The idea of owning a restaurant was eating at Steve Day.
So the former Umstead Hotel and Spa chef opened Plates Neighborhood Kitchen, a simple restaurant with a small menu full of homemade ingredients.
Plates, in the former Zely & Ritz spot in Raleigh’s Glenwood South, will change its menu often based on what’s in season and which ingredients are fresh. Day plans, however, to always offer the same types of dishes, such as vegetarian, vegan, poultry, fish and other meats.
Day also wants to keep the dinner menu to about five entrees, four desserts and nine appetizers to allow his staff to make almost everything, including some condiments such as mayonnaise and mustard, something he can’t do with a larger menu.
“Anything that we feel we can make better than we can buy, we’ll do it that way,” Day said. “We want to make as much as we can just to control the flavors and keep the dishes and menu simple but delicious.”
The restaurant offers lunch, dinner and a Sunday brunch. Prices range from about $6 to $14.50 for lunch and dinner to about $8 to $12 for brunch.
Plates also has a large bar with a short list of original, seasonal specialty drinks such as a cocktail version of rum raisin ice cream made from dark rum and raisin puree.
The 2,040-square-foot restaurant seats about 47 and has outdoor space for an additional 30.
Day chose the concept of simple dishes based on Plates’ location. He wanted to create a destination restaurant that would appeal to those who live and work in the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses.
“I was quite flexible as to what I was going to do, and it was decided by the location,” Day said. “It had to be food that the people nearby would want to buy and come back for, and it completely depended on where it was. For Glenwood South, this is the kind of stuff we want to make.”
Plates Neighborhood Kitchen is at 301 Glenwood Ave.
The place holds auctions on overstock items from companies such as Macy’s, Sears and Amazon.com at 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
Co-owner Irving Tabler said merchandise – 98 percent of which is new – can include lawn mowers, patio furniture, surfboards, ironing boards, bikes and auto parts, for about 50 percent off retail price.
American Auction also offers consignment services on antiques and has a “buy it now” section for things such as pillows, bedding and small tools that typically range from about $1 to $12, Tabler said.
American Auction is at 1260 Kirkland Road.
Food truck KoKyu BBQ is planning to open a restaurant by the end of 2014.
The business, which started a second truck called KoKyu Ondo a few weeks ago, raised $48,813 in a Kickstarter campaign that ended Nov. 1. Owner Flip Filippini said the money will be used for start-up capital and to help secure a location. Filippini hasn’t settled on a name for the new place but said the restaurant will use the same simple and fresh products that he uses on the truck.