Former Longman & Eagle chef Matt Kerney’s 20-seat fine dining restaurant opens tonight in Uptown. Brass Heart is a special-occasion spot that features Midwestern ingredients in tasting menus with 12 to 15 courses, including a vegan menu.
Opening day reservations are sold out via Tock. The omnivore menu is 14 courses with Latin influences including gazpacho and pata negra. Kerney’s talked much about his take on rice and beans, which he calls the world’s most popular dish. His version uses long-grain rice and black beans drizzled with caramel made from pig trotters. It comes with a pork-fat streusel and puffed chicharron.
Kerney makes uses of a whole prawn in one of his omnivore dishes, creating an umami butter with its brains and seasoning it with salt from dehydrated prawn blood and vinegar derived from its shell. That menu costs $185 per person.
The full vegan menu isn’t immediately available for publication, which includes a condensed avocado toast-like dish served like an ice cream cone with a sourdough cone, avocado sorbet and finger limes. The cone’s filled with corn crème and freeze-dried corn vinegar. That menu costs $165 per person. GM/beverage director Sarah Traynor worked at Blackbird pastry chef Shawn Anderson worked with Kerney at Longman & Eagle.
Restaurant partner Margaret Eisen designed the sophisticated restaurant and transformed the former 42 Grams space, which closed last year. There are black and white shots from photographer Jesse Lirola on the white walls which are lined with banquettes. White curtains line the windows allowing for light or privacy. Stroll through the space and check out the omnivore menu below.
Last year, there was worry about a lack of fine dining options in Chicago after a rash of closings including Tru and 42 Grams. Brass Heart swings the pendulum the other way.