Eater reports that 50 Plates Restaurant, at 333 NW 3rd street in the Pearl District, has closed.
The restaurant opened in July 2008, to mixed reviews. That November, 2008, executive Chef Randal St. Clair was let go, and the restaurant attempted to refocus on the somewhat quirky food menu. It didn’t work, and the few times I went, the experience was lousy, from the bar, to the service and the food. Case in point – from a February 2009 post, “50 Plates is having issues. First they let the executive chef go, and now the same has happened to Tom Swafford, the General Manager. I don’t normally say anything when I’m working on a review, but good God! Spend some time on the food!”
Apparently they didn’t. When they opened, their focus was going to be “mid-century sensibilities, providing the ideal backdrop to our chefs’ fresh take on American cuisine. Drawing inspiration from America’s heirloom and traditional specialties, 50 Plates embraces a fresh perspective of the classics. Menu highlights include a raw bar of oysters, half dozen “silver dollar sammies”, hearty green garden salads, “Dirty Rice” Beignets, Shrimp and Grits, Mac ‘N’ Cheese (‘N’ Chicken ‘N’ Fennel), and sustainable seafood specials.”
It will be interesting to see how long the 2900 square foot restaurant will remain vacant. I’d bet on a long period. According to city records, the lease is now held by “Pearl Condominiums at Block 90”.