James Beard-nominated chef Jamie Malone’s Eastside flips into a Italian restaurant and market called EaTo on Friday, August 6, bringing downtown Minneapolis a fresh new spot to sample pizzas, salads, sandwiches, housemade sausages, coffees, and soft serve gelato.
EaTo will open in a few phases, starting with a new roll-up takeout window and patio service for now (305 Washington Avenue South). Malone, whose acclaimed French restaurant Grand Cafe went dark on Grand Avenue last fall, maintains a consulting role at the reimagined EaTo venture with help from chef Matt Henrickson. Monroe Enterprises, the hospitality team behind Grand Cafe and the space’s most recent iteration as Eastside, is still the owner. Initial hours are 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
While Eastside stayed dormant during the pandemic, Malone used the site to test drive takeout pop-ups La Pistola and Woodfire. La Pistola’s taleggio and rosemary honey pizza resurfaces at EaTo, and other opening pies come in confit chicken or cacio y pepe varieties. Fried meats include steak culotte with mushroom cream and smoked button mushrooms, and a sandwich section features a fried maitake or mortadella, fried chicken, and gruyere option.
EaTo also debuts with a takeout-friendly creation the kitchen calls pizza puffs, which consist of cheesy pockets packed with spicy nduja or olive.
“It’s like Totino’s pizza rolls for adults,” owner/operator Matt Monroe tells the Star Tribune.
Mixologist Marco Zappia of 3Leche shakes up classics with cocktails like a mandarin negroni. There’s also espresso drinks, aperitifs, and digestifs to start.
EaTo’s indoor areas will go live in the fall, starting with a sit-down cafe and marketplace selling imported Italian goods in October. Come November, look for a meat counter selling to-go steaks and a bottle shop with selections from Grand Cafe’s sommelier and EaTo’s beverage director Scarlett Carrasco-Polanco. Customers’ purchased wines can be popped and poured tableside.
Carrasco-Polanco is also curating the August wines for Eater Wine Club, the site’s monthly wine subscription service. Her theme is focused on grape migrations, aka wines rooted in the same family of grapes but made many miles apart.