Guest Review: Brazen Open Kitchen; Dubuque, IA

brazenThe following review comes from Meat, excellent review that leaves your mouth watering. I NEED SOME FRIED CHICKEN!! Here it is, thanks again Meat!

My wife and I were able to have our first date night since our son was born so we decided to go to Dubuque’s best new restaurant, Brazen. Located in revamped Millwork District, the old exposed brick couple with the open kitchen theme makes for an eclectic atmosphere.

When seated, we ordered drinks (my wife got a Surly coffee bender and I a gin martini). The server then brought bread and butter (bread was great. Chewy inside crunchy exterior with a slight char).

IMG950295.jpgFor the first course we ordered a crab cake. I have not had great experience with crab cakes recently (I wanted duck tacos but she insisted). As per usual, she made the right call. The crab cake was tender and full of jumbo lump crab meat with very little binder. It sat on a carrot romesco sauce and topped with a cranberry fermented fennel. The combination of the sweet crab meat, earthy and spicy romesco, and tangy/pungest fennel made this a home run. I only got two bites!

Next we split a wedge salad. Which was good. Good ingredients. Good flavors.

For the entree my wife ordered the fried chicken which was the best either of us have ever had. Flavorful and juicy, if I cooked that I’d eat it everyday. In fact, I am about to polish off the leftovers in the fridge after I type this. Served with the chicken was a corn bread stuffed with goat cheese and onions. The flavor was good but the combo of the cornbread texture and goat cheese texture made it a bit of a chalky mouthfeel. The chicken was outrageously good and I don’t care enough about cornbread to take anything away from that fact.

I ordered the short rib with braised kombu and celery over a spiced carrot puree (I think it was the same romesco as the crab cake) and oyster mushrooms. The beef was wonderfully tender and flavorful. This was a very savory dish which I enjoyed immesnly. The only thing that we both agreed the dish could use was some heat and/or some acid (gastrique or some kind of vinegar). I would absolutely order it again. Washed it down with a pseudo sue!

No question that this is Dubuque’s best restaurant. Hopefully this starts a trend of similar restaurants coming to Dubuque.

Now in going to hammer that cold chicken!

Check out more on Brazen by visiting their website here:   Brazen Open Kitchen

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