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Boulevard Restaurant/Nancy Oakes/Embarcadero

Pros: Since 1993, one of the city's best
Cons: Prepare to spend a chunk of change
Best For: Romance and expense accounts

Boulevard is all about Chef Nancy Oakes, who won the 2001 James Beard "Best Chef in California Award". Designer Pat Kuleto (of Postrio fame) designed a sumptuous Belle Epoque room with an open kitchen, worthy of any special occasion. Get dressed up and be treated like royalty. Hopefully your budget is regal, cause entrees can set you back upwards of $35. For example, recently, Maine Lobster and Royal Sweet Pea Scallop with Meyer Lemon and Limoncello Risotto, Crispy Sunchoke and Black Trumpet Mushroom is listed on the dinner menu at $38.75.

The room itself is worth the trip. Nestled auspiciously within the historic 1889 Audiffred Building, the ambiance is cool, sophisticated and sexy. It's not a hipster crowd, more akin to a power biz subtle big bucks, females in silk shirts and tasteful diamonds scene.

Valet parking makes for the perfect apres dinner getaway.

Noteworthy: The menu is guided by principles of sustainability.

1 Mission Street (at Embarcadero)
San Francisco, 94105
415.543.6084/Reservations a must
Hours: Mon-Wed and Sun 11am-2:15pm, dinner 5:30pm-10pm
Thurs-Sat 11am-2:15pm, dinner 5:30pm-10:30pm
Very Expensive