Chef and The Farmer
Chef and The Farmer

Chef and The Farmer

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chefandthefarmer.com/
  • Phone: 2522082433x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Southern, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Vivian Howard
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Special Events: Celebrating a birthday? Try the "ULTIMATE Birthday cake".
    A delicious vanilla layer cake, with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles

    The "ULTIMATE Birthday Cake" |
    $15 cake - serves 2-4 guests | $35 cake - serves 10 or more guests

    To order, please call our event coordinator at 252.208.2433 x3

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Getting there

  • Cross Street: Herritage & Gordon
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Chef and The Farmer
Go to nowhere and turn left...you'll discover an extraordinary, epicurean experience where Chef Vivian Howard practices culinary artistry in a place steeped in tradition. Vivian has returned to her southern roots to create Chef and the Farmer. It celebrates simplicity, freshness and its own heritage.


Anchored in a building that has meant much to a small community where Vivian was raised, she and partner Ben Knight converted a 100 year old mule stable into a warm, inviting, uniquely modern atmosphere. Chef and Farmer, like its name, blends the old and the new, seamlessly, comfortably and unforgettably.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Chef and The Farmer reviews from OpenTable diners
387 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
98% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (313)fit for foodies (302)notable wine list (188)romantic (146)neighborhood gem (145)hot spot (124)good for groups (66)vibrant bar scene (48)late-night find (16)kid-friendly (7)great for lunch (5)scenic view (4)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Not to miss!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    If you're in the area (like within 100 miles, or maybe 200 miles), don't miss this place. The food and service is amazing. It's like a fancy New York restaurant landed in the middle of Eastern NC. I have never left this place saying, "That was good." Every time I leave, I say, "That was amazing."
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Well worth the trip!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The food and service were absolutely outstanding! Even factoring in the long drive to from (and back to) Raleigh, the experience exceeded our expectations! We hope to be back soon and try out The Boiler Room as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceeded Expectations!! Delish!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    After hearing about this restaurant since it first opened, we made the trip for a brief weekend getaway to Kinston. We had reservations for Fri. night, & although it was really busy, we were seated almost on time. We got to sit at the bar while we waited on our table, where we not only discovered our new favorite wine (Sharecropper), but saw an incredible dessert being served to others (a parfait, which we ordered later & loved, one of the best desserts ever). Once seated, everything exceeded expectations; service was prompt & personable. Food was excellent & delicious; full of flavor! They offer a discount on wine at their shop, so we were able to buy 4 bottles of Sharecropper & 2 bottles of 7 Hills. Loved the whole experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Visitors from Norfolk
    Tartan1
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    This trip was a long time coming (over a year.) It was everything - and a more - than we expected. The menu was well-thought and the presentation was professional to a "T". The taste was as good as the look of the dishes. The wine list was exceptional - price ranges and taste ranges to fit all. The service was another fantastic surprise: Well paced, attentive, and professional, yet personal. A very wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wish service were as good as food
    chocolateandveggies
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    My husband and I have eaten here several times and love the food; if anything the food is getting better and better. We had the salmon tartare appetizer, tuna and steak entrees, and a chocolate/caramel/peanut cake for dessert. Every single item was delicious. But our appetizer was a bit slow to arrive, our entrees were VERY slow to arrive, and it took our waiter way too long to collect our check. My husband finally had to stick his arm right in front of the guy as he walked by. We'll be back, because we love the food and the mission of this place, but next time we'll plan for it to take longer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pure delight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Dined at the Chef and the Farmer for our 38th anniversary. It was one of the best dining experiences of our lives. Everything was perfect and that is saying a lot. The large private dining room upstairs was occupied for a political fund raiser, yet regular dining was not in the least bit affected. The food was marvelous and the wait staff friendly and attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth it.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    We drove over 300 miles (one-way) for the experience and yes, it was worth it. Given that the menu reflects seasonal items, I think it merits multiple visits. IMHO, the pork belly skewer appetizers were the highlight of the meal. Five to an order as I recall, and I hated having to share one with the wife. The trade off was that she shared a bit of her pork chop entrée with me. It was so good that it's hard to remember what was MY main course. We were lucky to be seated where we could watch the line chefs cook behind a plexiglass divider. It was good to watch that teamwork and talent produce an endless line of beautiful dishes. We're looking forward to a future visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Extremely slow service.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Usually excellent food and great service but not this night. One of the first tables seated, promptly ordered both appetizers and entrees. Received appetizers within 10 minutes, excellent. Finished appetizers as the table next to us ordered entrees. 20 minutes later, next table is served entrees. Same server then tells us "Your entrees are being plated right now." 15 minutes later, still no entrees, server says again "being plated right now". Another 10 minutes pass. Next table orders dessert. Nice hostess replaces our server and says ours will be soon. After next table is served dessert, we are finally served entrees, 55 minutes AFTER FINISHING our appetizers. Excuse given was that fine dining entree service typically is 1 hour?!?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Wonderful Dining Experience!
    Lebodude
