Plates, a restaurant whose “globally inspired, locally produced” menu reflects the culinary travels and philosophy of its owner, has opened in the former Zely & Ritz space on Glenwood South. The restaurant is the first for Steve Day, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in London whose resume spans the globe from the Michelin two-starred Le Gavroche in London to the Umstead Hotel in Cary, where he was banquet chef.
Day hired executive chef Sam Bradford, a former colleague at the Umstead, to join him in translating his ideas to the plate. On the inaugural menu, that translates to the likes of pan-roasted flounder with house-made andouille sausage and braised butter beans; five spice short ribs with hoisin jus, warm dressed kale and roasted sweet potato puree; and fresh gnocchi with shallots and oyster mushrooms in lemon-thyme butter. Sticky toffee pudding, a souvenir of Day’s London years and a rare find in these parts, is a highlight of a similarly eclectic dessert offering.
The menu will evolve “almost daily” with the market, according to Day, and is subject to last-minute changes dictated by the chefs’ demanding standards. “We were planning on offering a scallop ceviche a couple of days ago,” he notes, “but they delivered frozen scallops instead of the dry-packed scallops we were expecting. So we had scallops as part of the staff meal instead.”
Day has given the Zely & Ritz space a makeover with a casual contemporary bistro feel. The new layout includes a bar along one wall where bar manager Justin Gallus is offering a seasonal cocktail menu alongside a thoughtfully chosen wine list and a rotating selection of draft beers.