Chef and The Farmer
Chef and The Farmer

Chef and The Farmer

  • 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: 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
392 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (318)special occasion (315)notable wine list (185)hot spot (134)romantic (132)neighborhood gem (125)good for groups (69)vibrant bar scene (51)late-night find (19)kid-friendly (8)great for lunch (3)scenic view (2)great for outdoor dining (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Amazing food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Amazing food. I really enjoy the chef's originality in her use of ingredients.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Flavor spectacular
    Gray
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    The soup and entree had amazing favors. The fish was perfectly hot and delicious. Such a talented chef and staff. Dessert was a little disappointing. The chocolate cake wasnt very chocolatie but the sorbie was amazing. The brittle was too hot to eat. The noise level was so high that my friend and I could not converse. Adding something to absorb sound would help a lot. The service was excellent and fine. I loved the mix of top notch food with excellent yet friendly staff. Can't wait to go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the drive!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    A friend and I decided to drive down from Raleigh to dine here (about an hour and a half). It was absolutely worth the trip! Jonathan our server made a great wine recommendation for me and food recommendations for the table. We had the Italian sausage casserole, pork belly pizza, and braised beef lasagne. I can't stop thinking about the lasagne! I will be back again! The chef and the farmer in easily my favorite restaurant in North Carolina!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well worth the trip!
    durhamsailorj
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Exceeded our expectations. One of the four in our party had been before and was a bit worried because their initial visit wasn't "spectacular". This time, most everything was. Fried Collards were like popcorn (couldn't stop eating them). Lima bean spread was amazing on the toast it was served with and even better on the breads of the day. All of the main courses (steak, pork chop, lasagna and beans and rice) were among the best we've ever had. And we could have eaten the smoked sweet potato as a main course if there had been more. Desserts were great as well. The service was nicely paced, not rushed, friendly and knowledgable. We were amazed (in a good way) to realize we were there for 3 hours!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Call Danny Meyer immediately
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    The staff, while enthusiastic, are woefully under trained. From the water glasses to the timing of the entrée to staff repartees – this team needs more training. I was sad for them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Have to Eat Here
    guest12345
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    This is a must-try if you like good, local food. Met and exceeded our expectations. The service was great, the wine list was extensive, and most importantly the food was out of this world. Great location in downtown Kinston.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The "flash fried" collards were the best part.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Sadly, meal wasn't hot when served but 'Smoked Kale & Farmer's Cheese Pizza' could have been delicious. "Large Plate" but small portion: 'Chicken & Rutabaga "Dumplings"'(?) is unimpressive and crazy expensive. Muscadine Cobbler filling is yummy but is overwhelmed by the amount of crust. Uncertain I'd recommend this restaurant. Enjoyed Boiler Room much more~
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • awesome food
    foodiedoodie
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Some of the best, compelling, interesting, unique southern flavors I've ever had. You would be remiss to miss the pork belly skewers, and sample the wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Road Trip Time!
    Porchrocker
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Drove two hours for a birthday road trip to The Chef and the Farmer. Had high expectations and they were all exceeded. It's worth the drive any day of the week. Had great cocktails, shared a lot of plates and savored every bite. Everything I ate became my new favorite food. I would drive back for each one of them! Looking at my calendar now.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just as we had hoped
    RT2013
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    We went two nights in a row to be able to sample as much of the menu as possible -- VERY interesting Low County interpretations. Our travel time to get there was 4 1/2 hours, but having had the experience, it was time well invested.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous
    LouiseAmanda
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    My husband and I came to Chef and the Farmer for his birthday this week and we were blown away! The food was impeccable, and the service equally impressive- everyone, including the bartenders, knew everything about that menu and all of the various drinks available. We felt welcomed and that the staff were genuinely excited to have us:) We can't wait to come back and try dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Staff
    Danno
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    The host staff was aloof and somewhat snobby. The wait staff were nice. Food was excellent but expensive. Portions were large. Timing was appropriate, but it was a Tuesday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chef and The Farmer - Outstanding
    JJH4
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We wanted to try this restaurant after the Raleigh News and Observer listed it as one of the best "relatively unknown" restaurants in NC in a 2012 article. We forgot about it until seeing "A Chef's Life" on PBS. The menu and ambiance was in keeping with what the TV show portrays about Ben and Vivian Howard. The food was excellent and offers a decent selection of unique dishes/combinations. The service was as good as any place we have ever been. The cost is pricey, but worth it, all things considered.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DGY1
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Mary, our waitress, was excellent. The pork shoulder lasagna was excellent. The pretzel chocolate ice cream was outstanding. However, the shrimp and grits was way over priced for a bowl of grits - 6 "small" shrimp and very little ragout, did not taste sausage...proportion of shrimp to grits was way off. Also, as the restaurant promotes local/NC products, which is great, where was the NC wine? NC has many great wines - dry to sweet. NC also has all natural wineries, one in Pikesville (The Secret Garden Winery).