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    From the moment we first walked in, this was an outstanding dining experience. One might think that because of the notoriety foist upon the restaurant by the PBS Series "A Chef's Life" - the restaurant staff would become a little snobbish. Nothing could be further from the truth. We were treated like family or long-lost friends two nights in a row, and each member of the staff was superb; answering questions, making suggestions, and seemed genuinely excited about their jobs. The food? Incredible and delicious. Over two nights we enjoyed the flash fried collards, peach pork belly skewers, the pork chop, shrimp and grits, and a wood-fired muscadine/bacon pizza. Thanks Chef Vivian and Ben, for a new take on great southern cuisine!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top-notch
    Stoney
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    This restaurant continues to be an outstanding delight. The only problem is that it has become so popular that it is tough to get a table, so book early. Fame due to her hit TV show has not changed Vivian. She is still as engaging and involved as ever.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The place to go...
    melinda27858
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I am typically disappointed when I go out to eat. Boring menus and I usually know what I make at home tastes much better and costs much less. Not so at Chef and the Farmer. The menu is fantastic. Very interesting takes on familiar foods. Quality is outstanding. The service was excellent. I can't think of a single thing I did not enjoy! You will pay more, but it is absolutely worth every cent. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • worth it
    4reticence
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Four of us drove three hours, made this the destination, and weren't disappointed. Creative food and attentive staff made a memorable evening that will become the standard by which every other venue will be judged.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • worth the trip
    n284
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Added on to our road trip; fans of chef viviene's pbs show. Food was excellent - never had shrimp & grits with pumpkin & sausage. My husband loved his pork chop dish - so thick & cooked to perfection. Great ambiance. Loud, lively & fun to watch the kitchen chefs . A well oiled operation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible food, decent service
    Jefferson
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The food was outstanding. The atmosphere was nice, but a bit louder than I would have preferred. It was difficult to hear our conversation at times. The staff was very attentive, but our primary server was a bit condescending when answering menu questions. I would prefer another server when we return, but otherwise the service was very good.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It was worth the wait!
    LegBreaker
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Was about 6 weeks before an open reservation but definitely worth the wait. Extensive wine list, tasty mixed drinks, beer from Mother Earth Brewery and something for everyone on the menu. Service was outstanding -- the server was very helpful describing the menu making it easier to make a selection (everything looked so good). Save room for dessert and corresponding aperitif, you won't be disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Beachbaby
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Wonderful food and great service. My husband ordered the pork chop and he was not disappointed. One of the best dishes he has ever eaten. I had the shrimp and grits. Very tasty. I loved the eclectic decor and has a hip atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT DINING EXPERIENCE
    food4thought
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Enjoyable dining treat for a diverse palate. Would most certainly recommend and will be visiting again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A dining destination
    willoughbyfans
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Exhilerated, we planned a three hour trip and over-night stay in Kinston for the sole purpose of dining at Chief and The Farmer. We were not disappointed! Everything we had was fabulous: Short Martini, White Wine (recommended for our dinner selections), Share Plates, Large Plates, Dessert, and Coffees. We wishes we had the ability to taste everything on the menu! The entire staff was organized and seemed to be choreographed. Excellent timing and excellent service!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • foodie
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Our reserved table was a horror, (off in a dark corner, right by the swinging door to the kitchen). However all staff was wonderful and very helpful. Despite a very full house they were able to find us a wonderful table. All this led us to a wonderful evening. Very fine food, wine and service. A great experience with very definite "go-back" status.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Special Occasions
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    The Chef and the Farmer is a great restaurant for fine dining and special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1sttimediner
    1sttimediner
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    This is my 4th dinner experience at Chef and The Farmer and it just keeps getting better and better. Vivian has created a food masterpiece in a small Eastern North Carolina town!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great use of local ingredients
    MandMFoodies
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    The bacon wrapped pickled watermelon rind was out of this world and different than anything I've ever had before. Good use of preserving something local that had gone out of season. Tuna, pheasant and shrimp and grits were all delicious. Our waitress was great, knew the food, was very attentive and helped make it a great experience. One of the best places in the state. Worth the trip from Raleigh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • outstanding food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Excellent flavor combinations; beautiful presentations. The staff provided great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Incredible meal
    mike
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I loved my experience! The food was excellent, the service was great! Everyone was so friendly and helpful! I traveled three hours to try the restaurant and I can't wait to go again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • delicious memories
    1lookingforquality
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Some of the best food you will ever taste. Not a big fan of vinegars or pickling, but the cuisine has changed my perspective of the possibilities of fine quality. I will be trying new dishes since they've opened my palate. (just short of When Harry Met Sally moment). Looking forward to the Boiler Room and blueberry barbecue.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ventured out to Kinston
