Game changing chef Jamie Malone, who remade Grand Cafe from a quaint neighborhood haunt into wildly successfully modern French bistro is transforming another Minneapolis restaurant. She and her team have descended on Eastside to give it a timely overhaul and Minneapolis’ East Town neighborhood might never be the same. The menu will serve family-style dishes, the vibe will be old-school Versace glamazon, and the cocktails are about to become world-class.
When last we left Eastside, it was the Ryan Burnett-owned restaurant in the burgeoning edge of downtown Minneapolis. It had opened three years ago with great fanfare that had since dwindled to a little neighborhood toot. Burnett was ready to move on and Malone’s team, along with her partner there, Dennis Monroe, decided to take over the business. With Malone comes Grand Cafe general manager Nikki Klocker and, new to the team, Sam Marshall, relocated from New York to Minneapolis to act as General Manager of Eastside.
“Things are about to get awesomely weird,” said Malone. Changes will happen gradually, over the next three to six months. Malone dishes are already making their way onto the menu, mingling with a few Eastside mainstays.
The eventual menu will begin with first courses “to be shared before dinner,” small, fun to eat dishes, a section of dinner-for-one entrees, and another section of family-style platters. It’s there that the roast duck will be, cooked at intervals, the same way Grand Cafe makes their otherworldly juicy roast chicken, ensuring perfectly rendered fat and utterly succulent meat. The duck will be served with Chinese mustard and pancakes for sharing. There’s also a whole roasted bass stuffed with pork cheek, brown butter, caper berries and sunchokes. Tables will have Lazy Susans for easy sharing.
Marshall was born in Minneapolis, but has been working in top bars over the last few years. She had slid into Malone and Klocker’s DM’s and said, “You’re awesome. Let’s do something together.” Her timing fortuitously coincided with this opportunity. Marshall comes with impeccable bar pedigree. She was the bar manager at Booker & Dax, New York City’s lauded and lamented bar that was revered for it’s boundary-pushing and inventive techniques. Her bar staff will be making use of the Spinzall, a kitchen centrifuge that quickly infuses flavors into liquids. One of her initial cocktails, a Bonal Spritz meant to be shared, arrives in a giant golden swan.
The new vibe of the space has a 90’s aesthetic and playlist. Just check out the Instagram to see what that means. Light fixtures are being changed and they are having a lot of fun with the music.
For those not lucky enough to live in the area, Eastside has $3 valet Monday through Friday, and there’s plenty of free parking on the weekends. However, those that want to pilot their own golden swan might want to Uber.