Joining the V. Mertz family in 2011, Matthew Brown exudes passion for the restaurant, its rich history, and the experience of all who come..
Matthew's restaurant career began at the Blue Orchid in Lincoln, NE where he started as a host while studying Business Administration at UNL. After just six months, he found himself in the position of General Manager and began writing wine lists at the tender age of 21. Several years later, Matthew was recruited to join V. Mertz and has never looked back.
Matthew embraces the aged charm of the restaurant, while introducing an excited nerdiness for food and wine. His breadth of knowledge is approachable as he is eager to chat with guests about everything from tacos to caviar, Moscow Mules to vintage Bordeaux.
“The key is to focus on the individual experience and cater to each table,” he said. “The goal is really making peoples' days better.”
Matthew is also very active in the Nebraska culinary scene working with the Omaha Restaurant Association, the Metropolitan Community College Culinary School, VinNEBRASKA, and DiNE magazine. Finally, he's really into puns.
Matthew Brown was recently featured in "The Rise of Napa Valley Wineries", by Mark Gudgel.
Jonathan Miller is no stranger to the kitchen, and as the head chef of V. Mertz, is no stranger to celebrating happiness through the form of food; something he considers of utmost importance when discussing his relationship with dining. Starting in kitchens 12 years ago, John has worked with many chefs, many cuisines, and culinary styles. These experiences taught him what he considers the key to being a great chef, “To deliver a unique, creative experience, and make people happy.”
A Nebraska native, John got his start in the Omaha area at the age of 16. He later spent five years in Denver landing in a downtown steakhouse, Guard and Grace, known for its high-quality food and high volume. Upon returning to Omaha in 2019, John joined the team at V. Mertz. He notes the change of pace and focus on the fine details of food preparation and plate presentation as pivotal in his culinary journey. John is uniquely inspired by Asian cuisine and flavors, recognizing citrus, spice, and umami as key concepts he likes to work with in his own dish creation.
As head chef, he is excited to move the menu in different directions and stay committed to an ever-changing menu, exploring new flavors and styles of cooking. John’s passion is strongly displayed and simply executed in his devotion to the kitchen staff, the constant desire to make better, more delicious food, and to the overall experience of all who dine at V.Mertz. “I keep it simple,” says John. “My main goal is to make really great food.”
Lead Server, Certified Sommelier
When it comes to capturing the tradition of V.Mertz and the elements of fine dining, David Eckler
is a true professional. Born in Vichy, France, David developed his skills by studying at Lycée
Profesionel de Cusset and Lycée de Chamalières earning two diplomas in the areas of culinary,
service, and hospitality. With his adeptness for the industry, he worked at Michelin star
Hostellerie de Levernois in Burgundy and further went on to work in the UK serving at some of
the region’s most recognized fine-dining establishments including Michelin star La ‘Ortolan in
With polished English and adventure on his mind, David set off for the US in 1997. He initially landed in Orlando, FL at Chefs de France in Disney World's famed Epcot where he met his princess, an Omaha native. Together they returned to Omaha where David joined the V.Mertz family in 1999. Since then, David has been integral in defining the V.Mertz experience for guests and friends that come to dine.
He says his love for the restaurant stems from it being, “a small, family-owned place with a lot of character.” He especially loves the rustic, yet elegant feel the space provides. “It’s not too fancy, but not too casual,” he said, “I love everything here; the food, the wine, the people, it’s all very special.”
David is also a Certified Sommelier and professional snack packer, always ending shifts with a banana or homemade wrap
Bar Manager, Lead Bartender
Since 2021, Elizabeth has led the bar program at V. Mertz and plays a pivotal role in managing our guest’s experience. She has excelled at every level of the hospitality industry and brings professionalism and passion to the team at V. Mertz. Elizabeth’s eye for detail and ability to craft cocktails with unique flavors adds excitement to every table.
Recently, Elizabeth has been adding global travel to her educational background. With trips to Ireland, Spain, and Italy in just the last two years, guests can expect to see a diverse range of inspiration, ingredients, and flavors on her menus. While patrons are encouraged to be adventurous, she is also completely happy making a great Spritz.