Plates Neighborhood Kitchen in Raleigh’s Glenwood South is getting a major makeover. Chef Jake Wood, former chef de cuisine at 18 Seaboard, will oversee the kitchen, and on Tuesday, January 8, the restaurant unveils its new look and menus.
Chef Steve Day opened Plates in 2014 with a menu inspired by global dishes and Southern flavors. It’s lived up to the “neighborhood kitchen” part of its name with a loyal local clientele, but it’s also earned a reputation as a popular weekend brunch destination ($3 mimosas might have a hand in that). But Day is giving free rein to Wood, who made his mark at 18 Seaboard with a hefty dose of creativity, particularly on the restaurant’s bar menu, with dishes such as roasted oysters with pimento cheese, puffed farro, and crystal cane syrup, which landed on the cover of our annual Eats issue.
At Plates, Wood plans to fully unleash that creative streak in what he calls “fine dining meets truck stop” dishes such as duck and foie gras corn dogs with sorghum-truffle-mustard and strawberry hot sauce. There will also be a “redneck caviar service,” where North Carolina caviar from Marshallberg Farms will be served with fried chicken skins and sorghum crème fraîche.
Homestyle Southern dishes will get the cheffy touch too. Granny Helen’s fried chicken, fashioned after Wood’s grandma’s recipe, will be served with crystal cane syrup, creamed collards, and brown butter hominy. Wood will also continue the meticulous sourcing practices instilled in him by 18 Seaboard’s executive chef, Jason Smith. Expect plenty of seasonal salads, vegetable-forward dishes, and in-state seafood.
“This is an opportunity for me to not only create a staple dining experience for this community, but will give me the chance to re-imagine flavors and food that have stuck with me since I was a child,” Wood says. “My family’s Southern roots run deep. It is a driving force behind my approach to the Plates food program.”
The plates themselves will get a makeover, too. Ceramicist Matt Hallyburton, with whom Wood worked at 18 Seaboard, created custom serveware that echoes the restaurant’s new look. Wood and sous chef Eddie Forbis spent the last week painting, putting up shiplap, fashioning chicken coops into tabletops, and installing Edison-bulb light fixtures, lending the space a farmhouse-chic vibe. Wood plans to plant herbs and edible flowers on the patio, which he envisions as a warm-weather dining destination, complete with party lights and frosé.