A lot has changed for chef Brian Howard since he decamped from the Strip to open his own restaurant in the neighborhood. But nothing has altered his landscape more than becoming a family man.
“Once I had my son [Brix], everything changed for me,” he says. “I grew up a lot in the sense of having more patience and becoming more restrained in my style and the way I look at things.
“My son is the driving force. He’s going to grow up in the restaurant, he’s hanging out there quite a bit and he gets excited. Without him and the support of my wife [Wendy], I wouldn’t have done this. I’d probably be cooking behind someone else’s stove right now.”
Instead, Howard has his own place, Sparrow + Wolf. It’s set to open on Spring Mountain Road in mid-May, and while the restaurant concept has shifted over time and moved from Downtown to Chinatown, it’s still one of the most anticipated dining developments in the city.
“The concept has evolved for the better as I’ve learned and grown, and it’s really coming to fruition in the right way,” says the chef, who has spent time on the Strip at Bouchon, CatHouse and Comme Ça, to name a few. “I believe our food fits better here, and we’ll be able to cook a little more freely.”
With longtime collaborators John Anthony (general manager) and Justin Kingsley Hall (chef de cuisine) in the mix, Sparrow + Wolf promises to be one of the most interesting new restaurants in Las Vegas.
“We’re just setting out to cook good food for the community,” Howard says. “If you’ve been to the original Blue Ribbon Brasserie in New York City, that’s the stylistic standpoint, being that industry late-night hot spot, the place to go after work. That’s what we want to cater to. We are made for the neighborhood, and we’re not focused on anything but great food and hospitality.”