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Boltwood- OMFG Evanston is back in style again!

Boltwood- OMFG Evanston is back in style again!
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  • Post #61 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:00 pm
    Post #61 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:00 pm Post #61 - October 2nd, 2014, 8:00 pm
    Like all things sensory, "noisy" is subjective - I ride Metra daily and while I'm not bothered by the noise of idling locomotives there are numerous others who wince in pain and plug their ears as they pass by.


    Could be "subjective" - or you could already be losing your hearing from excessive noise levels.
  • Post #62 - October 3rd, 2014, 6:27 am
    Post #62 - October 3rd, 2014, 6:27 am Post #62 - October 3rd, 2014, 6:27 am
    I love it! The people who thought it was too loud, of whom there are many (some existing indeed, with gall, outside of lth!), are being aggressively (some passive-aggressively) chastised by people who know people.

    Oh, for the days, when food writers were anonymous!

    I'm sure I'll be dragged back to Boltwood someday. I live up here and the pickings are still slim and suburban. But hopefully by then they ask Lee Wolen how to cook octopus.
  • Post #63 - October 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm
    Post #63 - October 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm Post #63 - October 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm
    Boltwood has rolled out their lunch option, and I'm extremely happy. I admit, I'm smitten.

    A bit more casual during their lunch hours (11-2), you place your order with the bar, and can elect to pay before or after your meal...A bit strange as you're still being served throughout the meal.

    Housemade Sodas Ginger (L) & Lemon-Lime (R)
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    Carrots with Feta
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    The menu on their website still has Carrots + Avocado listed, which was our least favorite dish a few weeks back, and I'm happy to say this pairing was much, much better.

    Brisket Sandwich
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    Co-worker and I both agreed that this was pretty mind blowing. If the kitchen was not in the process of closing, I probably would have ordered a second (and the crispy potatoes were included...amazing).

    Chicken Thigh sweet potato, collard greens
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    Really nice preparation. Just like the crispy potatoes + schmaltz may be my favorite fried potato prep in the city, these would also take the prize for sweet potatoes.

    So happy to have this lunch option in Evanston.
  • Post #64 - October 18th, 2014, 5:47 pm
    Post #64 - October 18th, 2014, 5:47 pm Post #64 - October 18th, 2014, 5:47 pm
    Had an absolutely fantastic meal last night at Boltwood. They are doing some really exciting and fun things in Evanston.

    They had Sanddab on the menu. This is the only place I have ever seen/had sanddab in Chicago. Outstanding. Not sure how often sanddab will make an appearance on the menu but i am tempted to go back again tonite for another round. Reasonably priced at $15 a plate.

    While I loved everything, I especially loved the things chef is doing with vegetables. Terrfiic meal.
  • Post #65 - October 23rd, 2014, 4:00 pm
    Post #65 - October 23rd, 2014, 4:00 pm Post #65 - October 23rd, 2014, 4:00 pm
    Hi- Henry Brockman will be doing a turnip tasting at Boltwood this Saturday 10/25 starting at 2:00pm. You will be able to sample all five of the varieties of turnips he grows. I love the white Japanese turnips he grows, but there is another Japanese variety that he grows that he is also bringing Saturday too. I just found out that the outdoor Evanston market is not closing until November 8th, and so that gives you three more weeks to buy some of Henry's turnips. I am sure that he will be at the Lutheran church on Sherman in Evanston the Saturday before Thanksgiving too selling veggies. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #66 - October 26th, 2014, 7:21 pm
    Post #66 - October 26th, 2014, 7:21 pm Post #66 - October 26th, 2014, 7:21 pm
    Made my third visit here last night, and it's clear to me that this place is starting to hit its' stride, at least in terms of eliminating "duds" on the menu - all the more impressive w.r.t. how frequently the menu changes.

    Standouts for us included the lake perch w/ green beans in curry sauce, the grilled bruun-uusto cheese + la quercia ham, the cheese plate we had for dessert, and of course those fantastic potatoes. I also really enjoyed the winter squash.

