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  • Chef and The Farmer

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Chef and The Farmer
Chef and The Farmer

Chef and The Farmer Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chefandthefarmer.com
  • Phone: (252) 208-2433
  • 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 & Promotions: 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
Diner Reviews
  • "My wife and I live in Durham. We were very knowledgeable about the restaurant from UNC TV show and many other articles that have been written about it. We finally got reservations and made an overnight trip to Kinston. We had great fun. Kinston was really fun with the Brewery, old southern downtown that reminded me of the small NC community I was raised in. We cannot wait to get back and enjoy the area and the Neuse River some more. The restaurant was fabulous. Great food and superb service."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "We live in Chapel Hill, but will always make a point of stopping here on the way home from the beach - even if we can only get a reservation at 9 PM! It is definitely a first-class restaurant. We've loved everything on the menu every time we come."
    Dined on 8/29/2014
  • "Celebrated our anniversary; great food and excellent service! Highly recommend for special occasions!"
    Dined on 8/28/2014
  • "As usual, service is excellent and the food is mostly delicious. Their fish tartare used to be fantastic but is now so-so with stale sweet potato chips. Since the restaurant has gained acclaim, their small plate and shared plate portions have gotten much smaller, all the while prices have increased quite a bit on all food/beverages. Noise level made it hard to hear fellow diners at the same table. The noise level was discordant, jarring, detracted from the experience."
    Dined on 8/28/2014
  • "There were 4 of us who were there on a Thursday night - it seemed really busy but the staff said it was actually a slow night. The noise level is an issue- hard to hear the person across from you with all of the noise from the other tables. The table lights are pretty but whew- I did not like the aroma from them. Staff was hugely helpful in guiding us through the menu. We had to have the fried collards and would get again - loved the tomato pie and the veggies. Serving for shrimp/grits was a bit shy - we would recommend sharing for 2 not 4 for most items. It was a fun night - we would definitely go again."
    Dined on 8/28/2014
  • "Excellent Food and Excellent Service, worth the hour drive from Clinton. Second time dining at Chef and Farmer and hope to return soon."
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "I decided to drop by on my way from the beach. What a great place! Amazing in the middle of small town of kinston. Probably this restaurant is the engine of kinston revival. It was that good! Grits variety was very interesting idea and rice crusted cat fish is just incredible. Cat fish must be very happy to have this wonderful face lift. Great recipe !"
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "Our party of four had an enjoyable evening, but the food was a disappointment. As a first course, I ordered Jedd’s Lettuce & Figs, with goat cheese, spiced pecans, country ham, fig/lemon vinaigrette. I had pictured a deconstructed assemblage, highlighting each of the ingredients. Instead, I got a finely-chopped mess all tossed together in which none of the ingredients stood out, drowned in dressing. Soggy and awful. The choices for the main course were uninspiring (in itself a demerit), so I chose a standard: shrimp and grits. It was tasty but nothing I couldn't have made for myself. My dessert (again, from a poor selection) was the Tres Leches cake. It was a waste of calories, uninteresting and too big. Our servers were great, however."
    Dined on 8/26/2014
  • "I drove with a friend from Raleigh for a culinary adventure to the Chef and the Farmer. Would definitely plan to stop here for dinner on the way to (or back from) the beach, but would not make a special trip again as there are many equally good places to eat in the triangle. That said, I look forward to the next time I am out that way to see what this creative chef is cooking up."
    Dined on 8/26/2014
  • "An absolute fantastic experience. Food, service, and drinks were delicious. We celebrated our anniversary and drove in from Raleigh... well worth the drive."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "We decided to visit Chef & the Farmer after discovering A Chef's Life in February. We've been driving from Ohio to Ocracoke for vacation for many years, and changed up our route to add a visit to Chef & the Farmer, and we are so glad we did! The food was terrific, and the staff and atmosphere were welcoming. The fried collards and fried okra with ranch ice cream were real standouts! We look forward to a return trip."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "I'm willing to drive 200 miles round trip for a good meal so imagine my disappointment when the one I experienced was partially inedible. Fried green tomatoes were cut in wedges creating a mouthful of hot sourness. Pork belly skewers had bland peach preserves dumped over them. The ham wrapped peaches and figs were sent back because they'd been carbonized to something approximating charcoal. The vegetables accompanying the tomato pie were also burned and inedible. The tuna tartare was a saving grace along with the service, which was appropriately attentive especially on a busy Saturday. I hope chef was not in the kitchen last night because no farmer would want the fruits of their labors so poorly executed."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "We love Chef and the Farmer for all our special occasions and once again had a lovely time. 2 things disappointed a bit-main course service was slow and waitress apologized saying it had something to do with cooking the chicken. Unfortunately one entire end of my chicken was very undercooked when it arrived. Never have had anything but perfectly cooked meals before. Also missed the bread with the meal and I didn't realize until too late that it could be purchased. Tres leches cake was wonderful as we're the fried collards."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "My wife (and I) had been watching on PBS, and I'd known about it for several years. Arrived a few minutes early, was seated promptly, and had attentive, knowledgeable wait staff. They were there at appropriate times, but didn't 'hover' - Everything we ordered was well prepared, seasoned and delicious - pork belly, fried green tomatoes, wife had kicked up grits, I had brown sugar crusted tuna, and a desert trio - fig cobbler, tres leches cake, and a rich sweet nutty chocolate cake with chipotle ice great. Everything was excellent and we'll be back soon!"
