One of my favorite spots in Charlotte, North Carolina is the corner booth at The Asbury at The Dunhill Hotel. Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, I love the seat by the window. I love watching the city walk by, love the natural light and watching the city light up as the sun goes down.
And the food. The Asbury has one of the most creatively powerful menus in the city. The kitchen is headed up by Chef Matthew Krenz whos list of accolades just keeps getting longer. Most recently he was named the 2017 Chef of the Year by North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the restaurant was named one of the top five restaurants in the city by Charlotte Magazine.
Meet the Chef.
Matthew Krenz is not only the Executive Chef at The Asbury, he is the Culinary Director for The Dunhill Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. When he’s not in the kitchen, he’s on his family’s cattle ranch in New Salem, NC. Krenz Ranch is a boutique beef producer and supplies all of the beef served at The Asbury.
Chef Matthew is one of the few chefs in North Carolina that surprise me with their presentation and intention, but also give my palate something to think about.
Matthew is a true Southern boy. He’s lived in Atlanta, Tampa, Houston, and Charlotte over the years. His grandparents taught him to pickle, can, and preserve food when he was young. Ths instilled in him a passion for local food, farming, and the joy of artisan goods. He trained at Central Piedmont Community College and landed his first fine-dining job at the James Beard-nominated Four Square Restaurant in Durham, NC. He also helped Chef Shane Ingram open G2B in Durham, NC and [One] Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC. He was the Executive Sous Chef at Passion8 Bistro in Fort Mill, SC before joining The Asbury team as Chef de Cuisine under Executive Chef Chris Coleman. When Chris left for Stoke in Charlotte, Chef Matthew was promoted to Executive Chef. He’s landed features in Local Palate Magazine, Vogue, USA Today and Southern Living. He’s not just one of my favorites, he’s one of the South’s best young chefs.
If there are deviled eggs on the menu, I’m going to try them. These flavor bombs were piled high. We’ve got southern-style deviled eggs with fried skin, Nashville hot sauce, and bread and butter pickles.
Also, at the top of my favorite list is risotto. This was a small serving, but that was not a bad thing. It was powerful and layered with beef heart risotto, blue cheese, and cherries. I was mesmerized!
The pastry chef, Miranda Brown, could not be a better fit for Chef Matthew’s culinary style. Pictured above is her White Chocolate Panna Cotta with Fennel Gelee, Milk Crumb, and Apple and Fennel Relish. Her desserts are perfect pairings to the lunch and dinner menu, and I’d advise making room for more than one.
The Asbury takes reservations for both lunch and dinner, but I strolled right in for lunch last time I was in town without a reservation. Remember, get the corner booth by the window. Best seat in the house.