    Boltwood is rapidly becoming a favorite spot for me. Too bad I work in the city & can't get there for lunch.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #67 - October 28th, 2014, 12:54 pm
    Post #67 - October 28th, 2014, 12:54 pm Post #67 - October 28th, 2014, 12:54 pm
    :( Really disappointed in Boltwood. Went there last weekend with another writer (former restaurant critic) and our spouses. We spent too much and received too little. Entrees' main items were tiny but were accompanied by large nondescript sides. Best item was a mushroom pizza appetizer.
  • Post #68 - November 20th, 2014, 8:05 pm
    Post #68 - November 20th, 2014, 8:05 pm Post #68 - November 20th, 2014, 8:05 pm
    The Evanston Lunch Group tried out boltwood this afternoon. We had a pleasant time, as always, talking food, and we found the room at lunch to be conversation friendly because the place was not busy while we were there. This was my first meal at boltwood. We tried all of the main dishes and salads on offer for lunch. I thought everything was prepared very well and with care, but somehow the flavors seemed tamped down and muted to me. The chicken thigh with mole, for example--the chicken was juicy and tender and nicely cooked, but the mole was without any kick at all. I found the salads quite good because the ingredients are very fresh and in season. The sandwiches were nothing special. The fried potatoes in schmaltz and garlic were crispy and good, but I couldn't taste the garlic or much schmaltz either. Several of us enjoyed the pizza crust, which is quite short and almost bread-like; the large pieces of roasted broccoli weren't my favorite, but others liked them. All in all, I'm not in a rush to go back, although from reading this thread, I suppose that dinner dishes might be better.
  • Post #69 - November 20th, 2014, 9:23 pm
    Post #69 - November 20th, 2014, 9:23 pm Post #69 - November 20th, 2014, 9:23 pm
    I agree with Evie's comments about our lunch, but to clarify...

    EvA wrote:we found the room at lunch to be conversation friendly because the place was not busy while we were there.

    I observed that about half the tables were occupied. So it wasn't full, but it wasn't exactly deserted, either.

    Also, I've been there for dinner as well as lunch, and I'd be happy to go back - for dinner, please. :)
  • Post #70 - November 21st, 2014, 3:20 pm
    Post #70 - November 21st, 2014, 3:20 pm Post #70 - November 21st, 2014, 3:20 pm
    One of the great things about LTH group outings is the ordering power. How often can you go to a restaurant and say "We'll order one of every entree on your menu?"

    That's what we did yesterday at boltwood.

    The first thing we had we didn't even order.
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    The kitchen sent out a complementary amuse of olives, red pepper and a little onion. I was impressed that they accompanied it with a small bowl for the olive pits. A nice way to begin the meal.

    We ordered two salads.
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    This apple salad included grilled squash and goat cheese. I've had similar salads elsewhere, but this one's combination of flavors and textures came together nicely.

    Image
    The beet salad, also, wasn't extraordinary, but it was well executed and tasty.

    Image
    We also ordered oven roasted carrots, which were fine as a side dish, but having had the carrot salad at Jibek Jolu with the LTH Small Household Food Exchange on Tuesday, I preferred the thinner sliced, lightly marinated version of carrots there.

    Image
    Among the entrees, the pan pizza with tomato, garlic, broccoli and pecorino didn't have as thick a crust as other pan pizzas I've had (e.g. Burt's, Pequod), but it was flavorful, with a nice char. I liked the light char on the broccoli - it added a slight, unexpected textural element to the dish. I don't remember getting a large hit of garlic from it, but for a place that doesn't claim to specialize in pizza, for the style it was among the better pizzas I've had lately.

    Image
    Chicken Mole with sweet potato was arguably the richest dish we had, with an interesting density of flavors. I agree with EvA, though, that the mole could have used a bit more heat.

    Image
    Both of the sandwiches were well executed, but, as Eva wrote, nothing special. The turkey sandwich with kale and swiss cheese was accompanied with what seemed like a light, tasty, mayo-based sauce (identified as "special sauce"), which I'd personally have preferred to actually be part of the sandwich, rather than served on the side (although that may have been a function of trying to share one sandwich among eight people).

    Image
    I liked the caramelized onions on the roast beef sandwich, but again, the same sauce on the side didn't wow me.

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    The polish sausage with sauerkraut and grainy mustard was, again, well executed, but didn't outshine renditions of the dish at other top-notch joints. And there's that sauce again, which I didn't think worked as well with the sausage as it did with the sandwiches.

