Brunch at Boltwood
I think I've passed Boltwood several times since I moved to Evanston a year and a half ago. I would occasionally glance at the curtained window but never gave it a closer look. It was one of those things that you don't notice until it is pointed out, painfully obvious and yet perfectly hidden.
Yesterday, my cousin invited my sister and I to brunch at Boltwood. After consulting our beloved Google Maps, we hopped on the bus and made our way to downtown Evanston. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was right on Davis Street. We almost passed it actually! Boltwood doesn't have a big sign with flashing lights and arrows pointing to its entrance. It is subtle and understated, letting its service and food do the talking.
Once inside, the atmosphere of the restaurant continued to be understated but also rustic and elegant. With large windows across one whole wall, natural light poured in onto the wooden tables. Our round table was located in the middle of the restaurant and we had a great view of everything from the open kitchen on the right to the bar behind us by the entrance. I particularly loved that everything felt very relaxed. The servers were attentive but not overly excited and annoying. The chef, a friend of my cousin, came out, happily greeted us, and later gave us vanilla ice cream with maple syrup and malt bits (on the house!). The bartender was happy to assist us when the other servers were busy. Our waitress was great when answering any questions we had and was patient when we couldn't quite decide what to get. There was no pressure to be fancy. It was just about good food at a good place with good people. That's all I really ask for from restaurants and Boltwood delivered on that impeccably.
What we ordered:
Island creek oysters + citrus mignonette
Granola bowl + yogurt + raspberry jam
Squash miso soup + coconut milk
House maple breakfast sausage + scrambled eggs, French toast bun, with crispy potatoes
House cured bacon
A rosé a day (cocchi rosa, gin, peychauds, brut rosé)
Green tea dragonwell
If you ever find yourself in downtown Evanston and in need of a wonderful restaurant, I would highly recommend Boltwood. Find it at 804 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201.