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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


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.
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
  • "The reputation of Chef and The Farmer preceeded itself. It certainly did not disappoint. My husband and I were celebrating our one year anniversary and every single staff member that we interacted with, wished us a 'Happy Anniversary'. It was a wonderful touch that made us feel extra special. We were lucky enough to be staying at the B&B of supplying Farmer; Warren Brothers, making the farm-to-table experience that much more tangible. Everything we ate was delicious, beautifully presented, fresh, and perfectly prepared. Our table overlooked the kitchen where we watched each cook craft their 'art' with equal passion from the time were seated to way beyond the time we left. Though a little loud, we were wowed. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I knew to expect a limited menu and that most if not all of the food is locally grown. That was the extent of my knowledge of this restaurant prior to dining here. We arrived early for our reservation and they were able to seat us sooner which was a pleasant surprise. The food was what I expected - unique pairings. The service was completely confusing - we must have had at least 4 different servers during the course of our meal (and we didn't have appetizers or dessert). I still don't know who our actual server was - there was a different person for taking our order, another person for bringing our food, another person for checking during our meal, another person for refilling our drinks, CHAOS!!!!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The tomato pie, pork belly and chocolate desert were great. The catfish rice breading was hard, the skirt steak not so good, very under cooked very raw in the center but the tuna was great. Great wine list. A little rushed with the different courses. Great service."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The food, the staff, the ambiance was all amazing. We went for our anniversary and had a wonderful time. From cocktails to desert and especially the pork belly we were not disappointed. Would recommend this restaurant for anyone with a special occasion or just a great night out."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Ever dish had wonderful unique flavors and the unexpected combinations turned out to be amazing."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I drove from Charlotte with 2 college friends specifically to eat here. The food is outstanding and the service very friendly and helpful. Love the small plates so we could taste many of the dishes. This is a real find in Eastern NC. People come from all over just to eat here although we sat next to a couple form Kinston so the local crowd is building. They opened another restaurant called the Boiler Room across the street which specializes in Oysters and beer. The waitress told us it was a great place to work and learn about food. Also a wine room connected to the restaurant. We had a great Savignon Blanc form New Zealand (Fernlands) that was just $20 a bottle. Highly recommend eating here."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Our return visit to The Chef and Farmer was exceptional. My wife had the Pattypan Squash Antipasta and I the Grits with shrimp, sausage, mushroom and pepper ragout for our 'starters'. Both were very tasty and well presented. For our 'large plates' my wife had the Rice Crusted Catfish which she raved about whilst I had the Sage Brined Bone-In Porkchop and what a treat it was ! For dessert my wife had the Lemon Parfait and I Birthday Ice Cream served with simple but elegant single birthday candles ! The Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon (Graves De Rabion) was also excellent and served with 'class'. Our 'server' Bridget and her 'supporting' staff of Beth, Bianca and Jason made us feel relaxed and 'special' with just the right level of attention."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Unpretentious great food wish they has longer hours or more seating"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "I have been here 3 times and have yet to have a bad experience or a bad or even mediocre dish. Everything is amazing, from the staff to the ambiance to the food. I rave about this place to all new people I work with and take family when they come. Because of its scrumptious and ever changing menu reservations are a must."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Our daughter gave us a gift certificate for our 42nd Anniversary to the Chef & the Farmer. First of all my husband had to stare at the wall all night & we were too close to the people on the sides of us. The noise level was unreal, it was impossible to talk to each other without shouting. We ordered an appetizer that was really tasty but it was suppose to have 6 skewers & we only got 5. I ordered the shrimp & grits...it was such a small potion with soupy grits & only 4 shrimp & it was lukewarm at best. My husband had the steak & it was very good. We were there 2 hours...everything was slow. Also by 7:30pm they were already out of 3 things on the menu. I'm really proud of all this Lenoir County Native has done but was very disappointed."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Highly recommend the restaurant. Friendly and professional staff making sure that everything we ordered was done to perfection. We are from New Bern and can easily say that this is one of the best restaurants in a 50 mile radius. Plan to go there again for special occasions."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "I thought your pork belly skewers, which I tried on my first visit, were going to be hard to top, but I think the black cherokee tomato bruschetta did! So good! On the surface it seems to be a very simple variation of a BLT. Definitely not simple flavors! I also recommend the country ham wrapped peaches, which were also very good. As in my first visit, I think I enjoy the shared plates the most! For our entrees, we tried the shrimp and grits, gouda-leek grits, pork shoulder lasagna and the squash casserole. All were very good, but gouda grits were my favorite. The squash casserole plate was slightly too herby for my taste."