Evanston native and chef de cuisine at The Publican Brian Huston will become the chef at a new farm-to-table restaurant opening in downtown Evanston this spring.
Called Boltwood, the restaurant will move into the space at 804 Davis St. that was formerly occupied by Lulu’s, which announced it was closing this January after 21 years in Evanston.
Lulu’s owner Dan Kelch helped find the new restaurant team, with a goal of bringing in an independent group with strong Evanston ties, according to a press release from Brian Huston’s brother, Brady. The two are partnering in the venture with fellow Evanston residents Seth Kaplan and John Kim, owner of Brothers K Coffeehouse. Kim and Brian Huston will be managing partners and are majority owners.
“Evanston is a unique community made up of exceptional people. Evanston is beautiful, welcoming and diverse. Evanston has so much to offer,” Brady Huston said in the release. “As proud Evanstonians we want Boltwood to exemplify those attributes.”
He said the team chose the name “Boltwood” as a reference to the freshman wing of Evanston Township High School, which Brady Huston, Brian Huston and Seth Kaplan all attended.
“To us, Boltwood represents the start of an exciting new journey, a place where new experiences happen and relationships cultivate daily,” he said in the release.
Huston’s current restaurant, the Publican, opened in October 2008 and has garnered rave reviews for its carefully sourced, sustainably raised fish, seafood and pork. Zagat Guide listed the restaurant among the top gastropubs in Chicago, and Chicago Magazine gave the restaurant three stars, noting the food had “composition and technique to rival most restaurants with whiter tablecloths (or any tablecloths).”
Beyond his current posting, Huston has an impressive resume. He worked under Publican executive chef Paul Kahan at Chicago’s highly rated Blackbird Restaurant from 1998 to 2000, and also cooked at Spiaggia and Heaven on Seven, according to his profile on The Publican website.
His cuisine at Boltwood will be new American, with a locally sourced menu that constantly changes, according to Brady Huston. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
A tentative menu submitted to the city council lists a mouthwatering array of dishes, from suckling pig to Meyer lemon dusted beignets.
“Employing simple, traditional cooking methods, Chef Huston utilizes the season’s most pristine, rustic ingredients to create surprising new twists on classic American cuisine,” the tentative menu reads.
The restaurant’s full service bar will include rotating seasonal cocktails, locally sourced spirits, wines and beers, according to city documents.
“The rotating cocktails will be garnished and sweetened with the season’s freshest fruits, herbs and honeys and will showcase the same commitment to farm-to-table ingredients as the food we serve,” the tentative menu says.
Evanston native Kara Mann of Kara Mann Design will lead the buildout and interior design of the space, according to Brady Huston.
Boltwood is projected to open in May 2014.