This is one of those stories where everything about a restaurant has changed… except the name. And on January 1st, that finally will too. The restaurant opened on Prairie in Evanston in 2003 as Jacky’s Bistro, helmed by Jacky Pluton, a longtime, mostly North Shore-based French chef (he did have Pluton in River North in the mid 2000s). In 2009 it was renamed Jacky’s on Prairie and Jonadab Silva took over the kitchen and the front of the house, in time moving the restaurant away from French influences and toward an upscale American menu with global (notably Spanish) influences. Silva and his wife/pastry chef Erin Winston Silva bought the restaurant in September, and since any association with Pluton automatically suggests French food to north shore diners, they have decided to close Jacky’s on Prairie on New Year’s Eve, and reopen as Hota on January 6. But as it turns out, the new name isn’t entirely walking away from Pluton and the past— “Hota,” a phonetic pronunciation of the Spanish word for the letter J, is meant as a nod to the restaurant’s past (Jacky) and the present (Jonadab Silva). Besides lunch and dinner, Hota will offer brunch on Sundays and family style suppers on Sunday evening, which sound like a deal— $19 for adults and children under 11 for the price of their age.
Hota owners Erin Winston Silva and Jonadab Silva.