Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Plates - A Birthday Dinner

Plates is one of those restaurants that has been around for years, and always seems to receive heavy praise, but I never ate there.  I never thought to eat there.  While it's not to far from home, it's just out of the way enough that I never go by it or think about it. 

When my brother and I were trying to come up with ideas for my mother's birthday dinner, he was the one who suggested Plates.  He had never tried it, but he knew all about their "bottomless barbecue" Sundays, which seemed like a great deal, plus they had cheap meals for the kids.  Everything about the food sounded great to me, so we decided to give it a try. 

Plates is not a large restaurant and I was concerned about how well they would be willing to reserve table for a party of 13.  Happily they were willing to do so.  They set us up in this charming little window seat nook opposite the bar.  I was in love with the restaurant when I walked it because it was just so pretty.  I wish this photo gave a better idea of the pretty little park view outside the window.

We ordered our wine and were presented with bread baskets and sides of butter and a roasted pepper spread.  Everyone raved about it. 

I started my meal with a salad of field greens, pears, dried cherries and goat cheese.

For my entree I ordered the bottomless barbecue of course.  They gave me ribs, brisket, and pulled pork with beans and cole slaw.  When I finished they offered me more.  I was getting pretty full, but I couldn't resist more of that pulled pork.  It was really tasty.

Plates is not just about barbecue though.  They do more sophisticated fare as well.  One overwhelming favorite at the table was this black bass.

I had an espresso mascarpone semifreddo for dessert.  It was creamy and not too overpowering with the coffee flavor, but I did have a few regrets about not ordering the chocolate caramel tart.  It was two dense layers of chocolate with lots of gooey caramel sandwiched between.  The kids loved the homemade giant ring dings.
I can't say enough good things about the service.  The staff was friendly and professional and I have to say that there were a few events during the evening that were sure to try their patience.  We closed the place down and they did nothing to shoo us out.

I will definitely get to eat that chocolate caramel tart in the future because I'm sure I will return.  This is now on my list of go-to special occasion restaurants.

Most importantly, Mom had exactly what she wanted - a birthday dinner surrounded by family.  That's what really counted.

(I told you I did a lot of diet cheating this week.)

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