BLVD is not only in the middle of what some call a Harlem culinary Renaissance, the husband and wife team of Carlos and Markisha Swepson behind BLVD are among those defining it with what chef Carlos calls “Crafted American Soul” food.
BLVD is both a family business and personal calling. Carlos, who started cooking at the age of 6 while growing up in Natchez, Mississippi, focuses on the food, menu and music—a personally curated mix ranging from classic and contemporary R&B, pop and soul artists, to classic gospel and Aretha in all her manifestations—while his wife Markisha focuses on the business aspects of a shared passion for great food served in a warm, welcoming setting.
Indeed, the menu and cooking style at BLVD is more than a nod to the classic Southern recipes Carlos learned at the knee of his grandmother and mother.
Which brings us to the biscuits. Food “creates a memory”, says Carlos, and the biscuits, the ones legendary food critic Gael Greene calls “ethereal”, keep diners coming back for more. And often, too: The biscuits, which usually sell out by mid-evening during dinner service, are made from scratch once a day using Tennessee-sourced White Lily Baking Flour. It’s the attention to detail, and Carlos’ innate quest to source high-quality, local-as-often-as-possible ingredients, that “take it up a notch” and make the menu at BLVD stand out.
Brunch is a main attraction, and top rated by customers. Other menu favorites are nods to iconic family recipes: The fried chicken is based on Carlos’ grandmother’s technique, the turkey meatloaf is Markisha’s favorite, and the pork chop is inspired by his mom’s recipe, with caramelized apples and Vidalia onions for a flavorful twist. Side dishes are never an afterthought: each is created fresh with a focus on flavor.
We hope that you’ll come experience a bit of nostalgia at BLVD—recall a favorite, and create another memorable meal with friends and family, and feel as welcome here as you would at your grandmother’s house. All wrapped up in a warm memory, made with great ingredients.
Come for Lunch, Brunch or Dinner. See you soon.
For chef Carlos Swepson, cooking has always been both a creative outlet and a labor of love.
Carlos has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant business, starting with service front of house, and after culinary school, he interned with Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jo Jo and spent seven years at The Fitzpatrick and then Soho House.
As a child, Carlos was reading cookbooks before he could read school books, and loved to watch Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on TV as a teen. He loved to experiment: “I’d have an idea of what might go together, and even though the combinations might seem unusual, my mom would let me try it; and then her friends would start asking: Is Carlos cooking?” hoping to get an invitation to dinner, Carlos recalls.
Carlos describes his mother as a not only a supportive mentor, but a combination of “classic Southern down-home cook, Martha Stewart, and B. Smith”, and he gives a nod to all three through the menu and service at BLVD.
You’ll find his warm, welcoming, touch, attention to detail, meticulous service and palate-pleasing dishes come together to make your meal at BLVD a memorable one.
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