Seared lamb loin atop ground hazelnuts with whiskey jus, roasted and pickled yellow beets, and persimmon puree. (Photo: Katrina Roberts)
The high-profile closures of Grace and 42 Grams have put a dent in the city’s Michelin-awarded dining scene, but there may be another star on the horizon: Brass Heart, chef Matt Kerney’s 20-seat tasting menu-only restaurant, which has taken over the 42 Grams space and is bringing ambitious fine dining back to Uptown. Kerney’s unique take? Offering both omnivorous and vegan options of his nine- and 15-course menus.
“I had zero experience doing vegan food, so it was extremely difficult for me to construct this menu,” admits Kerney, who previously earned a Michelin star at Longman & Eagle and was initially inspired to experiment with vegan fare because one of his restaurant partners is vegan. “I really wanted to create something that wasn’t heavily industrialized protein alternatives or just a pile of vegetables, so it was a challenge to make something that’s both flavorful and interesting.”
The dining room of the Uptown restaurant. (Photo: Katrina Roberts)
Kerney adds that he is much more ingredient-focused at Brass Heart than he was at Longman & Eagle. “I had so much fun at Longman, but at Brass Heart I’m appealing to a different crowd, and this food just feels more true to who I am.”
Guests can expect requisite gourmet ingredients like truffles, pata negra and A5 Kobe beef, but Kerney also effortlessly incorporates simple “peasant” fare like cabbage rolls and beans and rice, plus vegan menu highlights like bright saffron bouillabaisse and shockingly good huitlacoche cashew cheese. 4662 N. Broadway, 773.564.9680