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "A 5 star restaurant in a tiny farm town. Their story almost steals the show but the food is astonishing as is the atomsphere and the staff. Sophisticated touches everywhere. In NC, we love our pork and both the pork belly app and pork chop were treated like royalty. Pork chop was enormous and perfectly cooked. The lowly Catfish was taken to new heights and so was the Tuna. Desserts were imaginative and delicious. Portions are filling which only disappoints because it limits the number of intriquing small plates you can try. Next time we'll do all small plates. We live about 1.5 hours away but would drive it again in a heartbeat. Go!"
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "From the moment we stepped in Chef & Farmer until the moment we paid, everything was near perfect. Upon entering the restaurant, we enjoyed the warm, cozy atmosphere and were quickly greeted by the host and then our wait staff. The menu is simple but diverse. We traveled from Raleigh down to Kinston for a day trip (1.5 hours) and we were far from disappointed. Who would have ever thought that a tomato pie as simple as it is could taste as well as it came from a Michelin restaurant. For a day trip I would suggest getting to Kinston around 2:30, head over to Mother Earth Brewery for a flight, then over to the Boiler Room for a cocktail and light appetizer then over to Chef & The Farmer for an amazing experience."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "Great food,great atmosphere . Some of the food items is a little pricey for the small portion, but overall would come back and try other items on the menu."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "Some of the best food I've ever had but would not go back because it was so annoyingly loud. Could not have a conversation with my family."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "As usual, our dining experience was wonderful and full of wonderful favors. We always order the Pork Bellies and thoroughly love them no matter what glaze is on them. I even shared them one with a table next to us and they said they would order them next time. We love the open kitchen and always come early and sit either at the kitchen bar or the table with the window to the kitchen. The waitress talked us into buying a of wine that was a perfect choice. No dessert this time and we wished we hadn't been so full!! This is our sixth visit and we drive from Oriental so we wish we could come more often but we always come early and shop at the local shops and always buy some things. See y'all soon, love this place!!"
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "We loved it all. See other fawning reviews. Don't see how they can make it long-term in this declining town far from anywhere, but best of luck to them."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "we were seated right away even though we were about 10 minutes early for our reservation. the waitress was very friendly and pleasant but not particularly knowledgeable about bar beverages. The breads and small plate we started with exceeded my expectations.the sage brined pork chop was lovely though at 16 ounces was a bit large even for a large plate.the chicken and basil sausage was delicious but was served at room temperature -I think it must have been sitting out for quite a while.the marinated cucumberswere too acidic. Rum craft cocktail and martini were superb."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "We've followed this restaurant on it's show on PBS. Thought, why not? 4 1/2 hours later, and YUM! We DID reserve a table through OpenTable--the only way to go! This place was PACKED with a one hour wait at 6pm on a Tuesday night. It is not a fluke! Seven years open. THE best food--creative, inventive, TASTY morsels of yumminess. Great service. The only bad thing? Deciding on what to have. We over ordered, but we just HAD to try lots of the dishes. Share the food and enjoy the experience. This is a GEM, hidden in Kinston, NC. Go east, young man!"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "We had flash fried collards, fried green tomatoes, pork shoulder lasagna, fish and crab, hot sweet and spicy chocolate cake and pear ice cream. All of it was very impressive. The Wit-based cocktail was a treat. The Mahi Thai cocktail was extremely sweet and alcoholic without being very flavorful. Overall we had an amazing experience. Thank you."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "We had a wonderful meal. Great service from Mary Linton. We drove 2 1/2 hrs to get there. Made a road trip out of it. With so many great restaurants much closer, not sure how often I would make the trip. Definitely, great to see it busy and helping turn Kinston into more of a destination."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "A special thanks to the awesome crew/team at Chef and the Farmer for making our anniversary dinner one to remember. Beth (floor manager), Brian (wine expert), and Mary Linton (server) gave us that special, personal touch which was most appreciative! The fried green tomato w/blueberries (appetizer) is highly recommended. Another fantastic night in downtown Kinston!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Excellent North Carolina based food - pork, peaches, figs, corn, fish."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "My wife and I recently had the opportunity to dine at the Chef and The Farmer. From the appetizers to dessert, everything and everyone exceeded our expectations. Can't wait to done here again."