    Joanna
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Went to Chef and the Farmer for my 50th birthday because I am a big fan of the PBS series about the restaurant. My husband and I arrived early and were seated right away. Our table was next to people we knew from Raleigh who had also traveled the 1 hr and 45 min to get to Kinston. Our dinner was absolutely worth the drive. The atmosphere in the restaurant is comfortable but upscale. The food was delicious and imaginative with generous portions! Highly recommend the watermelon pickle appetizer, catfish entree and muscadine cobbler. Made me wish I live closer!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best dinning experience
    skewer411
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Hands down the best place in NC, by far the best place to eat on the east coast!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Awesome...I had the pheasant and my guest had the pork chops. We shared but not very much. The wait staff was prompt, helpful and attended to our every need. I look forward to my next visit to the area and dining in your outstanding restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Celebration trip
    ChiefT
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    We traveled to Kinston to experience this restaurant to celebrate our 31st. wedding anniversary. It was well worth the drive and the overnight stay. The whole package, food, atmosphere, service and other guests were top notch. If you are thinking about going, you should.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Chef and the Farmer
    SCfoodlover
    Dined on 10/1/2014
    Four of us traveled to Kinston to dine at Chef and the Farmer. The food was excellent; server was friendly and helpful. We had the shrimp and grits (x2), the pork chop and the NY strip steak, all perfectly prepared and served. We chose the curried peach pork belly skewers and the stewed apple grits share plates. Both were unique and uniquely good. The restaurant was full and everyone looked like they were enjoying their dining experience. I would highly recommend a visit to this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Put this one on your bucket list!
    Dave
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    This is one of our favorite restaurants, and yet it is far from our home. We make it a destination whenever we are traveling up and down I-95. The food is outstanding, so very fresh, creatively prepared, and served by the friendliest staff anywhere. We have never been disappointed, but always impressed from cocktails to dessert. I cannot recommend this highly enough. Make a reservation and enjoy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    This is a fabulous restaurant. The food was a nice mix of local/regional as well as some nice twists on traditional dishes. Excellent service staff willing to take time to answer all our questions and offer their suggestions. Although we live far away, we hope to return in the near future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Basics missing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Restaurant is pricey which is fine. But I wouldn't expect to have to pay extra for bread, seemed kind of cheap that there was no comp desert for birthdays, and definitely could not understand how they could run out of fried collards by 6:30.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing food
    cmamom
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    I brought 3 out of town quests and we were not disappointed. We ordered 4 appetizers our main meal and 3 of the desserts. I kept hearing "who would have thought to put that together" over and over. Outstanding Service, Outstanding food and a great place to really relax and enjoy the night. Not a quick dinner with just the right amount of food. Thank you so much. PS. we love the show and what you are doing for the community!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wingate716
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    The restaurant was terrific! We travelled from Myrtle Beach to there and to home the next day to Williamsburg. It was worth the extra time and money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fried collards, what?????
    lovethetasteoftaste
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Although my husband is a southern boy to the bone he tried and LIKED that flash fried collards. They were yummy. The pork belly skewers were wonderful as well with a sauce that was the best, like a party in your mouth!!!! Our entrees, the shrimp and grits and tomato pie were the best. We topped off our meal with the banana eclair . . . choolate heaven. The beer was great as well. We had a great birthday celebration with a quick visit from Vivian . . . a special treat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • sailinggirl7
    sailinggirl7
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    This was our third experience dining at the Chef and The Farmer and once again, it was fabulous. Susan was our hostess and this is also the third time that she has assisted us in choices. She is such a wonderful asset to and for this restaurant! From our cocktail to desert, our meal was a culinary tribute to excellence. Thank you Chef and The Farmer!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We came from Newport News Virginia
    BishopNewportNews23602
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. We could not have choosen a better place. The food was excellent, the service was outstanding (thanks you Jack!). It was definitely worth the drive and we will be back for sure!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    We enjoyed everything about dining at Chef and the Farmer. The food was delicious--the combination of textures and tastes was like a dining adventure; I especially loved the Fried Green Tomatoes. Service was excellent, and although a little noisy for me, everything else made that a small item. We definitely want to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I may have set my hopes too high
    Live2eat
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    First off, the restaurant is BEAUTIFUL. I loved everything, the lighting, the finishes (the BOH wall tiling..so cute!), and every other detail. I would have liked the atmosphere to have been more romantic;it was a bit loud and our table was really close to the one next to us. We could hear the couple next to us the same if not better than we could hear each other,which almost made me skip dessert just so we could go elsewhere. I had really high expectations about the food and everything met those expectations except for my meal. I had the bass which seemed like it was incomplete.My husband had the pork chop, which was wonderful. Also, our meal arrived 30-45 min after finishing our fried tomatoes (also good). Dessert was awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.