New restaurant set to open at Bay Voyage Inn for Columbus Day
There is new management – and a new name – for the restaurant in the Bay Voyage Inn. The restaurant, now known as Plantation at the Bay, will be operated by Plantation Catering that is located on Douglas Street in Jamestown.
Kim Levering-Fisher is the president and chief operating officer of Plantation Catering. According to Fisher, the catering company was founded 30 years ago in Newport by Carol Smith. The company got its start catering for America’s Cup boats. When the Cup left Newport, the company began providing for the city’s famous mansions – it’s one of the three caterers on the mansions’ preferred list.
Levering-Fisher was the general manager of Plantation Catering from 1995 to 2000. She then left the area to start her own event planning company in Vermont. Ten years later Smith contacted Levering-Fisher and asked if she would be interested in taking over Plantation.
“We really specialize in highend weddings a lot,” Levering- Fisher said. “I’d say 90 percent of our business is weddings at private homes in Newport, Providence and Jamestown.”
Levering-Fisher said her company is hands-on with its clients. Plantation only takes one large event per day in order to ensure the client gets the company’s executive chef, sous chef and entire management team. Everyone works with the client from the day the event is booked all the way to the execution of the party.
The restaurant at Bay Voyage will mark the first time that Plantation has operated a restaurant. In addition to the restaurant at the inn, Plantation will move out of its catering space in Middletown and will headquarter that operation at the Bay Voyage as well. The restaurant will open on Columbus Day weekend, and the catering operation will resume from the back of the house next summer.
“I’ve grown up in the restaurant business,” Levering-Fisher said. “My family has owned hotels and restaurants my whole life in Vermont. I’ve worked at the restaurants in Newport. Living in Jamestown for the past three years we’ve noticed there’s a real need for some amazing food at great prices. You can’t beat the location of the Bay Voyage. It’s the most beautiful location in Jamestown.”
Levering-Fisher acknowledged that in the recent past the restaurant at the Bay Voyage has not been a particular favorite for local residents. She said she hopes that Plantation’s reputation for food, along with the restaurant’s atmosphere and level of service, will begin to change the perception.
“We are happy to get involved in the community in any way that we can,” she said.
Chris Hyder of Jamestown has been hired as general manager at Plantation on the Bay. Known to his friends as “Frenchie,” Hyder was born and raised in Newport. He began working in restaurants at the age of 13. Over the years, he has done nearly every job in the restaurant business. Hyder has been living in Jamestown for 12 years.
Plantation at the Bay will be open every day year-round except Tuesday. The bar will open at 4 p.m. and dinner will begin at 5 p.m. and continue until 10 at night. The Sunday brunch that the restaurant has long been known for will return within a few months. The restaurant can seat about 80 people in several rooms that include the veranda, the tavern, the lounge and the bay room.
Dan Murillo, who has been the executive chef for Plantation Catering, will take over the same role at the restaurant. In addition to Murillo, Plantation at the Bay will employ eight to 10 people in the front of the house, and five in the back.
The restaurant’s menu will include appetizers (known as “small bites”), soups, salads, farm-totable dinner plates, fresh seafood, pasta and desserts. Hyder described the cuisine as upscale American bistro with entrees ranging in price from $18 citrus and sage roasted Statler chicken, to $35 for the Plantation filet mignon.
Hyder said a lot of local people have been asking about plans for the Plantation at the Bay. He believes that word-of-mouth will help spread the news about the new endeavor.
“I think people enjoy having a gathering place to come to,” Hyder said. “The feeling on the street seems to be that people are excited about it. People have a natural curiosity about any new venture and they’re looking forward to trying it. The general population is also really excited that brunch will be coming back.”
Hyder agreed with Levering- Fisher that local residents will be more interested in the restaurant than they have been in the past because of Plantation’s reputation in catering.
“Not everyone has been able to go to a function that Plantation has catered,” Hyder said. “I think that because they have such a good reputation, it has piqued curiosity in the community to try out this cuisine and see how very talented the chef is.”