About a year ago, Brian Evans opened the Eclectic Kitchen near the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville he has been delighting customers with culinary artwork that reflects his experiences and talents as a chef ever since.
Evans attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, and worked in the kitchens of famous restaurants in the Seattle area, where he acquired great skills in preparing fresh seafood. He moved to Northwest Arkansas to be near family, and was the executive chef at Blessings Golf Club for about eight years before joining a corporate group to oversee its culinary support team to train and retrain chefs. He decided it was time to open the Eclectic Kitchen in December 2017.
Evans said the restaurant uses as many local ingredients as possible and strives to provide the best and freshest seafood available. The restaurant’s décor is simple and tasteful. The staff is helpful and friendly.
“Our menu is like one of my greatest hits of the foods that I love to prepare and love to create for everyone to enjoy,” he said. “Our menu is, well, eclectic. I focus on seafood, steaks and unique twists on items for our diverse clientele.”
The Eclectic Kitchen offers Great White Oysters from Cape Cod, Mass. These yummy oysters have a slightly earthy taste with a strong finish. They are served with a delightful red wine sherry vinegar-based creation that adds to the superb oysters’ flavor.
This is your warning. The Truffle Spiced Pecans are addictive. This treat can be ordered as an appetizer or dessert. The pecans are boiled in heavy syrup, then fried and seasoned with truffle oil and 15 spices. The result is pure taste bud heaven!
“I’m known for creating complex flavors,” Evans said. “We don’t have salt and pepper on our tables, as we season it perfectly.”
If you love hummus, then you must try the White Bean Hummus. This Middle Eastern-style hummus is creamy and features white beans with feta cheese, Kalamata olives, Aleppo pepper and fresh pita for dipping. It is healthy and has a taste different from traditional hummus. I loved it.
The Shrimp and Grits is a crowd favorite. It features grits, cooked to perfection, and Argentinian red shrimp. It is topped with a divine bourbon creole sauce which enhances the dish and gives it a hint of New Orleans flavor. I typically just try a few bites of each dish, but I ate every bit of this one. It was that good!
Evans presented his Alaskan halibut with beet risotto, asparagus and lemon thyme buerre blanc. The presentation was so great that I took a picture of it (as always). I was delighted when the taste surpassed the beauty of the dish. The halibut was fresh, seasoned perfectly and delicious. The beet risotto was a great surprise as the colorful side accentuated the flavor of the slightly sweet fish. The overall result was nothing short of stunning! The complex mixture of spices and oils delivered a unique palate-pleasing creation that I will surely order again.
The bread pudding at the Eclectic Kitchen is not your grandma’s bread pudding … it is better! Evans uses a few different ingredients that result in a creation that provides everything you expect in bread pudding, and more. I especially enjoyed the caramel sauce, crunchy bits of French bread and the sliced strawberries on the top.