    Image
    Vietnamese pancake with pears, black radish and soy lime sauce was the most interesting of our entrees. The pancake seemed like a very eggy crepe, with varied flavors and textures that I enjoyed.

    Both of the sandwiches and the polish came with crispy potatoes + garlic schmaltz. We also ordered another separate plate. The chunks of crisp potato were an excellent alternative to french fries, although the garlic was rather subdued.

    For what it's worth, I thought service was top-notch, and I appreciated that they offered Primo, a sessionable IPA from Evanston's newest brewery, Sketchbook.

    In general, I think boltwood has great potential. Many of the criticisms here could probably, and justifiably, called nitpicking, but overall it was among the best lunches I've had in a long time (however, I don't go out for lunch much).

    I'm not sure they've yet hit their stride for the lunch crowd. I suppose serving sandwiches and polish sausage makes some sense for lunch, but I'd much rather see more of the less-expected offerings, like the chicken mole and Vietnamese pancake. My impression was that it's a dinner-focused restaurant that's still trying to figure out how to develop their lunch menu.

    I'll be anxious to try it for dinner.
  • Post #71 - November 21st, 2014, 3:53 pm
    Post #71 - November 21st, 2014, 3:53 pm Post #71 - November 21st, 2014, 3:53 pm
    That sauce is the garlic schmaltz for the potatoes.
  • Post #72 - November 21st, 2014, 4:29 pm
    Post #72 - November 21st, 2014, 4:29 pm Post #72 - November 21st, 2014, 4:29 pm
    cilantro wrote:That sauce is the garlic schmaltz for the potatoes.

    We were served a pinkish sauce in a cup on the side called "special sauce" that I thought was different from the garlic schmaltz. It certainly tasted more mayo-like than schmaltzy.
  • Post #73 - November 22nd, 2014, 6:37 am
    Post #73 - November 22nd, 2014, 6:37 am Post #73 - November 22nd, 2014, 6:37 am
    Finally made it to Boltwood and were pleased that we did. It was a birthday dinner for the Lovely Dining Companion and we were looking forward to our little excursion. We had duly studied this thread and were still trying to pick and choose what looked like an ideal assortment of dishes from the online menu. Service started off promisingly but our server’s attention diminished noticeably as the evening progressed and she got busier. By the end, we considered ourselves lucky that she even came by to pick up the tab—we’d long since given up on expecting any conversation or even any words at all. Too bad.

    Speaking of too bad, I am more than happy to get tap water but we found it a little odd for a restaurant with such ambitious food and aspirations to use water glasses we associate with diners or college dining halls. I also wonder why the house can’t be bothered to even provide ice. And while I’m on the complaint part of the review, I will note that I was unable to score a table online so called the restaurant, as their website suggests. I got a very helpful guy and who quickly accommodated my request. Under the circumstances—I explained that I was very much hoping to get a table for that specific night since it was the LDC’s birthday and Boltwood was her specially requested destination. He duly noted the information and said he was noting the occasion. No one mentioned it at the restaurant, nothing occurred to mark the event. Is that the end of the world? No. But if you aren’t going to acknowledge the event, why do you bother to ask and tell us you’re making a note of it?

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    Bread service
    It’s been a very long time since we have been in a restaurant that says bread will be served upon request. So we requested it. When it came, we have to admit that we were both a little dismayed. It looked like someone had sliced a loaf of particularly ordinary bread to serve. It wasn’t warm and showed little evidence of much crust. We were wrong and I need to say that clearly. This was excellent bread (which will, we admit, have been even more excellent had someone bothered to warm it a little). The crust was just right and the flavor, full and deep and luscious. Excellent and wonderful. We only regret that people need to know to ask for it. (And, perhaps, that they don’t offer—so far as we know—any choice.)

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    Eggplant caponata toast with goat cheese
    We weren’t quite sure what to expect but this turned out to be wonderful. The toast was grilled, giving it somewhat smokey flavor which was absolutely perfect with the eggplant. Very happy we ordered this.

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    Grilled Bruun-uusto with La Quercia prosciutto, plums and arugula
    As reported upthread, a wonderful dish. Everything about this is great. We would have welcomed a bit more cheese but the combination is terrific and we really enjoyed this—perhaps our single favorite dish of the evening.

