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Clevelanders first got to know Chef Brandt Evans and his twist on American comfort food in 2004 when he opened Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern in suburban Twinsburg. He then opened two additional restaurants in Montana, and while not blue, they boasted canyons.
Evans trained at the Culinary Institute of America and developed his progressive style as a sous chef at Charlie Palmer's Manhattan restaurant, Alva, before returning to Cleveland. Here, he continues to push the farm-to-table envelope, even working with local farmers to plan what crops to grow.
In 2011, he opened Pura Vida in Public Square as part of a group of local chefs who sought to stir Downtown Cleveland’s revitalization with new eateries and flavors. At Pura Vida, rebirth is literal. The restaurant's sleek, bright, minimalist décor incorporates reclaimed wood and steel from area buildings.
In addition to owning this popular downtown restaurant, he also serves up consulting services. Evans started BKM Hospitality LLC in 2010, a management company that oversees everything from concept development, construction of food and beverage menu engineering, staff resources and financial reporting.
Evans calls the food at his Pura Vida restaurant "aggressively creative." That doesn't mean the goat cheese will jump off the plate and kick you. It does mean you might find a grilled cheese with prosciutto cotto, brie and fig jam on country sourdough.
Pura Vida means "pure life," and the menus are full of fresh, seasonal ingredients to reflect the name. Evans coined the "urban picnic" concept of lighter, tapas-style choices for dinner. Evans knows this is the Midwest, though, and promises you won't leave hungry.
Vegetarians and vegans have a friend in Evans, too. The menu always includes plenty of choices, from African peanut stew to vegan pho. Cheese-lovers also have a champion here, as the Wisconsin Cheese Board picked Evans as one of eight chef ambassadors in the U.S.
Live life to the fullest. Farm fresh, creative & funky cuisine. Craft brews, cocktails, wine. Introducing urban picnic to Cleveland with the best...