For its first foray into the suburbs, restaurant group Jester Concepts is trying something new. For one thing, there's a free parking lot.

With a portfolio of restaurants in the urban cores of Minneapolis and St. Paul, having an option besides valet or press-your-luck meter parking makes one thing clear: we're not in the North Loop anymore.

Co-owner Brent Frederick decided to open Starling in his west side Edina neighborhood back in the thick of the pandemic, when his downtown restaurants — namely Borough and Parlour — were facing a lack of business accounts and happy hours. Something closer to home made sense, not just for him but for all the people working from home in the area.

Four years later, Starling has opened at the base of the new Maison Green development. And its menu is just as much a departure from the group's other restaurants as its address. P.S. Steak and Butcher & the Boar are heavily meat-focused; Parlour is all about burgers; Borough is contemporary American. Starling has a little of everything.

"Edina and Minnesota don't necessarily need another American food [restaurant], there are plenty of those," Frederick, Jester's founder and co-owner, told the Star Tribune when the restaurant was first announced. "We're not going to stand out if we don't do something unique and different."

Location: 4925 Eden Av., Edina, 952-295-8180, There's a small parking lot right outside the entrance to the restaurant.

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.

The food: Curry powder-dusted fries with sambal mayo ($10), bánh mì-style pork belly and pâté tacos ($15), and a thick and beautifully rare burger ($18) were the favorites at my table. The menu from culinary director Wyatt Evans is snackable, shareable and global. Evans, who focused on closer-to-home flavors at his seasonally tied St. Paul restaurant Heirloom (that closed in 2018), dabbles with global flavors that have inched their way into being commonplace for anyone with access to a good Trader Joe's. Sambal, ube, and furikake all make appearances. And where else can you have bites of butter chicken, poke, green curry walleye, yakisoba and a turmeric-spiced fried chicken sandwich, all at the same time?

The dinner menu is broken up into small plates ($7 to $18), tacos ($15 for three) and large plates ($21 and up), but any of them could easily be shared among the table. Despite the midmorning hours, egg dishes are not available weekdays, and the lunch menu is nominally smaller than what's offered at dinner. On weekends, there are a half-dozen brunch plates.

Sharing kicks into high gear with family-style feasts that need to be ordered 48 hours in advance. There are two, and each can serve a party of six to eight people. Bo Ssam is a Korean-style slow-roasted pork shoulder with a variety of fixings ($220), and a Moroccan seafood boil brings out a huge bowl of crab legs, mussels, clams and shrimp in a North African-inspired harissa broth with chickpeas ($250). If you partake, know that the rest of the menu is still available, and it wouldn't be out of the question to augment the shellfish extravaganza with a burger and fries, as my party did.

Desserts ($8 and up) are equally globe-spanning, with purple ube tres leches cake, a dense Mexican chocolate ganache tart, and churros with ice cream.

The drinks: The cocktail menu ($14-$16), from bar director Mike Liay (a former Travail bartender), gets playful with classic drinks. An example: taking a Cosmopolitan and turning it fuchsia with ube; the purple yam gives it a rich hint of toasted marshmallow for a Cosmo like no other. The Vietnamese Coffee Martini is a lightly spiced spin on the espresso martini, with rich sweetened condensed milk. Grapefruit takes a turn on the grill before going into a Paloma. Each of these can be ordered nonalcoholic with just as much success. Wine by the glass ($10 and up) and local, Japanese and Mexican beer ($6 and up) are available, too.

The vibe: A long bar made of monkeypod wood greets you behind the host stand, and residents of the new apartment building were already filling the seats for happy hour noshes. Design firm Shea is behind the pretty dining room, which breaks off from both sides of the central entryway. Curved, plush turquoise banquettes and enough plants to fill an arboretum give the place a tropical feel. The shades on the parking-lot-facing windows hadn't been installed yet at the time of my dinner, and the setting sun lit the glass-walled room aglow (and maybe gave us all a bit of a tan). Fun detail: the bathrooms have a bird-chirping soundtrack.

Accessibility: Entrance to the restaurant is flat, and there's a lift from the residence side into the restaurant, and there's parking close to the building. Allergens (shellfish, nuts) are clearly marked on the menu, and there are many gluten-free options.

To tip or not to tip: A 5% healthcare surcharge is included with your bill, with a line for additional tip. Note that if you pre-book one of the feasts, a 20% service charge is included (in addition to that health charge).