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    Lake perch with miso sauce
    A success; I avoided this dish because I didn’t “get” the miso with lake perch, which I like. The LDC ordered it though and pronounced herself quite happy with it. She couldn’t finish it all at the restaurant, so we took it home and I have to confess that it disappeared in short order.

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    Grilled octopus with grapefruit, fennel, celery, and Fresno chili
    Just about perfect octopus, though a bit buried under the more than generous pile of garnish. And while the acid was a nice way to highlight the octopus, I would have been a little happier with a little less of it. Finally, there may well have been a chili hiding in there, but I never tasted any evidence of it.

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    Crispy Potatoes with garlic schmaltz and “special sauce”
    I seem to recall reading somewhere when Boltwood was new, or possibly even before it opened, the chef commenting that he could list schmaltz as an ingredient and know that his clients would not have to ask what it was. And so we didn’t. But we didn’t particular find that it tasted of schmaltz, either. More troubling, we couldn’t identify the ingredient but whatever it is, it makes the “special sauce” a touch sweet. And much as we liked the very crispy potatoes, we didn’t find the sauce particularly garlicky and the sweetness detracted from the dish.

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    Pumpkin chai bundt cake
    Made to order. Exactly the right size for a little smackerel after a filling dinner. Very nice, round flavor, distinctly pumpkin-ish. Although the assorted accompaniments may have been a bit much and a bit too much sugar, a good dish.

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    Grapefruit sorbet with cinnamon
    The sorbet was very good—nice strong grapefruit flavor. I wasn’t sure I understood why the cinnamon when I ordered it, but since I felt like a very light dessert, I chose it anyway. Having eaten it, I will note that it duly tastes of added cinnamon. And I still don’t get the pairing.

    The noise level isn’t bad, but you need to pay attention to your table-mate(s) in order to hear clearly. It’s still somewhat "noisy" when the house is full. Not rising to the level of “conversation-challenged,” but not cozy and quiet either. Sort of what you’d probably expect in a college town eatery. Speaking of which we noticed that the crowd was all ages and spanned most of the expectable dress codes—you’ll be comfy in jeans or in a tie and you won’t be alone with either, though you’re probably better off somewhere in between. We were a little surprised to find the tables rather close together, the more so since directly behind us was a large area (say 10x10 foot) with no tables whatsoever. It was far easier on the servers than on the served where we were sitting. We found the price point just about right and wonder why there aren’t more places like this in Evanston. Neither of us is a fan of Found but we can easily see returning here anytime we feel like something a step up without going as far, fancy-wise, as Quince.
    Last edited by Gypsy Boy on November 22nd, 2014, 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #74 - November 22nd, 2014, 7:27 am
    Post #74 - November 22nd, 2014, 7:27 am Post #74 - November 22nd, 2014, 7:27 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:
    Image
    Grapefruit sorbet with cinnamon
    The sorbet was very good—nice strong grapefruit flavor. I wasn’t sure I understood why the cinnamon when I ordered it, but since I felt like a very light dessert, I chose it anyway. Having eaten it, I will note that it duly tastes of added cinnamon. And I still don’t get the pairing.


    This http://www.thekitchn.com/breakfast-recipe-broiled-grape-133055 is something I grew up with and may have been an influence on someone in the kitchen...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #75 - November 22nd, 2014, 8:53 am
    Post #75 - November 22nd, 2014, 8:53 am Post #75 - November 22nd, 2014, 8:53 am
    Thanks for that note. I grew up on grapefruit sprinkled lightly with sugar--but it was never cinnamon sugar. Live and learn!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #76 - November 22nd, 2014, 10:59 am
    Post #76 - November 22nd, 2014, 10:59 am Post #76 - November 22nd, 2014, 10:59 am
    I agree with most of Gypsy Boy's comments. A few notes about the bread service...

    Gypsy Boy wrote:This was excellent bread (which will, we admit, have been even more excellent had someone bothered to warm it a little).

    I agree that, in most cases, bread improves dramatically when served warm. Unfortunately, many, many restaurants - including some high-end fine dining restaurants - don't bother, and serve bread at room temperature. So while this certainly is an improvement that can be made, it's all too common to find unwarmed bread at nice restaurants throughout the city (and country).

    Perhaps the best bread service I have experienced was at Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. They wheel over a cart with around ten different kinds of bread, from which you can select whichever types you like. They slice them for you and then tell you, "We'll bring them right back after we warm them for you." :)

    Gypsy Boy wrote:We only regret that people need to know to ask for it.

