Demi (212 N. 2nd St., Mpls., demimpls.com) the small-scaled sibling to chef Gavin Kaysen's Spoon and Stable and Bellecour, is scheduled to open in mid-February. Feb. 15, to be exact, and it's no coincidence that it's the day after Valentine's Day.
"That's on purpose," Kaysen said. "I'll deal with it in 2020. Valentine's Day will be on a Friday next year, and we'll do the whole weekend as Valentine's. But this year, it's not worth it."
Much of the cooking will be performed in front of guests, who will be seated at a 20-seat, U-shaped counter that surrounds a cooking station and is flanked by a second cooking line.
"I'll be here a lot, because this is your dream as a cook, to be this close to people," Kaysen said.
There will be a ratio of two guests per one member of the staff.
"The whole intention is that the cooks have to know how to serve, and the servers have to know how to help the cooks," Kaysen said. "Everybody is equal." The team is headed by Spoon and Stable veterans, including chef de cuisine Adam Ritter and general manager Tristan Pitre.
The menu will change frequently.
"The goal is to try to change it at least once a month," Kaysen said. "We might find staples on the menu that always stay the same. For example, no matter what time of year, the very first thing you'll get is a broth. Maybe in the summer it's a cold broth, and in the wintertime it's a warm broth, because your hands are so cold from being outside."
All seating will be made via prepaid online reservation on the restaurant's website. The plan is to offer a two-hour experience and a 2 ½-hour experience.
"We're not saying how many courses we're going to do," Kaysen said. "The reason is twofold. One, if we can see that you can consume more food, we'll be happy to give you more. If you eat like me, you can eat 30 courses in two hours. But second — and frankly, more important — is when you put a course number on something, people start to count, and when you start to count, you start to lose some of the value and the romance of the experience. If I say, 'OK, it's a 15-course menu,' at around course 10 you might be thinking, 'Can I do five more?' And you start to psyche yourself out. And I just want you to relax, I want you to enjoy the experience."
The online reservation system will open on Feb. 4 at 10 a.m.
"Our goal is to charge $95 for the two-hour experience, and $125 for the 2 ½-hour experience," said Kaysen.
The 1,200-square foot space was designed by Linda Kaysen — Kaysen's wife — and Shea Design, the Minneapolis firm behind the look of Kaysen's two four-star properties, Spoon and Stable and Bellecour.
"It was rewarding to be part of Gavin's team, where every aspect of the space was thoughtfully designed, curated and executed," said architect David Shea.
For those interested in the design details, the dining counter is fashioned from walnut, the adjacent central workstation is covered in milky Carrara marble, the velvet-covered swivel counter stools are West Elm's Mid Century model and the walls are painted Benjamin Moore's jewel-like Vanderberg Blue.
"My wife picked that color out," Kaysen said. "I expressed to her that I wanted more of a dark space compared to our other spaces, which are so light. So she picked this color because it's so rich, and warm."
The restaurant is peppered with plenty of artist-designed details. Kaysen's brother Sean Kaysen crafted beautiful wood service trays and boxes, including sleek storage containers for the custom steak knives that were created for the restaurant by Jackson Schwartz of Hennepin Made in Minneapolis; the knives' handles were fashioned from a tree on nearby Nicollet Island that was felled by lightning.
The delicate, one-of-a-kind ceramics — made by Chicago potter Ashley Lin — just might make the restaurant's dishwasher the most valuable person on the payroll.
The building dates to the late 19th century, and the original tenant, the Barrington Hall coffee company, is referenced throughout. Sean Kaysen fashioned parts from three coffee roasters into the planters that greet guests on the sidewalk. After Barrington Hall invoices and brochures were discovered in the building's attic, Twin Cities artist Laurie Borggreve cleverly incorporated some of their elements into a memorable artwork that graces the dining room.
Kaysen said the restaurant has been designed to be conversation-friendly.
"I think it'll have energy, but I don't think it'll be super-loud," he said. "And I think it needs some energy. If it's 20 people and it feels like church, then I'm going to have a problem with that."
Demi is located on the same North Loop block as Spoon and Stable; they face each other across an alley.
"We have a guest who eats at the Spoon all the time, he's the best," Kaysen said. "When we first opened, he said, 'You know, Gavin, the main landmark in the North Loop is Sex World, and you're going to change that.' That's a lot of pressure."
Openings and closings
Edinburgh USA golf course in Brooklyn Park is about to get a new restaurant. Clubhouse restaurant Girvan Grille closed at the end of December, and in its place will be a "comfortable, clubby American bistro" operated by D'Amico & Partners, according to a news release.
