With Barrio, Burch, and Bar La Grassa already in his collection, Ryan Burnet is taking a swing at something different: a new restaurant without a star-powered chef behind the line. Eastside is opening on Washington Avenue, across from the Depot, on September 29 with the relatively unknown chef Remy Pettus behind the stoves. He's a local boy who grew up in this very same neighborhood, and he's worked in some serious kitchens across the country, but the big important question is: how does he cook? We all say modern American pretty loosely these days, and restaurateurs say "under promise over deliver", but we still don't know what to expect. So here's a little tease of what you might get at the stylishly turned Eastside.
Calamari ' a la plancha' was a smoky dish with bits of capers, fresno chilies, and crunchy pistachios. Those rings were delicate and light.
Flatbread with pulled Duroc pork, seasonal mushrooms, burrata and a touch of truffled balsamic. The crust was sturdy and able to hold up the goods. I wasn't repelled by the balsamic, and you know that's an issue for me.
Shishito peppers were charred soft and treated to a bit of lime, mint, and tangy paneer cheese. It had a playful balance and was a nice change of pace from the traditional soy, ginger, bonito flake mix.
The dish I liked the most was this humble roasted half chicken dish. Sitting on top of charred seasonal veg, the boned and lightly crisped chicken has great seasoning and a touch of foie gras butter sauce. This is the kind of dish I bet will play with the residents in the condos above and around. Something that reads homey and comfortable, but tastes much better than something they could quickly make in their condo kitchen.
The NOT FINAL/WORKING menu is below, there will still be edits and changes before opening, so don't get all worked up.
The space is light industrial chic, the tiled floor is gorgeous. Lots of muted gray tones riff through the space that starts with the bar and open kitchen, lengthening out to the main dining room and private spaces. It's not huge, there are about 160 seats. The bar windows will open to create an outdoor space with inside/outside seating, and the cocktail menu designed by the Tattersall crew should help keep them filled. Happy Hour starts from 4-6 and dinner begins at 5, they'll see what the late night business is like but foresee staying open to midnight on some nights. Weekend brunch is also on the books. So far, I'm in.