The B-Spears song in my head this morning after last night’s sneak peek of more.
more. (yes it is lowercase – I don’t want the proofreading police scolding me here) is a new Italian-inspired small plates restaurant in the Glenwood South neighborhood. more. is the latest in a series of fantastic restaurants by JMR Kitchens restaurant group.
// The Group / JMR Kitchens //
Let me start by saying, holy cow, what a nice family. JMR Kitchens is owned by Justin, Ryan, and Maranda Riek (JMR – see what they did there?). Check out there website here. They also own taste and the oak. They also hate capitalization.
I had the opportunity to talk to JMR quite a bit last night. A few years ago Ryan moved to Raleigh from Chicago and talked Justin and Maranda into starting a restaurant. And so it was. They did it (and did it well) and the rest is history. It’s pretty great, because in talking with them they each have their own strengths they bring to the table to contribute to owning a restaurant group. Ryan brings the actual restaurant experience, Justin is a techie with a head for business, and Maranda is a marketing and PR wizard.
If you ever get the chance to say hey to any of these fine people, definitely do so. And for the love of god get out there and support their restaurants.
// The Spot / more. //
You’re all going to love the look of this new place. I had never been to Mantra, the Indian restaurant/bar there before, or to the bar that was there before that, but everyone was raving about how they completely renovated the place and switched everything around. The decor is cozy, simple, and classic. Think lots of dark wood and exposed brick. Dying.
The tables are from Raleigh Reclaimed, a local reclaimed wood/custom furniture store. Also check out that guy in the back. Ow ow.
There is another back room that will also be available for meetings or as an event space. Art will be provided by ArtSpace and will change up every few months.
Shout out to Ryan for epoxying the floors himself. I know what you’re thinking right now, Lindsay, are you some type of general contractor or designer extraordinaire? How did you know what epoxy flooring was? Well you guys, full disclosure, I actually learned that word just last night, when Justin and Ryan explained it to me. For those of you who don’t know, epoxy flooring is basically the shiny concrete you see in the picture above. Now this blog has become too educational and ain’t no body got time for that.
// Food and Drink //
Onto the important stuff. more. is a an Italian-inspired small plates restaurant. But fear not!! These plates are not for tiny dainty people that require the same amount of food as an ant. My biggest gripe with most small plates restaurants is that you spend $150 and somehow have to go home and eat an entire pizza in shame. The worst. JMR believes small plates are just european main dishes, so you still have quite a few ounces of meat on your plate. I also want to note that the prices here are incredibly reasonable.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
We started off with salads. I’m not the type of person that’s going to order a salad when I go out to eat, but I understand that they do serve a purpose. Nutrition, health, blah blah blah. Have to say these salads were delicious.
We sampled the pear and arugula salad. It was topped with candied cashews and radish. The cashews did it for me.
We also had the bibb salad with parmesan and caesar vinaigrette. The caesar vinaigrette mix was delish.
After the salads we moved on to the grilled flatbread. I expected this to be mediocre. How good can a flatbread be? It was amazing and is one of the things I’m craving as I sit here writing this.
Next up: local beets. I actually didn’t get a chance to taste the beets, since I was running my mouth chatting with people (typical), but people were RAVING about them. The beets featured a fennel scented pine nut crunch, whipped feta, and pomegranate balsamic.
After the beets we got to the meat. THE BEST PART OF ANY MEAL.
The meatballs were made up of a lamb, veal, and pork blend, topped with spicy tomato marinara, roasted garlic pesto, and parmesan. We had seconds. Yes. That’s right. We were at an elegant tasting event and we had seconds. Take your judgment elsewhere.
One of my favorite things on the menu were the scallops. They were huge and cooked to perfection. Interestingly, the scallops were topped with roasted grapes. I had never seen that before and thought it was an interesting and flavorful addition. One I got my scallops, I forgot that I was blogger and was thinking myself only as a hungry human woman and promptly devoured them. Sorry.
This eggplant dish was some kind of fried ball of eggplant and cous cous, topped with 25 year balsamic. Holy moly. It was divine.
FAVE ALERT: My favorite thing on the menu was the hanger steak. It’s topped with chimichurri, crispy shoestring potatoes, and smoked carrot puree.
I have no doubts that this place will be an absolute success. Try to get the word out there about this new downtown spot. Also, reservations are available on Open Table. Gotsta earn those gift cards ya’ll.
So glad I got to be a part of this event. Can’t wait to return with a hoard of my friends.
// Freakin’ Weekend //
It’s here!!! I’m about to run out the door, but wanted to point a few great events going down this weekend.
Of course, tonight is First Friday. Head out and support local businesses that are showing art, pouring drinks, and serving food. My event pick goes to The North Carolina Museum of History. They are showing Brewconomy, a documentary on how the local beer industry is doing great things for North Carolina agriculture and the farm-to-table industry. Bonus: they’re serving free NC beer. They are also opening a new exhibit titled North Carolina’s Favorite Son: Billy Graham and His Remarkable Journey of Faith, which is, obviously, about Billy Graham. Should be a great and interesting exhibit.
Saturday is the North Carolina Wine Festival in City Market. Check out details here. I will say it’s rain or shine and there’s a 100% chance of rain tomorrow. But, I kind of feel like once you get that first glass of wine you won’t care about the rain. I say give it a go.
Saturday night is Couture for Cause, a fundraising fashion show. The proceeds go towards Activate Good, a nonprofit that helps place volunteers with charitable causes in Raleigh. Very cool cause and super cool event. This can be the one thing you do this weekend that doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself. Fun change-up.
That’s it for me, for now. I know this was a long post, but I think it was worth every word. Have a great weekend everyone!