Boltwood
Boltwood

Boltwood

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.boltwoodevanston.com/
  • Phone: (847) 859-2880
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch:
    Tuesday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:00pm

    Dinner:
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
    Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Brian Huston
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Sherman and Davis
  • Public Transit: One block from the Davis Street Metra stop and Davis Purple Line stop.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: In addition to street parking, there is a public garage directly across the street from boltwood.
A word from Boltwood
Boltwood is a farm-driven, seasonal restaurant with a menu that is as diverse as the community around us.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Boltwood reviews from OpenTable diners
233 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating3.8
  • Food4.1
    Service4
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
79% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (161)neighborhood gem (105)hot spot (84)special occasion (61)good for groups (40)notable wine list (27)romantic (15)vibrant bar scene (12)late-night find (7)kid-friendly (4)great for lunch (4)scenic view (3)great for brunch (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Excellent food overall
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    My wife and I were very well cared for and, overall, our food was excellent. I started with one of their special bourbon cocktails which was delicious and attractively presented, but was served with such a large ball of ice that the entire drink was gone after 4 or 5 sips. I would have ordered another based on the taste, but cost per sip encouraged me to switch to wine. For an appetizer course, we shared two vegetable selections and the mussels. Both of the vegetables (Brussels sprout slaw and cauliflower) were superb. The mussels were refreshingly unique and incredibly close to being amazing, unfortunately the dish was distractingly oversalted (hopefully just an error in the kitchen on this night). Next, we had a pasta course. The bucatini with clams was quite tasty, but too oily. I did enjoy spreading some of the sauce on the delicious crusty bread that is served with a creamy butter sprinkled with Maldon sea salt which was at a perfect spreading temperature. It seems like such a minor detail, but the importance of the bread and butter as a complement to the meal is too often overlooked. I was pleased with the careful attention paid to this particular detail. For our main course we had the Bronzino. The preparation was simple, yet elegant. The fish, which was expertly seasoned, was perfectly cooked and again we were treated to a unique combination of flavors in the finishing of the plate with mushrooms and hazelnuts. Our server also recommended the winter squash to accompany our main course and I must say that it was a brilliant addition. We did note at this point that the courses were served a little too rapidly. We felt a bit rushed as each subsequent course came before we were able to finish the previous one. We felt we had a good sampling of the kitchen's offerings and we were so sated at this point that dessert was not an option-though they sounded great. Overall, barring what we considered very minor and rare missteps, we had a marvelous dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Try, but...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    I think everyone put their all into making our dining experience good. The problem was inexperience in the kitchen. I had crab that had no cracker nor was cracked in the kitchen. I literally could not eat my food despite the fact I asked for kitchen sears or to have the kitchen crack it for me. I was not credited for my meal, but was offered desserts. The other problem was that I had no warning that most everything had seafood or seafood sauce. One of our party was allergic to seafood. If this had been stated on the website, I would have called for alternative menu or would have gone elsewhere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Food and service were very good. Very uncomfortable chairs .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    I found the food to be fair. Over priced for the portion size. We returned the clam and pasta because it was so salty that we couldn't eat it. The pickled turnips tasted kind of like florid from the dentist. Do not go here if you have hungry teenagers that need protein. It will be difficult to fill them up and not spend a couple of hundred dollars. Fried potatoes were good as was the dipping sauce. Had a nice bottle of wine which was moderately priced. Wait staff was friendly but it was a bit confusing as to who our server was.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great new restaurant in Evanston!
