Chicago welcomed a new tasting menu restaurant to its rich dining scene with the opening of Brass Heart (4662 North Broadway). Michelin-starred Chef Matt Kerney creates a tasting menu experience that is as progressive as it is approachable, procuring premium local and global ingredients. Kerney opens his first independent restaurant alongside his partners Vincent Maiorano and Margaret Eisen after meeting the pair during his work at Chicago’s Schwa. The restaurant features an intimate 20-seat dining room with a sleek and sophisticated yet casually understated atmosphere. The restaurant is conscious of vegetarian diners, offering a separate fifteen-course vegan menu alongside their regular seasonal tasting menu.
Kerney’s name is well-known for his work at Chicago’s Longman & Eagle where his culinary prowess helped the restaurant earn a Michelin star. His trademark nose-to-tail cuisine at Longman will carry over to Brass Heart but in a more refined, less rustic way. A prawn dish on the menu at Brass Heart makes use of the whole creature, poaching then sautéing the shellfish in an umami-packed butter made with its brains and seasoning the dish with a salt made from dehydrated prawn blood and vinegar made from its shells. Kerney will also serve his take on the world’s most popular dish rice and beans, using long grain rice with black beans cooked in stock, drizzled tableside with caramel made from pig trotters and served with a pork fat streusel and puffed chicharrons.
Wanting to be accommodating of vegetarian guests, Kerney crafts an entire vegan tasting menu, the first of its kind in Chicago. He aims to create vegan food that is still incredibly flavorful and just as appealing as the restaurant’s regular seasonal menu. A vegan dish that also appears on the non-vegan menu is a course based on the flavors of avocado toast but in the format of a small ice cream cone, featuring avocado sorbet and finger limes served in a small sourdough cone filled with corn crème and freeze-dried corn vinegar.
Pairing with Brass Heart’s menu is a carefully curated beverage program from Brass Heart’s partner Vincent Maiorano as well as General Manager and Beverage Director Sarah Traynor. The wine list focuses on wines from smaller regions with special attention to organic and biodynamic producers. Besides wine pairings, Traynor also crafts a spirit-free beverage program, with n/a cocktails to progress with the meal. She makes recommendations on spirits that can be incorporated into the drinks for guests who do wish to imbibe. Kerney, himself a beer enthusiast, will be working with local craft breweries who will also be featured on the beverage menu.
Designed by partner Margaret Eisen, the restaurant’s 20-seat dining room features sophisticated-chic décor that welcomes guests with a casual ambiance. The restaurant features brass and metallic notes throughout, the most notable being a namesake brass heart hanging from the restaurant’s entryway. Brass Heart will feature rotating local photography with the opening collection from music and fashion photographer Jesse Lirola.
Brass Heart’s fifteen-course seasonal tasting menu is $185 per person, and the vegan tasting menu is $165. The restaurant will be open Tuesday – Saturday, and reservations can be made through Tock. For additional details, please visit Brass Heart’s website or call the restaurant at 773.564.9680. Guests can follow Brass Heart on Instagram or Facebook for more updates.
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