Known for its dance clubs and bars, S. Glenwood has always seemed to lack really good food, especially on the main strip. So I was a little excited when I heard that Plates Neighborhood Kitchen was opening up in the old space that used to be Zely & Ritz. With the departure of Frazier’s a year or so ago, I had been missing a nearby, small plates restaurant and had my fingers crossed that Plates would fill that gap. I popped in on a Sunday morning for their brunch and let’s just say we’re close but there’s still a little work to be done at this new neighborhood eatery!
Out front, Plates sports a large patio space shared with some other businesses so I imagine this place will be great when things warm up. Inside, Plates is nattily decorated with lots of interesting and colorful hints. Weathered metal lamps above the bar, long-filament lights in the space along with a pot rack overhead at the entrance. I’d have to describe the space as “country cute” and leave it at that. It’s comfortable and stylish which befits the international menu and reasonable prices. For the most part the dishes here are $6 – $15 with brunch clocking in at $8 – $12 which is a lot more affordable than the old Z&R. We order up a fried oyster benedict, eggs bayou laforche which is andouille benedict along with some passion fruit pancakes on special. A nice cup of coffee and bottomless mimosa keep me company while waiting for the food.
The manager/owner seems to be at the front of the house and is taking good care of things. Lots of staff here for the size of the place and service is excellent at Plates. It takes about 10 – 15 minutes for the food to arrive and it all looks solid. A quick swap of the benedicts means we get to try both out and we dig in. The fried oyster benedict is the big winner. Two plump, non-greasy fried oysters with hollandaise sauce, good stuff. The andouille benedict didn’t fare quite as well. There were two or three slices of sausage which left a lot of bare muffin exposed. Given that the andouille wasn’t that thick there just wasn’t much meat flavor. And the passion fruit pancakes were nicely done with good size but not super memorable.
Overall a good start for this new restaurant but I’m definitely going to have to get back for lunch or dinner. They’ve got potential with a capital P and the food was decent but didn’t totally tingle the taste-buds. But given how well they run the place, I’m sure there will be adjustments and that Plates will get locked in soon. So 3.5 stars for now with a hope of more to come from Plates Neighborhood Kitchen. Because I really do need some good plates in my hood, best of luck!
(On a return visit I did try a very good short rib dish with pureed squash and kale, more to come…)
301 Glenwood Avenue, Ste 100
Raleigh, NC 27603