JMR Kitchens, the restaurant group that owns Taste on Medlin Drive and The Oak on Lake Boone Trail, will venture into a new zip code with next week’s scheduled opening of a new restaurant called more in downtown Raleigh. The concept represents new territory, too, though its kinship to JMR’s other two restaurants is evident in a number of ways.
More’s menu builds on the success of the tapas offering at Taste, but narrows the focus to Italian-inspired small plates. Highlights of the inaugural offering include roasted local beets with fennel-scented pine nut crunch; seared scallops with roasted grapes, fried sage and parsnip puree; roasted chicken with rosemary mushrooms; and short rib osso buco with marrow polenta.
An eclectic selection of over 150 wines raises the ante on the wine bar offering at Taste. Private wine lockers are available, and according to managing partner Ryan Riek, plans to offer wines on tap are in the works.
“It’s a really diverse list,” says Riek, “and we’ll wait and see what people like before deciding what to offer on tap.”
The owners gutted the former Mantra space in Powerhouse Square (only the bathrooms remain to be updated), installing a new kitchen and building a bar of reclaimed bricks and salvaged cypress wood. They commissioned dining room tables with tops made from a single black walnut tree in Chatham County, and patio tables made from the wood scraps. The look echoes the rustic charm of The Oak, but with a more urban feel suited to the location.
Slated to open to the public on Nov. 10, more (116-100 North West St.; 919-926-8415; jmrkitchens.com/more) will initially serve lunch Tuesday-Friday and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. The owners plan to add Sunday and/or Monday hours early next year.
Greg Cox, the longtime N&O restaurant critic, also covers restaurant news. Reach him at email@example.com.