Visit Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar in Dubuque

The Pacifico bass features tomato curry, spinach, mushroom, preserved lemon and mint gremolata.

As soon as you walk into Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar, you know you’re in for a fantastic meal. The exposed brick and industrial lighting set the mood, but the reputation sets the standards.

The Dubuque restaurant is a scratch kitchen, so every dish is made in-house using locally sourced ingredients from area farmers. Chef and owner Kevin Scharpf was a James Beard 2022 semifinalist in the Best Chef Midwest category, and is a firm believer in creating food that’s authentic yet approachable. As its name suggests, the kitchen is open to the dining room so guests can watch the magic happen.

The menu consists of local harvests, so it changes depending on what’s in season. Right now, look for a wild mushroom pizza with arugula, chilled corn soup (hello, Iowa sweet corn), handmade pasta with crisp peas and prosciutto, or the Pacifico bass with veggies. Find the full menu, plus more about Scharpf’s fresh-food philosophy on their website.

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