    Jet1
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Food is very good, but to get the best value, some strategy is needed as it's pricey. Ask questions. Share everything. Stick to the vegetables and salads and choose the meats carefully. An example is the chicken - it's just chicken prepared by someone else - for $25 bucks, you can get two other tasty dishes to share and be rewarded. The atmosphere is nice, the decibels are manageable, the lighting is great, and the decor is tasteful. With drinks and dessert expect to pay $45+ per person before tip. Enjoy Boltwood!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive but good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Our dinner was saved by excellent food quality and a decision to move to the bar. This restaurant is incredibly loud and with no draft protection, sitting in the main area in a cold night is miserable. Luckily we moved to the back bar mid meal and things were quieter and warmer. While I think a $15 glass of wine and a $42 small plate of fish is just too expensive for a date night, we were able to find some slightly more reasonable items on the menu and we enjoyed them very much.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good but not great
    WishIHadnt
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Evanston has another high-priced nouveau American eatery and it's called Boltwood. We went in with high expectations based on seeing full houses night after night and understanding that the menu was $25+ per entree. The service and drinks were great but the food, being the centerpiece of the experience, left a bit to be desired. We tried the broccoli/cauliflower pizza and the seared cheese starters. Both were fine. The pizza was imaginative but a bit dry and scare on the cheese. The seared cheese dish was a creative twist to a traditional Midwest "cheese curd" recipe. For our entree and sides, the waitress recommended the halibut with vermicelli noodles in a soy marinade along with the garlic potatoes and apple salad. The fish was a bit disappointing as it came out looking spectacular (golden sear on the outside over a bed of noodles and greens) but unfortunately it was overcooked and very dry. The only saving grace was the asian marinade that we had to continually pour over the fish to add back some moisture. The garlic potatoes were thick cut making them taste quite starchy but the outer fry layer had a great taste and crunch. The apple, blue cheese, walnut salad was good but we would have liked to have seen more green mixed in. It was basically 80% apple, 10% greens, and 10% everything else. For dessert we ordered the cookies and cream which was perhaps our favorite part of the meal. It was warm gingersnap cookies with a cup of vanilla ice cream. Overall I would be reluctant to give Boltwood a 2nd chance. This meal was $135 (tip included) and I didn't really feel that we got our money's worth.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • High caliber dining
    emmaknows
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Boltwood has raised the level of dining in Evanston significantly. It's a welcome addition to a thriving downtown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • prix fix menu option is simply bad
    allgood
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    they offer a prix fix option similar to several other top local restaurants (quince, oceanique, stained glass), but this is worse than anywhere else. first, absolutely no choice whatsoever. (one of us was a vegetarian--we al got chicken.) second, the item itself (half chicken) was at best not interesting. third, in contrast to all the other prix fix arrangement no desert or coffee is included. just adding up the items on the prix fix menu ends up costing about 15% less than we were charged. so not great food, no selection, and paying more.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Food, Service Needs Work
    GuillermoVIP
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Boltwood is a very new restaurant with very interesting food selections and excellent preparation. But as an overall restaurant, it is still maturing in turns of ambiance and service. The servers were knowledgeable about the wine and food, but too casual in the service. The team did not know which customer was to get which drink or plate and they served by reaching across the table and people. The apple salad and grilled cauliflower appetizers were very tasty and nicely prepared, perfect for sharing which is part of the restaurant concept. Our group of four sampled the lake perch, chicken and skirt stake, all of which were prepared well in ample portions. We will go back, but wait a few months for the service to improve.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will be good
    FanofgoodfoodVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Boltwood should be a good restaurant. All three of our meals came out cold, so we sent them back. When we saw them again, the steak was still cold and the chicken tasted re-heated. The steak portions were very flavorful but super small portions. It seems as if they are finding their way and hopefully the good flavor remain while they figure out the timing and delivery of the orders.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great addition to Evanston
    FoodMama
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    The food was inventive and up-to- the-minute locavore trendy (turnip tasting anyone?). The decor was hip (fun art piece with the old 45s!) and our waiter was knowledgable, friendly, and laid-back. Evanston needed another restaurant with a city vibe, this one fits the bill nicely. I'll definitely go back. Oh yea, and those fried chicken skins with collard greens....I'll be dreaming about those!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lots to love at Boltwood
    Shubka723