    The menu states, "~ Bread + butter available upon request ~". So while you may quibble with whether Boltwood should serve it automatically by default, at least they make its availability known.
  • Post #77 - November 23rd, 2014, 7:45 pm
    Post #77 - November 23rd, 2014, 7:45 pm Post #77 - November 23rd, 2014, 7:45 pm
    The Lovely Dining Companion just reminded me of something I had completely forgotten: when the bread first arrived, it was chilled, as if it had been stored in a refrigerator (or some other very cool place). As soon as she reminded me, it came back to me--my apologies for forgetting. That, in fact, was part of what we had originally found so odd. The bread was good bread, but who on earth keeps it purposely that cool? Am I not understanding something about bread or bread service. And even if there is some good reason to keep it that cold, why wouldn't you at least warm it back to room temperature at the very least?

    Last note, the LDC also reminded me that although the menu doesn't specify, Hewn is the only bakery listed on their list of purveyors, so we presume that that's who made it.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #78 - January 1st, 2015, 4:49 pm
    Post #78 - January 1st, 2015, 4:49 pm Post #78 - January 1st, 2015, 4:49 pm
    Another great lunch, and now my official go-to place when dining with a companion in Evanston.

    Mint Ginger Soda
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    Chowder
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    Broccoli
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    Pretty boring as a side...

    Garlic Sausage pickled red onion, whole grain mustard, horseradish, crispy potatoes
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    Bacon Sandwich avocado, mizuna, orange marmalade, crispy potatoes
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    Great tasting, but messy as all hell -- marmalade was seeping through the bread and covering everything
  • Post #79 - February 20th, 2015, 2:46 pm
    Post #79 - February 20th, 2015, 2:46 pm Post #79 - February 20th, 2015, 2:46 pm
    Boltwood is really crushing it and it just keeps getting better. 4 of us had dinner there last night and our meal was spectacular across the board. We started at the bar with some gratis Popcorn of the Day -- Old Bay flavored in this case -- that was generously buttered and delicious. After that, we guzzled down a dozen expertly shucked Island Creek oysters. The bar itself is quite nicely stocked. Thoughtful and unique house cocktails are half-price on Thursday nights. Beer and wine selection are top-notch, as well.

    The kitchen is exceptionally resourceful, sensible -- and talented -- when it comes to winter produce. So many seasonal items were showcased skillfully in dishes like Spinach Brandade, Crispy Potatoes, Chickpeas + Kale, Cauliflower + Muhammara and Winter Salad (beets, parsnips, celery root, carrots, pumpkin seeds, avocado). There were a bunch of other vegetable-based dishes we didn't try on the menu that were tempting and equally good matches for the local season, though not every ingredient was local or seasonal.

    Proteins were cooked with equal skill and incorporated creatively into beautiful, delicious entrees. Of particular note were the juicy-crispy Duck Special, the luscious Hanger Steak with lentil and green tomtatoes and the perfectly moist and flaky Snapper with cucumber, buttermilk and dill.

    We were rushing off to a concert and didn't have time for dessert, though I wish we had.

    The atmosphere is comfortably casual. Service is engaging and excellent. Prices are completely reasonable, especially when you consider the quality of the food being put out. On that basis, it's also an exceptional value.

    For me, Boltwood is the best restaurant in Evanston by a wide margin. It's a genuine dining destination to which I will soon return, regardless of whether or not I am already in the area. With the exception of Ward 8, there's no other place in Evanston about which I feel the same.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #80 - February 20th, 2015, 10:51 pm
    Post #80 - February 20th, 2015, 10:51 pm Post #80 - February 20th, 2015, 10:51 pm
    I still think Boltwood serves the best lunch in Evanston, but I finally had a meal I would not order again. I think cured meats and sausages are a strength here, so the pastrami sandwich seemed like a no-brainer. What I got was so comically tiny, the whole thing easily fit into my hand. Worse, there was very little pastrami (1/4 lb., at the most); it was thinly shaved and completely overwhelmed by the cheese, dressing, and the bread (very thinly sliced and griddled). Now there were still enough calories in the thing and it's served with about two pounds of potatoes, so I certainly didn't walk away hungry. But if I'm ordering pastrami, I want to taste some pastrami, dammit. Oh well. The sausages haven't let me down yet.
  • Post #81 - February 28th, 2015, 1:29 pm
    Post #81 - February 28th, 2015, 1:29 pm Post #81 - February 28th, 2015, 1:29 pm
    A buddy of mine had dinner at Boltwood for Valentine's Day and saw a flyer for a beer pairing dinner with the new Sketchbook Brewing Company. As he owed me a bit of money and knew I didn't mind a free meal at Boltwood, he grabbed a reservation.