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "while my tuna was too rare for me that was quickly remedied. I realized (after ordering) that the waitress had not asked how I would like it cooked and I should have called that to her attention - but didn't. This was not a problem. The waitress was wonderful; it was gratifying to see a young person learning; I applaud Chef and the Farmer for training folks who haven't had this experience. Service was fantastic! Food was good and the evening was fun. Vivian's and Ben's presence is really a plus. She very kindly did a picture with us and wrote a note to my son who had given us the gift certificate to go. We will return and bring others - the drive from Chapel Hill isn't too much for a fun time with great food."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "I took my mother her for her 71st birthday. It was well worth the 3.5 hour drive from our home. The service was incredible. The server took time to explain drinks, dishes, etc. Shoestring fries with kitchen sink mayo were so good. We were there with my two daughters, ages 12 & 8. They offered two kids choices. Shrimp and fries were yummy for the 8 year old and the 12 year old got the appetizer pizza. Vivian, the Chef, was so friendly and took pictures with us and signed the menu. Desserts were to die for. We were stuffed but got the flight of three yummies! Check out the wine shop. It's small but fun. Full of craft beers too. Enjoy!!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "We drove almost two hours after hearing so many great things, it did not disappoint! The food was perfectly prepared, the service was attentive and the menu selections very eclectic and creative. We enjoyed our entire experience and if we have one small critique, it is that the restaurant tended to be a bit noisy."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "On our first dining experience at the Chef and The Farmer restaurant we were celebrating two birthdays. The food,service and overall atmosphere truly was worth the three months wait since I made the reservations. We are now going to become regulators. The menu is very fresh and seasonal and changes daily. Was a great night out in Kinston,NC!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I booked a reservation through OpenTable over a month in advance, since we would be driving through Kinston on our way to New Bern for a wedding the next day. Arrived on time on a Friday evening and were seated promptly. The restaurant was full. Our waitress and table attendant were excellent! Very friendly staff and prompt and attentive service. My ONLY complaint was the pork chop was past medium. It was still moist and VERY flavorful thanks to a blueberry chutney, but very tough to cut the thick chop. Overall, the menu was great, and we were still happy with the dinner; however, there are PLENTY of equally good restaurants closer to home in Durham, Wake, and Orange counties with competitive prices."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The grits were unbelievable and the lemon dessert with basil ice cream was ridiculous!"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "The food was excellent and creative! The wine list extensive and the bread delicious. We had hope to have a drink at the wine bar before dinner but much smaller than we anticipated and there was a large group there. The bar was full and many folks eating there so we waited outside. We are fans of the television show and visited from Western NC."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We drove 350 miles round trip to experience this restaurant for our 34th anniversary, and it did not disappoint. Truly a phenomenal dining experience from the moment you enter. We ordered big plates, plates to share, small plates, cocktails, and dessert. Every dish was thoughtfully prepared with flavors unique to this restaurant. We were also treated to a visit to our table by Vivian, and that topped off a great evening. My highest praise to all who make Chef and the Farmer what it is."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "It was 4 in my party at the Chef and the Farmer on a Wed evening and we had a great time. The food was wonderful and all the service was great. I had it on my bucket list and none in the party were disappointed. The chef Vivian took time to come to our table and had pictures made with us. My sister and I had seen most of her shows on unctv and could not wait to taste her wonderful cooking. We will definitely be back to try this place again. It was well worth the trip to eastern NC to have a delicious meal at the Chef and the Farmer. Everyone should try this place at least once."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "This place belongs in San Francisco or New York! The owners have done a wonderful job bringing some culture and a think local concept to the South! Such a welcomed change from anything I've ever eaten anywhere around here. The service was outstanding, and the food was fresh and had wonderful flavor."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "The waitress was attentive and knowledgeable. The country ham wrapped peaches were delightful-sweet and savory. The rice crusted catfish was was great as was the yellowfin tuna. We bought a loaf of the rosemary bread to take home to enjoy later. We'll definitely go again."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Innovative use of local foods! A little pricey, but well worth it. The wait staff anticipated our needs but was very friendly, discreet and most accommodating. We were seated promptly and told to take our time with our dining experience. The food was excellent and well prepared. We enjoyed our whole evening, and as we were leaving, had at least 3 members of the staff to thank us for coming and say that they hoped we enjoyed our evening."