Best New Restaurants 2022: 'Plas Food & Drink
Chef Jamie George’s Italian- and French-inspired menu highlights local ingredients, house-made charcuterie, scratch pastas and breads.
Unlike a slew of other new eateries with the unfortunate luck of having to debut during a global pandemic, ’Plas Food + Drink didn’t scale back on ambition. Rather than emphasizing counter service and quick-to-prepare takeout meals, this chef-driven, wine-celebrating yet highly unceremonious operation is anchored to something that’s become increasingly rare: a seasonal, fine-dining menu highlighting local ingredients, house-made charcuterie and cheeses (and their vegan counterparts) and scratch pastas and breads.
The latter arrive as free appetizers—often ciabatta plated with bold and seasonal enhancements—shortly after you are seated in a window-filled room whose white, gray and black tones play off farmhouse-style wood and local art. Echoing The Table, which formerly occupied this relatively unchanged Short North space, the décor at ’Plas is well-suited to an upscale dining destination but sidesteps fussiness.
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The menu changes often, but expect Italian and French influences to hold sway. Among characteristic, if fleeting, dishes are burrata with pesto and black garlic molasses; duck confit, duck chorizo, gigante bean ragout and “duck phat Brussels”; and sweet potato gnocchi with chile-carrot crema and wild mushrooms.
Among attractions always offered are the enormous Everyday Gravy entrée (zesty, hardly everyday pasta and meatballs) and housemade gelatos.
In Its Place: Chef Jamie George honed his chops in Italian restaurants like Basi Italia, Trattoria Roma and Grandview’s Z Cucina. Chef George is also a co-owner, which sheds light on this eatery’s name: “’Plas” derives from mise en place, a French phrase that describes a chef’s “everything in its place” cooking station.
+ Drink: The other co-owners, Eric Bearfield and Jackie Williams, commandeer the bar program. Mirroring the kitchen’s from-scratch aesthetic, they oversee the creation of cocktails produced with house shrubs, tinctures and freshly pressed fruit juices. The duo’s enticing wine focus—expect frequently updated selections and interesting wine dinners—is uncommon for newcomers.
Countdown to Happiness: Happy hour is an excellent way to get acquainted with a place, and ’Plas offers a good one, from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, called “The 6, 5, 4”: $6 craft cocktails, $5 glasses of wine, $4 beers and snack specials like a half-priced “baby” charcuterie board.
’Plas Food + Drink
21 E. Fifth Ave., Ste. 101, Short North
This story is from the February 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.