish that doesn't bore me to tears. It doesn't have to be fancy, it doesn't have to use the best ingredients available, it just has to taste like the dish was not inspired by a Sysco newsletter.

Have you tried their Kingston Jerk Chicken Wings?

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Yesterday I wanted somewhere that I could watch the VCU-Butler game at a bar. Ragtime was packed, it appeared from outside, and I eat there so often I just felt "meh". I wandered up thinking I'd try Arlington Rooftop Bar, but the bar there was full, too. I walked up into Clarendon - earlier this week, I'd had a craving for Hard Times, but just couldn't decide today.

I walked past Boulevard Woodgrill and noticed its bar was pretty empty and the game was on. I've been in there once or twice before, but usually at "just before blackout drunk" stages. What the hell, I sure as heck have smelled this place enough, and I'm craving red meat.

First surprise to me: the beer list. Wow, there were some interesting beers on there! I started with a Bell's Batch 10,000 on draft, and next had a Brooklyn Brewmaster Reserve something or other that was also rather tasty. Eventually I also had a Delirium Tremens and some Wiehenstephan hefeweisse (which I hadn't had in ages and forgot how much I like it).

I was starving, so I started with an order of the Kingston wings. These are 10 "jumbo" wings with jerk seasoning served with a guava-scotch bonnet sauce. A couple were scrawny and a bit dry due to that, but the rest were plump and juicy with a crispy outside and enjoyable flavor that never really got "hot". It was nice to have non-buffalo wings and they were cooked well. $9 for the wings feels a bit high but they were worth it.

(In my opinion, too many places just do "buffalo" wings. How boring!)

For dinner, I went with the surf and turf - $25 gets you 6 ounces worth of black angus filet (mine came in 3 pieces) and 6 jumbo shrimp on a skewer, over buttermilk mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. This hit the spot just about perfectly and I devoured everything on the plate. The steak wasn't the best I've ever had, but it was better than the last few I'd had in Arlington (the best since the last time I went to Ray's), the shrimp were solidly tasty, the mashed potatoes very good, and the asparagus grilled nicely.

The crowd waxed and waned throughout the game but wasn't too obnoxious. The service at the bar was prompt and friendly. I came away happy and full. It was exactly what I needed.

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55 minutes ago, cheezepowder said:

Boulevard Woodgrill is closing next Sunday, Aug. 7 via ArlNow, which also links to Boulevard Woodgrill's Facebook post.

For the first time in a long time I did a simple little financial model that might reflect where rents might be assuming having written a "market" rate lease 10-15 years ago with "market escalations" and made some assumptions where rents are based on what I've heard from various folks in the know.  No doubt market rental rates  have exploded in that time period and if one wrote a lease 10 or 15 years ago, even with reasonably market escalations per year or every 3 years during the full 10 or 15 years...looking at a new lease at new market rates... It has to knock your socks off.  Its a huge increase.  Meanwhile unless you are able to:

  1. Get 4-5% more customers every year
  2. Increase your prices 4-5% every year while keeping your costs the same
  3. Keep diminishing your portions while prices stay the same
  4. Add an enormous catering volume that generates huge volume pretty much from the back of the house
  5. Get lots of low cost or  free money from Russia or some other sugar daddy
  6. Have some other method to increase revenues

You can't keep up with the increase in market rents in the Rosslyn -Ballston corridor and its no wonder restaurants are moving out with the increases in market rents.  Its simply no wonder.  Its a tough area in which to compete.   In some ways its the long term survivors such as Rio Grande/Uncle Julio's that are the surprisers.

 

 

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That's why the restaurant owners who buy the building can have staying power, but you need a hefty bank account in order to do that up front. as well the building needs to be in a condition that needs minimal renovations to lower start up costs and start generating $$$ right away. 

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I wanted to reference one thing that reflected on Boulevard Woodgrill from the past:   It has been referenced in DR at various times in different threads.

I searched in Google for the following phrase:   Boulevard Woodgrill Billy   Then I went through some of the references and found this reference which is from early 2012

Read the description from the 2nd person quoted in the article.  Read his 5th reference. 

This is 4 years later and Billy hasn't worked there for several years.  His customer service attributes as a server or bartender elevated the dining experience at Boulevard Woodgrill...for that writer and in my case also.

 

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