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    This was our second visit in a month, the place is a gem. The crispy potatoes are reason alone to come here. Everything we've tried was excellent - delicious, creative combinations of excellent (locally-sourced) ingredients. Wonderful, welcoming staff and lovely (if on the loud side) atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    It took much too long for our server to ask what we wanted to drink and then for the bartender to make the cocktails. We ordered cocktails from the menu so I expected it to be a relatively quick process. As a group of four, we wanted to order a few items to share. We found plenty of vegetables to share, but nothing in the meats and fish section. We asked about the spare ribs and were told they were served off the rack. That just meant we were served several charred bones without any meat on them. The bread and butter plate we requested came with two slices of bread for four people. We did not even feel like trying our luck with the dessert. The cheese selection has only one cheese!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Boltwood a great new Evanston find
    Jill
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We were sat in the corner table by the window, nice cozy comfortable seat. Our waitress recommended the lamb neck, it was perfectly cooked flavorful and different from anything I have had. We also had the potatoes and Brussel sprouts, also excellent and unusual. All dishes were large portions and we shared all three. Dishes are brought out as cooked, and so we ate the Brussels sprouts first, potatoes and then meat. In the future I think I would ask for it to come out together, but that is my preference. We had a wonderful experience and would return again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy noisy noisy!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    When we turned down a communal table we were seated by the door. It was cold...and every time the door opened we got a weather report via cold wind. They couldn't have been nicer, but every request took two or three repeats. One appetizer was served ten minutes after the others. The food was okay, nothing special. We had heard the noise issue had been addressed...but it is frightening to think what it was like before. We could talk, with difficulty, to the person next to us. A general discussion among the four of us was impossible, and the noise was so oppressive that we couldn't wait to leave! We passed on dessert and coffee and went elsewhere b
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • just ok...
    MadreCadre
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Fo a new spot in Evanston with promising reviews, this place was just ok. Nothing special. My husband ordered the whole black bass. Nothing outstanding. I ordered the perch with forest mushrooms and lemon. Again, nothing special. It was a bit disappointing because there was nothing outstanding or creative or with any memorable flavors. We'll give the place some time....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Truly appreciate the effort to use healthy, close by ingredients-Several of the preparations were a little over the top-But most were very successful efforts-
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noise spoils it all
    luvtoeatoutVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    We waited until Boltwood had "addressed the noise problem," and finally gave it a try on a weeknight. Menu, food and service were all great. However, the decimal level made it difficult for even two people to talk without shouting and repeating. Really too bad. Would not go back or be able to recommend because of noise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • yum.
    Arby
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum. yum.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    The food was delicious, but the restaurant was way too noisy for us and we waited for an hour for our food after we ordered.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Exciting!
    UpsilonAndromedaeVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    A great new restaurant in Evanston. Top quality oysters. Unusual dishes (never seen duck hearts on a menu before!). Friendly and helpful service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Very fresh farm to table menu that changes daily! Welcoming atmosphere and friendly wait staff. Smaller restaurant with sparse décor. Very hard to find... They need to have a larger ,more colorful sign to locate their restaurant more easilly.I found it difficult to find parking.I had to go to city lot. I would definitely go back and recommend to friends. The potatoes with smalsch were to die for!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • MIKEVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We were disappointed due to high expectations based upon reviews. We were seated promptly and water was served and overly attentive throughout the evening. However we waited almost 10 minutes before we were approached for a drink. Upon placing our wine order we promptly received wine glasses but the waited another 5 minutes to receive the bottle of wine. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and helpful with the offerings. We had five small plates, one was excellent, one was poor and overpriced and the other three were OK. The noise level was very energetic, not terrible as some reviews stated.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great menu and ambience
    foodiewannabe
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Boltwood's farm to table menu has an eclectic array of choices...meat, fish, lots of great veggies. Everything was very fresh! The wine list was good and the apple fritters with caramel sauce were a perfect ending to a great meal! We at a 5K run on Sunday and recommended Boltwood to three people looking for a new place to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better & better
    foodbabeVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    I've had the pleasure of dining at Boltwood opening night and several other times. The whole experience has been excellent, and each time I return, something has been improved, like the addition of sound reduction panels and art. The changing menu is interesting, fresh & delish. I loved the oysters, sand dab, brick chicken and numerous creative vegetable dishes. The wine is is outstanding and affordable. I always seem to have Charlie as a waiter & he is friendly, attentive and really knows the menu--perfect! Can't wait to go back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • connalaVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Very noisy would not recommend if you would like to visit with your friends. Food overpriced but good.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • New Restaurant in Evanston
