Opening on Lyndale
April 22 is the day that the doors open at Heyday (2700 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., www.heydayeats.com).
The work of chef Jim Christiansen (La Belle Vie, Union) and front-of-the-house guy Lorin Zinter (La Belle Vie, Sea Change), the restaurant also has bread maker Jo Garrison (Rye Deli, La Belle Vie) and wine director Dani Megears on the team. "She also comes with a La Belle Vie background," said Zinter. "Do you see a theme here?"
Business partner Mike Prickett is the hand behind the restaurant's design, and Minneapolis artist Terrance Payne created a handful of works for the dining room and bar.
As for prices, nothing on Christiansen's menu exceeds $20, and wines by the glass start at $6. Cocktails are by Britt Tracy, a Parlour and Marvel Bar veteran.
The restaurant will serve dinner daily starting at 5 p.m.
Tiny building, big plans
After what seems like forever, construction-wise, the Tiny Diner (1024 E. 38th St., Mpls.) is nearing the home stretch, just in time for the growing season.
The restaurant will be surrounded by gardens "to demonstrate the variety of foods that we can grow in an urban setting," said owner Kim Bartmann. In addition, the restaurant will cultivate its own urban farm, a double lot near the Riverview Theater in south Minneapolis, as well as collaborating with Garden Farme in Ramsey.
Chef Brian Jones was recruited from New York City (Queens). His most recent stints are with affiliated M. Wells Steakhouse and M. Wells Dinette, the cafeteria inside MoMA PS1.
"We're really excited about Brian, and it seems like the thing for 2014," said Bartmann, referring to the recent influx of out-of-town chefs, including Erik Anderson and Gavin Kaysen. "Everyone is either coming here or they're moving back home, so I guess we're just piling on like everyone else."
Why a diner? "Partly because it was there, this tiny little building, just waiting for something to happen to it," said Bartmann. "But diners have been having a heyday over the past few years. Some have been updating with contemporary menus and locally raised food, which is where Brian is coming from. It seems like the next-best thing. Or the next-next thing, I guess."
The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Its most notable physical feature is the patio's distinctive roof, a solar array of translucent reflector panels.
"Even on a crappy day, it will look like the sky is blue," said Bartmann with a laugh. "It puts rose-colored glasses to shame."
Bartmann is aiming for a post-Memorial Day opening.
"We invite everyone to come over and discover what a great neighborhood this is," she said.
May is Preservation Month, and Bartmann's Red Stag Supperclub (509 1st Av. NE., Mpls., www.redstagsupperclub.com) will be joining forces with the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and creating a weekly series of heritage menus. Chef T.J. Rawitzer, who oversees the culinary operations at Bartmann's properties (including Barbette, Pat's Tap and Bryant-Lake Bowl) will create appetizers, entrees and cocktails based on a different architectural style or era, from Victorian (May 5-11) to Midcentury Modern (May 26-June 1).
"We're sort of substituting our regular specials program with menus inspired by this idea," said Bartmann. "We like the work that the Preservation Alliance does. And you've got to keep these chefs hopping, right?"