Photography by Libby Anderson

There’s been buzz galore about Gavin Kaysen’s latest creation, Demi. It will join sister eateries Spoon and Stable and Bellecour as a Twin Cities destination restaurant on February 15 but takes a decidedly different spin on an epicurean experience. The 20-seater offers two delectable tasting menus around a large bar in an intimate 1,200-square-foot space. As luck would have it, we had the opportunity to get a preview and thus feel compelled to tell you everything you need to know about Demi.


First of all, how do I even say the name?

DEH-mee. Think Lovato, not Moore.

Does it live up to all the hype?

Yes.

Really?

Yes, really.

What’s the deal?

Demi offers two tasting experiences differentiated by duration: 2 or 2.5 hours. And of course there are multiple beverage pairings to accompany the fare. Think intimate dinner party in your chicest friend’s beautiful home with ridiculously amazing cuisine prepared right before your eyes.

What’s on the menu?

That’s the best part: Patrons don’t know what’s in store. When you arrive, you don’t receive a menu. There’s just course after course of perfectly prepared dishes in just the right portion size. Bonus: Kaysen and his team are happy to accommodate allergies and sensitivities; just make a note when you purchase your ticket.

How many courses?

Weren’t you paying attention a minute ago? Yes, the evening is broken down into courses, but there’s not a specific number of them — there’s a specific duration. Kaysen designed it this way so that guests aren’t preoccupied keeping track of courses. That said, those familiar with tasting menus will recognize the logical flow from beginning to end.

How many seatings?

Unlike many tasting-menu restaurants that offer a couple set seatings each night, Demi takes reservations on the quarter hour, meaning that you and a gal pal might be starting your culinary journey 30 minutes after the party of four beside you begins theirs.

What’s this going to set me back?

The 2-hour Barrington Menu costs $95 per person while the 2.5-hour WC Whitney Menu costs $125 per person. Beverage pairings range from $45 for nonalcoholic drinks to $85 for rare wines.

I’m in. How do I get a reservation?

Kaysen wisely opted to have this be a ticketed affair, and in case you hadn’t heard, tickets for the months of February and March went on sale earlier this month and sold out in a matter of minutes. Moving forward, tickets will go on sale the first of each month for the following month. Meaning your next opportunity to snag a seat will be March 1, and you’d better know your April schedule. Also, don’t call the restaurant trying get a reservation; it won’t do you any good.

Can I just grab a seat at the bar?

The petite space doesn’t have bar seating. Instead, there’s a lounge where guests can enjoy an aperitif or digestif.

Actually, I’m not sure it’s for me.

And that’s totally OK. Kaysen created Demi to be an intimate, experimental, ever-changing experience. Not everyone is game, and not everyone needs to be. If you’re expecting Spoon and Stable, go to Spoon and Stable. If you want Bellecour, go to Bellecour. But if you’re up for something mind-blowingly different, get thee to Demi.