    AlchemyMN
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    First visit to Boltwood after I found our LuLus had closed it location at that address. Food was great, lots of explanation needed to understand menu items. Busy, noisy room, but still manageable for conversation. Good service, but staff and restaurant are fairly new, so I expect that they have't hit their groove yet. Some unusual menu items and many ingredients from local markets.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Evanston gone wonderful
    happy2eatoutVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    For many reasons this new well thought out addition to Evanston - the North Shore restaurant paradise - is fabulous. That they have worked hard at an ingenious tasty menu - great. That they have thought out a way to lower the noise level - great. That the food and service and attention to the customer's needs is quality - great! That the restaurant is a neighborhood joy with scenic view being our favorite home town - priceless! Thank you chef Brian - you did good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best restaurant in town
    GoodTimes
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Boltwood is the best restaurant in town, as well as one of the best in all of Chicago. There's really nothing else to say. The food is amazing. The vibe is really fun. Look, I'm a random reviewer. Don't take my word for it. Just go. You'll be really happy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    fabulous, innovated, wonderful flavors. can't wait to eat there again as the menu is amazingly diverse
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    very inventive food choices that you would not see elsewhere ... also characteristically regional food sources.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Pretty Good Farm to Table
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    Four friends shared relatively small plates of grilled Bruun-uusto + coppa; entrees of brisket, brick chicken, mussels; sides of crispy potatoes, beets. The food was good, but not particularly special. Very open, nice space but when full, it definitely is loud despite recent sound modifications. Server was very attentive, friendly and helpful.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great newer spot
    AntifragileVIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    We decided to try this with some good friends last Friday night. The food and service was excellent. My only complaint is the noise level is fairly high. Our seat was nearest the door and bar which contributed to that but it is still a loud restaurant. The cheese plate was delicious. The bread was some of the best I have ever had (a strong statement). They have an eclectic wine list but it is reasonably priced. One oddity: we ordered some vegetables with our main courses. The room temperature (by design) was brought out about 10 minutes prior to our dinner. The waiter said he told us that this would happen, but we do not recall this. It was fine as it was designed to be served at room temperature. Overall, a very good restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding!
    Sarah2405
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    I loved everything that we tried at boltwood. The ingredients were fresh, interesting and delectable. Our waitress was fantastic and helpful and the apple cinnamon fritter with caramel dessert was amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Give it a try
    GregL
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    They want you to "share the apps and entrees" when you are with a group. The menu is ordered from small to large in portion size. I was a little sad they did not have Tanqueray gin since, like many Evanston restaurants, they push FEW spirits and took better quality spirits off the shelf to make room. The restaurant is NOISY! Wife loved the duck (a smaller entree we shared), my daughter liked the steak, I actually thought the octopus was interesting. My son thought the ribs were good. I prefer eating my own entree but I rolled with it. A problem with the entrees and sides is that the first time you go you are not sure how much you are getting until it gets there. However, this place rates a try and make up your own mind.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I will not go back.
    Girls
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    I wanted to catch up with my son so we were happy to be out;that was the only good thing about the evening. We did not enjoy the food or the atmosphere. They gave our meal away by mistake to another customer.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Thumbs up for Boltwood!
    kickercs
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Don't pass up the opportunity to savor the wonderful flavors that Chef Brian Huston has created at his new downtown Evanston restaurant! We enjoyed the amazing Boltwood Chowder featuring wonderful smoked sable, the meaty and spectacular spare ribs and well as the whole fish. Everything was amazingly fresh (as the menu changes constantly...) and delicious, we can't wait to try more menu items soon. Friendly and knowledgeable staff make your visit even more enjoyable!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • bistroVIP
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Truly enjoyed food, menu and service. Will go back to order different items on menu
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Once may be enough
    Bearnbeyner
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Desirable urban vibe and great crispy potatoes with garlic schmaltz did not compensate enough for my ice cold ribs and my wife's lukewarm chicken. Would have sent them back but couldn't find a server. Server was MIA from the time the apps were served until after the entrees were removed and did not enquire about quality of meal. (Ribs were cold, but I ate them. Good sauce but average overall).
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate