Less is More

Last weekend we taste-tested, More, in buzzy neighborhood of Glenwood South. More is the brethren of Taste and Oak, so my boyfriend and I had high hopes for the food. The More menu touts itself as a wine bar with “European-inspired small plates.” Great, I already loved everything about this before even entering the restaurant.

When you walk into More, it feels like a restaurant you might see in a larger city than Raleigh, which is a welcome change for a date night. It was nearly 9PM on Saturday, there were a few tables in the restaurant, but the bar tables were packed with low key groups and dressed couples clearly also on dates. Perfect! The host was hip, yet friendly, and offered us a coat check for our jackets, none of which something you find in Raleigh very often.

We took a table in the corner of the bar area as to have proper vantage of the situation. We perused the wine menu and were debating between a couple of bottles. The waiter sent the sommelier right over who was incredibly friendly and offered details on both the vineyards and wine makers. Awesome. I love a back story. We opted for a bottle of the Felino Malbec, which was out of this world rich and scrumptuous. ($48).

The food menu sounded tremendous. Literally, I could have ordered every single dish on the menu, it sounded so appealing. However, our server recommended 5-6 plates to share as everything was a similarly sized small plate. Let me jump ahead and tell you, three plates, maybe, MAYBE four would have been more than sufficient. The “small” plates were misnamed; they were HUGE! More is certainly an apt name for this restaurant.

We started off with the mussels ($10). These were rich, garlicky, with bits of bacon and a broth made of IPA. These weren’t your mama’s regular mussels mariniere – they were heavy, and there were a ton of them. This dish would have been great for four people, not two. The amount of mussels were overkill and we had quite a few to set aside for possible snacking later. For the amount of mussels, just a few slices of toasted bread were provided.

The second course was a special, duck rilette ($10). This was definitely the highlight of the meal. Creamy, duck goodness topped with fresh herbs and a bit of pineapple gelatin gave a the dish a refreshing lift. Definitely order this if it’s still a special when you visit.

Third course were the risotto fries with pork ragout ($10). I love, love, loved these. The sauce was heavy, but a delicious compliment to the cheese dusted risotto fries. Nothing was greasy or oily, just crunchy, creamy goodness. My boyfriend and I each enjoyed one. I probably could have eaten the last one myself, but forced myself to save room for the next two courses. Also, let me say that at this point, we were already full.

Course four were the mini beef sliders with bacon aioli and  provolone ($13). This dish blew my socks off at the sister restaurant, Taste, so they were a must-try at More as well. While they were just fine, they weren’t nearly as juicy or delicious as the ones at Taste. Skip these.

Finally, we made it to the short rib Osso Bucco ($13). I tried one bite out of posterity because we had ordered it. My boyfriend was so full that he didn’t even taste it. I want to comment on the meat, but I can’t, I was too full to taste. The polenta tasting sweet is the only thing I could recall at that point.

Our feast cost us a total of $105 including a bottle of fabulous wine. The meal was enjoyable, but the recommended number of plates were just far too many considering the portion size. Being stuffed, we still had leftovers of (quite a few) mussels, a tad of duck rilette, a risotto fry, and the entire Osso Bucco. I’m not usually one to love taking home leftovers, but we had so much nice food that we were inclined to take it for another meal. Only then, at the end of the meal did we find out that More does not do to-go food, not helpful with our current plight. Somehow, the kitchen rustled up two boxes for our four different types of food. One box was entirely full of mussels. The other had duck, risotto, and an entire Osso Bucco dish in one container. We asked for a bag for our two containers, but they didn’t have those either. Our waiter was nice enough to walk across the parking lot to Clouds Brewing and get one of their bags. When we arrived home, it was easy to imagine that all of our food was smushed into one big, gross mess. We threw away everything. I hate to waste food and money, so it was a frustrating experience. However, the food was great. I will certainly return to More, but order only a dish at a time. Or bring Tupperware.

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