Soho's Hot New Theatre Has A Hot New Restaurant
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The Boulevard is brand new. Soho's hot new theatre — and hot new theatre bar-restaurant — are barely out of the wrappings when we visit, brassy curves and marble surfaces gleaming everywhere.
At the same time, The Boulevard feels slotted into the area like it's always been there: distinctly Soho, the bar wearing its views over Walker's Court (with its neon Tattooist signs, and flashing Fetish-Bondage-Spanking signs) front-and-centre, the vibe sleekly louche rather than sedately members' clubby.
It'd be hard to top the beauty of the theatre itself, a stunning mix of solidity and mutability that makes high design look effortless (read about our theatre critic's look behind the scenes here). But done up with the same sky-high production values, thoughtfully but not primly, the restaurant is giving the theatre a run for its money — all deco-ish swoops of pink walls and marble counters.
Like the theatre, they've succeeded in making the restaurant-bar area a place you'd be happy to embed for three hours at a time. Joyful to, even. Not that you'd need three hours, though: they're nailing pre-theatre food, with a menu of quick-to-plate dishes that bounce around Middle Eastern and British influences. On a regularly changing menu, look out for a sumac chicken, charred aubergine and pistachio small plate, and the whisky-cured mackerel with fennel. Oh, and the properly well-priced and well-chosen lower reaches of the wine list.
Our one quibble with the bar is how closed-doors it looks by 9.30pm. Leaving the interval-less show at 9pm-ish, there's a palpable That's-All-Folks energy to the place — lights are down, music dimmed, bar staff cleaning glasses. We watch a flock of punters loiter wistfully for a bit talking about post-show drinks, and then slope off. On asking about it, turns out the bar's still open, willing and eager, just... a bit forbidding. It's a marked contrast to Soho Theatre's bar, round the corner, where it's loud, heaving and raucous right up to the second they're actually shoving you out the door and locking it behind you.
Still: a solid, reasonably-priced menu; beautiful space; exciting programming, and a heart-of-Soho site — The Boulevard's very, very enticing. If they can get the space feeling as promisingly rakish post-show as it does pre-show, it'll be the full package.
The pre-theatre menu at Boulevard is £22.95 for two courses or £28.95 for three courses.
The Boulevard, 6 Walker's Court, W1F OBT.
Last Updated 20 November 2019