Monday, May 18

The Brass Monkey

A few weeks ago I had the chance to preview The Brass Monkey's "Hits of the 70s"  and Brasserie menus. The West Loop restaurant is relatively new to the Chicago dining scene and has a truly unique concept. Everything from the decor to the dishes and drinks is influenced by the 70s. The Hits of the 70s menu features modern approaches to classic American 70s dishes, while the Brasserie menu includes French-inspired entrees.

The Brass Monkey
The Brass Monkey 
The Brass Monkey
The Brass Monkey
Much of chef Ryan Wombacher's menu is inspired by Julia Child recipes and includes playful appetizers including a cheese ball with Ritz crackers, fish styx (which actually have something that resembles fish inside), wild boar meatballs, and ground lamb sloppy joe sliders. 

The Brass Monkey
Cheese Ball, Fish Styx, Meatballs 
The Brass Monkey
Sloppy Thirds
Entrees include seared duck breast with peppercorn reduction, duck confit, and creamy polenta,  as well as pork chop & apple sauce (cue Peter Brady's Humphrey Bogart impression) with caramelized apples, squash puree and cabbage (one of my favorites of the evening).  

The Brass Monkey
Seared Duck Breast 
The Brass Monkey
Pork Chop & Apple Sauce
The roasted Amish chicken and squid ink linguini were not my favorites. The chicken lacked a punch of flavor, while the pasta's texture could have been more al dente (the scallops on top were seared beautifully though).

The Brass Monkey
Roasted Amish Chicken 
The Brass Monkey
Squid Ink Linguini
I really enjoyed the roasted Skuna Bay salmon with kale, roasted cauliflower, French lentils and tomato relish. The dish was nicely plated and vibrant.

The Brass Monkey
Roasted Salmon
It wouldn't be the 70s without a TV dinner. The Brass Monkey's version includes an upscale version of meatloaf with shortrib and A1 glaze, as well as traditional accompaniments, mashed potatoes, creamed corn and peas. While this was a very fun and true-to-form dish, I can't imagine actually ordering it off the menu. I think its appearance could be a little off-putting for some. I will say, the meatloaf had great flavor.

The Brass Monkey
TV Dinner
The Brass Monkey
TV Dinner
Lastly we enjoyed WAY too many desserts. As you know, I'm a sweets person and I thought the desserts were the best part of our meal. We tried the s'mores with a graham cracker brownie (genius!), toasted marshmallows, and cinnamon gelato,  as well as the beautifully toasted baked Alaska.

The Brass Monkey
S'mores
The Brass Monkey
Baked Alaska
My favorites were the bananas foster pudding and flourless chocolate cake. I thought they totally nailed it with both, especially that chocolate cake, which also came with a side of pistachio gelato!

The Brass Monkey
Bananas Foster Pudding 
The Brass Monkey
Flourless Chocolate Cake
The last two desserts were uber 70s, pineapple upside-down cake and dark chocolate fondue. I didn't try the chocolate fondue but the pineapple cake was certainly an upgrade from the version I was forced to make in home ec class in high school! I couldn't tell if they were using canned or fresh pineapple though.

The Brass Monkey
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
The Brass Monkey
Dark Chocolate Fondue 
If you're up for something different the next time you're near the West Loop, The Brass Monkey is your spot. I commend them for staying true to their 70s theme throughout the concept. It's clear attention to detail is their strength!

Note: my meal at The Brass Monkey was complimentary; however, the opinions expressed herein are my own.

The Brass Monkey
www.brassmonkeychicago.com
401 N. Morgan St.
Chicago, IL 60642
312.763.3316
Brass Monkey Brasserie on Urbanspoon

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