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Unique blend of flavors! Very interesting place for a small town in Eastern NC."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "The staff is very friendly and helpful with the menu. I was a little disappointed in my fried catfish/blue crab but understand its a southern place and the food is very tailored toward southern cuisine. My wife's chicken and sausage dish was excellent. The wine selection is above and beyond most restaurants. Great place, always an enjoyable experience."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Loved the yellowfin, my wife loves the blueberry glazed BBQ chicken. Dessert was decadent. We live in Greenville, and are happy this place is in the eastern part of the state. A great improvement would be to move to Greenville. The acoustics aren't great, unfortunately. I think people at a table for 6 or more would have to be happy talking to the people right next to them. Service was somewhat slow -- but the staff is very nice and welcoming. A gluten free menu is available, which excludes the dishes that include wheat products. Many of the dishes fit the category, so the selection is good."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Our appetizer figs, peaches and country ham was a wonderful blend of flavors, textures and tastes. We had the tuna and the pork chop which we enjoyed enjoyed as well. The service was prompt and very well trained. We drove from Raleigh and would encourage others to consider the trip."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "We made a special 3 hour trip to Chef and the Farmer for my wife's birthday. We were not disappointed. Food was as good as anywhere we've eaten yet right at home in eastern North Carolina. Tomato Pie was a delight. Everything was perfectly seasona, fresh and inventive. Service was good."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Once again had an great dining experience at C&F. The quality and freshness of the food was the highlight. For appetizer we got the squash pizza and even though it wasn't as tasty as hoped for the quality of ingredients and the cooks preparation made it appetizing. I wouldn't recommend the squash pizza unless you want something different or just love squash. I would recommend the other pizza as we had it before and it is more tasty to us at least. My wife got the New York Strip and it was very good and cooked perfectly but wasn't as flavorful as we like. I got the Pork Lasagna and it was cooked great and as it should be but not as good as beef lasagna."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Menu reflected seasonal foods. We expect food to be creative and more complex than what we produce at home - all dishes certainly met that criteria. Fried collards interesting; Sungold Tomato & Peach Gazpacho, fresh corn, crispy butter beans was 'bright' with complex flavors; tomatoes were stars of the heritage tomato brioche; Pimento Cheese Grits were tasty; Rice Crusted Catfish a crunchy delight; lamb chop and lamb sausage with eggplant and marinated cherry tomatoes was relished by all diners. For dessert, Coconut Cream Cheese Mousse, ginger infused melon, macadamia crumble was delicious with interesting contrast of textures while Hot, Salty & Sweet, peanuts, cinnamon/chipotle ice cream was bursting with complimentary flavors."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Our evening at Chef and the Farmer was an exceptional dining experience. The service was very attentive. The food was everything we hoped it would be. It was worth the 5 hour drive and we enjoyed celebrating our 71st birthdays at the restaurant."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Staff was friendly, local beer on tap was a great touch and the food was outstanding. The manager even took a few minutes to show me the rooms available for larger parties. The whole experience was great and it sold me on having my Air Force retirement dinner there!"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Loved everything about it! The favors were amazing!! Fresh local and absolutely delicious. Best snapper I've ever eaten-anywhere-ever. We loved the place so much we came back the next night!"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "The standard is consistent ... close to perfect. We were seated in a slightly different area from last time and it was a little noisy but nothing can take away from the pleasure of the food and the staff. Whenever business meetings bring us to Raleigh it has become the only place to have dinner"
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "This was my second visit and I love this place even more. The okra w/ ranch ice cream and shrimp and grits were top notch. I love to see what Vivian and staff are creating with the local foods. All staff were attentive and anxious to help in any way possible. Three of us sat at the kitchen bar and had a lot of fun watching 'the action'."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "Drove from Virginia Beach to have a special dinner and we were not disappointed. The greeting from the staff to all involved in our dinner. Brit (waitress) was exceptional, the helpers with water and busing tables will make great servers one day soon to the chefs. The meal was top gourmet. We will return another time."
    Dined on 8/12/2014