Posted On: 07/01/2012
Desserts on the Boulevard, 3949 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.533.3377
Desserts on the Boulevard is the kind of low-key, urban, after-hours spot that couples flock to to taste-test sweet, booze-drenched concoctions to the sounds of live music and DJs come to to let loose well into the wee hours of the night. It’s a trendy addition to the burgeoning Midtown nightlife scene. But as it struggles to grasp its footing, this multitalented venue can prove hit or miss depending on the night.
Though this bar is also part bistro and part bakery, the focus here is definitely on the hooch. Patrons indulge on a nightly basis from a well-stocked, walk-in wine cellar situated across from a main bar that, on a late Saturday night, teems with action. Though the fledgling wait staff can lean toward the less-than-knowledgeable side (I actually had to describe what a vodka martini was to my server.), the bartenders more than made up for any trouble.
While classic cocktails are ably mixed, the draw here is the sweet stuff. The bar especially shines with its dessert drinks: Akin to a German chocolate cake, the Bavarian Port is a decadent mix of port, rum, coconut, dark chocolate, caramel and vanilla ice cream. Equally rich was a fantastic take on the standard Brandy Alexander, which typically fuses cognac with chocolate and vanilla ice creams. Here, it was presented in a snifter glass lathered with vanilla. Less impressive were a few offerings from the craft cocktail menu. The Big Easy, a variation on the traditional New Orleans Hurricane, was weak and watered down to the point of offending anyone who has tripped down the cobblestone of Bourbon Street.
The kitchen also leans toward the decadent. Savory options include lobster roll sliders, Brussels sprouts with caramelized Vidalia onions and a crab napoleon pastry dish. On the dessert side, the Fetish bread pudding dish imitated the Louisiana classic quite well. And don’t overlook the Tryst, a straightforward and simply satisfying cake dish smothered in caramel and dressed with vanilla ice cream.
The proprietors have done well in transforming a possibly stale and innocuous strip mall space into a remarkably well-dressed place to pass an evening. The main room is flush with slick high-tops and white-leather swivel chairs that fill up fast on weekend nights, mainly with crowds of girlfriends and couples. Singles are more common on nights when Desserts on the Boulevard plays host to various DJs, funk groups, 70s cover bands and jazz acts. Dark and mainly candle-lit, the modern space is adorned with smart pieces of contemporary art – i.e. a massive abstract statue of a dancing female figure, which lords over the room in a playful manner. It’s all a bit over the top, but so is everything about this place – from the menu down to the décor. The atmosphere changes depending on the entertainment of the evening, which can range from high-volume hip-hop DJs to mellow saxophone acts. Avoid any confusion by calling ahead.
Location is going to be an issue. On one hand, Desserts on the Boulevard is well placed at the center of a busy Midtown intersection in dire need of a new drinking establishment. On the other hand, this joint (hardly yet well established) is marred by a lack of convenient parking and easy-to-miss signage. And while theme nights on weekends can be packed, the weeknight crowd is noticeably thin. Stronger bars have folded under less positive circumstances. Hopefully Desserts on the Boulevard will be up to the challenge.
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