    Menu
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    ZEPPOLE ITALIAN SAVORY DONUT
    Saison Etu
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    I'll just say it now so I don't repeat myself, the pairings were absolutely perfect. The saison really brought out the sweetness in the doughnuts here.

    SHRIMP + WHITE BEANS, BRUSSELS, KALE SALSA
    Pale Ale
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    GRILLED LAMB + LENTILS, WINTER SQUASH
    Brown Ale
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    The lamb was actually braised then grilled, so it was extremely tender. Sketchbook's brown ale was a fantastic pairing to this really hearty course.

    POACHED APPLES + MASCARPONE, GRANOLA
    Belgian Dark Strong
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    Very happy I was able to experience this dinner.
  • Post #82 - March 5th, 2015, 4:30 pm
    Post #82 - March 5th, 2015, 4:30 pm Post #82 - March 5th, 2015, 4:30 pm
    Celebrated SueF's b-day here last night.
    Drinks: I had the ginger soda (no alcohol for me, I was up half the night before for a teleconference with Europe), SueF had an awesome Portuguese tinto (relatively small pour, though).

    Olives: as pictured above, loved the pickled peppers in there with a deep fennel-seed flavor.
    Black Bean Toast with pickled carrots and jalapeno: Sort of an upscale veggie tostada. Tasty, but not sure I'd order it again.
    Grilled Bruun-uusto with La Quercia was awesome. The cheese was nicely charred, the whole thing well balanced.
    Crispy Shmaltz Potatoes were the last thing to come out, made an odd last course -- I'd have tried to get those out earlier, as they're snacky rather than a finishing couse.
    The salad with fennel and celery had a bit more celery than SueF would like (so she piled it on my plate, making it a bit more celery than I like instead), but we both loved the pecorino on this.
    Hanger steak with lentils and sour cherries was cooked perfectly, the sour cherries and lentils giving it something of a Persian flair.
    For dessert, we had the chocolate mousse and the buttermilk poppy-seed ice cream. The mousse really should have been called ganache -- not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's much more substantial than mousse has any right to be. The ice cream was terrific, with (I think) a slight hint of lemon.

    Service was outstanding, perhaps even too attentive -- plates and silverware were whisked away just as we finished each item, but new plates were not always out yet when the next course came. The server was knowledgeable of the food and drink menus, and overall a great experience.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #83 - March 29th, 2015, 11:04 am
    Post #83 - March 29th, 2015, 11:04 am Post #83 - March 29th, 2015, 11:04 am
    Very happy that JoelF posted about his great meal here; I was beginning to feel as though I was the only one dining at Boltwood.

    Had another fantastic lunch at Boltwood the other day.

    Arrived with a friend at 1:40pm, shortly before their lunch service ended. To begin, we ordered the

    Loco Moco Mushroom Gravy
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    I have never been to Hawaii so this dish was completely new to me. I thought I had Boltwood figured out, but this dish completely surprised me. An umami explosion.

    La Quercia Sandwich
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    This was my entree. Not sure if they offer different La Quercia meats as this was my first time seeing this on the menu, but I was perfectly happy with prosciutto being the focus. Fantastic sandwich.

    Pastrami Sandwich russian dressing, pickled cabbage
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    my buddy's entree

    To accompany our entrees, we ordered a side of
    Brussels Sprouts olive oil, salt
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    Orange Currant Oatmeal Cookie buttermilk ice cream
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    Though I normally don't indulge in desserts, I knew this would be the last meal out I would be having in a while. Though simple in presentation, both the ice cream and cookie packed a punch.