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful evening!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Friendly, attentive, and welcoming staff who made our two young girls feel as special as we did. The flavors did not disappoint, and the fried collards really are the best! What a great balance between fine dining and at-home feel. Main courses were wonderful, and the desserts were spectacular! The Chef and the Farmer is a real gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OBXer
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Got there ten minutes early and went right to bar for initial drink. Seated riight on time. As a spear fisherman on the upper NC Coast, I was completely yet pleasantly excited to know that my favorite spearing fish - sheepshead, was on the menu. Excellent preparation and taste. I,, came for first time all the way from Nags Head, NC to try out the restaurant. Was rewarded and not disappointed. Very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Great Staff, Great Dining Experience
    GiGiKayak
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Food was flavorful and done well. What really impressed me was the strong teamwork of the staff, everyone working toward a good dining experience. Farm to table comes across in restaurant like in the PBS show _A Chef's Life_. We had starters of flash fried collards (definitely not yourgrandmother's collards), beets/orange/trout roe and bread sampler. All very good. My wife had one of their specialty cocktails using Mother Earth Brewing's Gin which was a lovely burst of flavor, giving the scents of orange grove. Main dish sauces were all deep and complex, be warned that there is a heavy pork fat component of most of the green's dishes in the fall. Will go back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Met Expectations
    Sandisanwich
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We visited this restaurant upon a recommendation of a local in New Bern. There were 3 of us and we shared a number of items. Rave reviews for the Butternut Squash and Sausage Casserole, Butterkin Pumpkin Soup, mixed green salad. We also shared the kale and cheese pizza- great crust but the favors were not a hit for us. We shared 2 desserts including the chocolate beer cake- Fantastic! And the chocolate ice cream combination- also wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the evening. We hope Kinston values such a gem!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding!
    Terri
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    My husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at Chef and the Farmer and the evening was perfect. The ambiance, service and food were all superb. Would highly recommend this restaurant for any special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We gave it a B+ and were disappointed
    Foodlover
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Menu was understandably limited to seasonal food, but was rather limited mostly pork, squash, local greens. Best part of meal was the pizza appetizer. Everything was over salted. Catfish very bland. Liked the small cocktails.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Seat with a view of the action
    Hachiman
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    We sat at the bar in front of where the meals are prepared and thoroughly enjoyed watching the cook staff cook the food, display the items for presentation with attention to detail, clean, and work together as a team. We got to speak with them while they were cleaning after the kitchen closed and were impressed by how much they enjoyed working there. The food was amazing. I had catfish and my wife had the bacon wrapped rabbit. We were pleasantly surprised by the flash frid collards. We also fad apple upside-down cake with caramel ice cream for dessert that was awesome and capped off the meal perfectly. We were not disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding as always
    Jenny
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    C&F team has outdone themselves again. We took my parents there 2 days ago who are visiting from Europe. Their one request during this visit was to go out to dinner at C & F again. As always the place looks fantastic and the food is incredible. Bridget did a great job as our server and Jason was equally as great as our sommelier. Brian Roberts, the Beverage Manager outdid himself as always with the wine, cocktail and dessert recommendations. :o) My two favorite dishes were the Kale pizza and of course the flash fried collards. It's just magical. The kitchen did a phenomenal job on everything and my dad walked out on cloud nine after having the best steak he's had since the last time he visited C&F. If you have not visited - GO NOW!
    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.
  • perfect
    Candi
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Great for celebrating special events. Pricey and unique menu but lived up to the hype. Spent 2 1/2 hours there so be sure to go with people you really enjoy. Just a wonderful evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden Gem in NC
    melmess
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Chef and the Farmer was the best dining experience I have ever had. The service was first class, the food melted in your mouth - I could go on and on! We sat at the kitchen bar and were able to watch the Chefs at work! Courtland was right in front of us and he was so personable and went out of his way to engage us. We had the best seats in the house. Truly it was like having dinner at your family's home. We drove 2 hours to celebrate my birthday - and it was the best gift without a doubt!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Something Unexpected
    SecondHelping
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Had an overall unique dining experience in a favorable way. However, if you have a farmers appetite you will find the portions a bit stingy. And yes I am a farmer. Perhaps this is the problem, because this dining is intended for more sophisticated up-town folks. I'm not really into that. Would come back maybe for a rare special occasion, but not more than once or twice a year.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Phenomenal!
    dastep
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    What a meal, what a night. The food, the service, the atmosphere ... everything was outstanding. Just phenomenal. You won't be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very tasty, unique spot!!