The Brooklyn will be open to members and the public for lunch, dinner and post-golf drinks.
The menu will focus on "classic, comforting American dishes, elevated with fresh, contemporary touches and locally sourced ingredients," said D'Amico co-founder Richard D'Amico.
The new restaurant is just part of a $1.5 million clubhouse upgrade, the biggest renovation since a restaurant was added in 1991. The steaks- and chops-focused Girvan Grille came into the space in 2008. (8700 Edinbrook Crossing, Brooklyn Park, 763-315-8550, edinburghusa.com)
Brooklyn Park's Economic Development Authority owns the clubhouse. Under an agreement with the city of Brooklyn Park, D'Amico will also handle catering for events at Edinburgh.
Barely more than a year after opening at the busy corner of Lyndale and Lake Street in Minneapolis, the Hasty Tasty is taking a break. The sudden closure is meant to be temporary, said owner Michael Veazey.
The wood-fired, rotisserie-focused restaurant offered internationally inspired barbecue, smoked meats and veggie-forward dishes from chef Chris Gerster, and a cocktail program from Bittercube.
Jan. 9 was its last day of regular service. The plan is to reopen this spring.
"The brand is still alive," said Veazey, who also owns the building. "We're just taking this opportunity for an extended break during the doldrums of winter to recalibrate and rejuvenate it for spring." He said he is looking for a "strategic partner" to help him expand the business and attract more customers.
In the meantime, Veazey is renting the kitchen out as a wholesale production facility. "Our smoker holds 1,000 pounds of whatever we want: meat, vegetables, grain. So we talked to some breweries about doing some collaboration there, and food trucks are interested."
Staff members were informed they could come back to work when the restaurant reopens, Veazey said. "I've had an amazing staff, and I hope we can team up again."
A Winter Hibernation Party featuring cheese curds, brisket burnt end tacos and other Hasty Tasty dishes will send off the restaurant for the season on Fri. and Sat. starting at 5 p.m. (701 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-545-5899, thehastytastympls.com)
North Loop Chinese restaurant Jun has been closed since late October due to water damage from a malfunctioning sprinkler system. Co-owner Jessie Wong says it could take until mid-April or early May to reopen. (730 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-208-0706, junnorthloop.com)
Minneapolis bakery Mon Petit Cheri closed its Seward neighborhood doors last month, but fans of its caramel pecan rolls won't have to wait too long to get another sweet bite. The three-year-old bakery is moving to Stillwater, with an expected opening in March. The move allows for an expanded kitchen, which means a bigger menu. The new location will be at 310 S. Main St. (mpcbakery.com)
Also in Stillwater, Matchstick is now open at the new Hotel Crosby. The restaurant brings farm-to-table fare and small plates to the St. Croix River town's burgeoning restaurant scene. (232 N. Main St., Stillwater, 651-571-0111, matchstickgrill.com)
Food with a focus
Learn about climate over a beer or a farm-to-table meal at two series of events hosted by Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy. The explorer-founded organization is aiming to spark conversations around climate with trivia events at breweries and dinners at Twin Cities restaurants. The next Dine for Climate dinner is at Fig & Farro on Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-208-0609, figandfarro.com). The next Brewing a Better Climate trivia night is at Sisyphus Brewing on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. (712 Ontario Av. W., Mpls., 612-444-8674, sisyphusbrewing.com). The full schedule is at climategen.org.
A progressive kosher meal is on the menu at Keg & Case Market in St. Paul at 7 p.m. Jan. 27. St. Paul synagogue Temple of Aaron is in its fourth year hosting Crossriver Kosherfest, an annual kosher food festival. This time, a $25 ticket takes attendees around the market for bites at Bogart's Doughnut Co., House of Halva, Spinning Wylde, Clutch Brewing Co. and Gazta & Enhancements. (928 W. 7th St., St. Paul, tinyurl.com/y7rejhfu).
Chokecherries, staghorn sumac and native squash will be on the menu at a tasting of native cuisine to raise funds for the American Indian College Fund. Sean Sherman (aka the Sioux Chef) will emcee the Feb. 7 event, along with Ben Jacobs, Denver-based co-founder of Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery. Twin Cities chefs, still to be announced, will be doing the cooking with indigenous ingredients. The $45 tickets provides hors d'oeuvres, unlimited wine and beer and samples from each participating chef. The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Machine Shop (300 2nd St. SE., Mpls.). Get tickets at collegefund.org/eatss.
Read full reviews and other restaurant news at startribune.com/dining.