    Not sure what else to say at this point. If I do choose to dine out in Evanston, Boltwood has been and will be my go-to for the foreseen future. Not only is Chef Huston doing amazing things behind the counter, but the staff (and our server, Chrissie), are firing on all cylinders.
  • Post #84 - March 31st, 2015, 10:44 am
    Post #84 - March 31st, 2015, 10:44 am Post #84 - March 31st, 2015, 10:44 am
    Went to Boltwood last Sat. night. The food was truly outstanding and our sever very knowledgeable.

    However, the noise level was such that I couldn't her the person sitting across from me. In addition, the tables for two were quite close together and the seating very uncomfortable. For a relatively high-end restaurant one would think the ambiance could be nicer.

    One other negative - They charge for bread! That's nonsense. Our server explained that the loaves were made to their specs at a local bakery. In all mu adult life (I'm 79), I've dined in some of the finest restaurants in the U.S., Europe and Japan. I have never, ever been charged for bread!

    Has anyone else been at a restaurant where they charge for the bred?

    I've been to one restaurant where theycharged for ice! Shouldn't the owners include bread and ice costs in their overhead?

    Even thought the food was wonderful, I'm not going back to Botwood because of the noise and the bread charges.
    "It was very nice the time I was there." - my Mother whenever she was asked her opinion of a restaurant
  • Post #85 - March 31st, 2015, 10:50 am
    Post #85 - March 31st, 2015, 10:50 am Post #85 - March 31st, 2015, 10:50 am
    Here is a thread on paying for bread in restaurants: No "free" bread with dinner--is this a trend?.

    In Boltwood's case, the bread is listed on the menu in the section on starters. I certainly have no problem paying for high quality bread, though I probably wouldn't order it when presented with the array of options that Boltwood offers.
  • Post #86 - March 31st, 2015, 3:05 pm
    Post #86 - March 31st, 2015, 3:05 pm Post #86 - March 31st, 2015, 3:05 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:Has anyone else been at a restaurant where they charge for the bred?

    Yes. In addition to Boltwood, I've been charged for bread at Girl & the Goat and at Parachute.

    I think it's an undesirable trend. So is the trend towards restaurants so loud that you can't converse with those at your own table.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on April 1st, 2015, 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #87 - March 31st, 2015, 4:34 pm
    Post #87 - March 31st, 2015, 4:34 pm Post #87 - March 31st, 2015, 4:34 pm
    Grandpa Bob wrote:Went to Boltwood last Sat. night. The food was truly outstanding and our sever very knowledgeable.

    However, the noise level was such that I couldn't her the person sitting across from me.


    I'm disappointed to hear this. I'd hoped from things I've read here that the noise level had been abated from the deafening levels I experienced.

    I'm now inclined to believe that the noise is the noise. The only variable is how much it matters to you, or rather, how much having a conversation matters to you.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #88 - April 1st, 2015, 2:18 pm
    Post #88 - April 1st, 2015, 2:18 pm Post #88 - April 1st, 2015, 2:18 pm
    riddlemay wrote:I'm now inclined to believe that the noise is the noise. The only variable is how much it matters to you, or rather, how much having a conversation matters to you.

    WHAT???

    :twisted:
  • Post #89 - April 2nd, 2015, 9:04 pm
    Post #89 - April 2nd, 2015, 9:04 pm Post #89 - April 2nd, 2015, 9:04 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:I'm now inclined to believe that the noise is the noise. The only variable is how much it matters to you, or rather, how much having a conversation matters to you.

    WHAT???

    :twisted:


    Heh.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #90 - April 2nd, 2015, 11:10 pm
    Post #90 - April 2nd, 2015, 11:10 pm Post #90 - April 2nd, 2015, 11:10 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:Yes. In addition to Boltwood, I've been charged for bread at Girl & the Goat and at Parachute.

    Billy Sunday is another place where there's a charge for bread. Vera, too. I'll admit that I have mixed feelings about it but if not serving gratis bread helps keep costs down (and prices down for diners who don't eat bread), then I can certainly live with it.

    That said, the bread at Parachute is their Baked Potato Bing Bread, which isn't at all a conventional bread. Knowing it, (pictured here), it seems pretty obvious why they don't send it out for free. The fact is, it's very substantial and more of a dish in its own right than a typical bread might be.

    I just don't get all the kvetching about the noise at Boltwood. I've been there numerous times, many of them when the restaurant was completely full, and never had a problem hearing anyone at my table. But depending on who you're dining with that could be a good or a bad thing. :wink:

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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