    jrrd4
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This was a great experience and I look forward to returning!! The unique menu was so appealing, I wanted to order one of each item!! Multiple collard selections, made me very happy!! Flash fried collards-yes please!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Definitely Recommend!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    I truly enjoyed the entire meal. the bourbon braised lasagna was different and delicious. Everything tasted fresh. My leftovers tasted better the next morning. I sat at the kitchen bar and that was the best part smelling and seeing all the food magic taking place. Definitely Recommend!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Southern flavor ny style
    Eat2live
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    Still full! great experience but I gotta workout after 4course meal. Keep up the good work!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Brian
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    All I hoped for. I am a big fan of the Chef's life. Also enjoyed the boiler room
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hamptonva
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    From watching the Chef on PBS, then being able to experience the food and restaurant were fantastic. I highly recommend to anyone within a five hour drive to go and see for themselves.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent food
    newfoundland
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    The only thing detracting from complete excellence was the somewhat high noise level. I ordinarily find portion size to be too large, but the size for the fish and pasta entrees was a tad small
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • be willing to wait
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    Food was great, waitstaff were very friendly and knowledgeable, prices reasonable, but the wait between appetizer and entree was entirely too long. I don't want my entree to appear before I finish the appetizer, but I also don't want to wait an hour between courses and I believe we waited at least 50 or 55 minutes. If you are going to have to wait that long they need to upgrade the seating because 2 hours on a wooden plank is uncomfortable and borders on torture. I will go back for the food, but may have to take a pillow to sit on!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • waited a while for this !
    SEAstVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    have been looking forward to visiting the Chef and the Farmer for sometime, did not disappoint - very welcoming environment and staff, food was excellent ( we may have over indulged !!) with great wine choices and knowledgeable sommelier . Very very good experience !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Chef and the Farmer. Holy Smokes.
    mkrobert9VIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I loved loved loved Chef and the Farmer! We made the 1.5 hour drive from Raleigh to Kinston and it was well worth it. We were so excited because we are fans of the show and love new twists on good ole' southern cooking. It beat every expectation we had. Get the pork chop - you will not be disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Best in Eastern NC
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    This was my fourth trip to the Chef and the Farmer and I've never had a single thing that wasn't excellent. As a Farmer and life long resident of the region, it never ceases to amaze me how Vivian Howard and her staff present all these ingredients that I grew up with in new and flavorful ways. From the pickled melon rind wrapped in bacon to the Kershaw rissotto, to the Pheasant wrapped in bacon, Tuna with applebutter and boiled peanuts and the Pork Chop with Caramelized Oinions and gouda cream to the flight of desserts, such an awesome dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellence in Kinston NC
    RandR
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Kinston NC is a small town where you wouldn't expect to find a fine restaurant (unless you watch the TV show on PBS), But Chef and The Farmer certainly is just that. This was our third visit and we never cease to enjoy the creative touches the chef applies to local, seasonal ingredients, such as the addition of pumpkin (komatsuna squash), sausage and sage to her shrimp and grits, turning a very traditional Carolina dish into a delicious novelty. Another good autumn-flavored dish, the sage brined bone-in pork chop was flavorful and tender. Throughout the meal the waitstaff were attentive. They also have an excellent bar and knowledgeable bartenders, and the sister restaurant across the street, The Boiler Rom, serves up tasty local oysters
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Creative food, fabulous service
    DawnK
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We had a most enjoyable meal Friday evening. The service was absolutely top notch. Our food was delivered at appropriate intervals & was delicious. The Fried Collards appetizer, and bacon wrapped watermelon rinds, were so good I wish we had ordered more. Shrimp & Grits were great - different from spicy versions I've had, & a pleasant change. A friend got the Pork Chop - an impressive size & delicious. Another had the Steak & potato, the steak was a nice portion & cooked perfectly. Others ordered wood fired pizzas & were happy with it. The most interesting part of the meal was sharing pretty much all of the desserts - all were unusual. Pretzel ice cream was a bit too salty - the only thing that wasn't perfect the whole meal. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Worth the drive
    DrGoodwitch
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    My friends and I have been planning a visit to Chef and the Farmer since August. We gathered in Chapel Hill from Florida and Washington,DC and drove to Kinston. It was worth the effort. The food was good and Susan knocked herself out to give us excellent service. The pacing was a bit off, however. We waited too long between courses and the room got a bit loud by seven o'clock. Vivian was not cooking, but the food was still excellent. We will happily return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Locally Sourced Restaurant
    Traveler
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The wait staff is very knowledgeable about the menu which is locally sourced and provided selections for the gourmand to the picky eater. Our order was delivered adequately and was absolutely delicious from our appetizers to our desserts. Will definitely return the next time we are in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.