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "From the bartender to the servers Chef and The Farmer was a first class operation. The blueberry pizza was outstanding, the drinks and wine were second to none. The steak, and flounder were superb. Chef and The Farmer is a great experience that was on par with anything we had in D.C. or Volt in Fredrick, M.D. on this trip. To really get the whole farm to table experience you've got to stay with one of the restaurants suppliers Jane and Warren Brothers a few minutes down the road in Lagrange. Warren showed us around the farm the morning after our feast and stay in the Brothers' farm house."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "One of North Carolina's most highly acclaimed restaurants, the Chef and the Farmer meets all expectations. Chef Vivian Howard's cuisine creations are magical, drawing the maximum of flavor from the very freshest of ingredients. Vivian's refined cuisine is a gem in a worthy setting. The Dining Room's walls are hung with a museum-quality collection of framed paintings. Diners sink into trendy, yet comfortable chairs at elegantly appointed tables. The setting provides soft lighting, and background music is elegantly selected. Service is impeccable ("The waiters, the wine steward, etc...set the standard for superior customer service)."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "You never have to worry about anything at the restaurant. The staff is always great with their knowledge of the food, wine, beer and drinks. They are watching you to see if you have any needs, but at the same time not hovering over you. The food is excellent for the vegetarian, pescetarian or the normal meat lover."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "This was one of the best meals i've ever experienced. Food was fresh, fun, and yummy. Would love to do it again."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "This restaurant is about 1.5 hours from Raleigh so we made a day of exploring; we are happy we did. The food was phenomenal - we started with the pork belly and beef tartare. The blueberry bbq sauce that goes along with the Pork Belly just made the dish - tangy and sweet! The Shrimp, Cucumber & Blueberry salad was a nice refresher on such a hot day.....for our main dishes we had Bourbon Braised Pork Shoulder Lasagna & Rice Crusted Catfish. Although the catfish was good the Lasagna was the best I have ever had; melted in my mount - I woke up the next morning dreaming of the lasagna! I want to go back for the lasagna......Dessert was good: chocolate mousse and banana split; I like the big chucks of chocolate in the mousse!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "We traveled from Indiana to experience Chef and the Farmer. Every single mile was worth it as the service was great, and the food was phenomenal."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "My husband and I included this as a "vacation stop", we ate there between our stay in Charleston and Asheville. We had watched Vivian's show on PBS and have been wanting to go to the restaurant. Knowing that we would not be in the area for a long time - we had issues trying to decide what to try! Everything was wonderful! Vivian was there, she checked over every dish before it went out to the table!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Frothy whisky sour; pork belly skewers glazed with blueberry BBQ sauce, cialntro and sliced jalapenos; flash-fried collard greens; roasted garlic and parmesan pizza with papparadelle yellow squash, dill, Benton's bacon and a farm fresh egg; perfect chemin blanc Vouvray wine; fluffy grits (I have NEVER had "fluffy" grits!) with pimento cheese, fresh salsa, corn; blueberry cobbler with basil ice cream. All the people working seem happy and relaxed, professional and passionate about food. Committed to local seafood and local agriculture (North Carolina), the meal was fresh, fantastic and unforgettable. Having eaten divine meals all over the world, I would rank this meal in the top 5% of all meals!BRAVO!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "3-hr round trip drive from Raleigh and worth it!! fabulous meal - loved all of it."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "The Chef and the Farmer food was outstanding. We came in with high expectations and all out expectations were exceeded. The staff was exceptional and very welcoming. The cooks were very professional and entertaining. The food was the best we've had at a restaurant. Thanks for a memorable experience."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "It lives up to its TV reputation. Everything was excellent. We will be back for sure!!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Chef and The Farmer was NOT a good experience for me. The Lamb Chop I had was half bone, and half gristle. The server was friendly taking the order, but never came back to inquire about the meal. The two appetizers we had were very good. The desserts we had were also very good. But the Lamb was simply unforgivable; and the lack of attention from the server was even worse. Tables are squeezed together, which made it entertaining to listen to everyone's (supposively private) conversations. The restaurant has good reviews, and I was excited to go... but I am now sorry I wasted $165 on the dreadful experience."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "The food and service were great. They let you sit and talk without trying to rush you in and out. As soon as you walk in you are greeted by a staff memeber. Great place to talk your special someone for a quite and romantic evening."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "We were willing to try this since it was our anniversary. We wanted to go somewhere different. It was enjoyable, but I ordered the summer vegetable experience which featured something called squash and onion smother but what I received were actually just some fire roasted vegetables and left hungry. If a restaurant runs out of a product they should let you know that they will substitute. The large plate that was ordered (lamb rib and sausage) was good but very little on the plate. If you are in to pretense and not eating this is the place for you! I do want to say that we were treated very nicely by Brittany our waitress, and Ben even came by to let us know our food was running late, and we appreciated the effort shown there."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We've watched the entire PBS special and decided almost a year ago to travel the 4 hours to Kinston to celebrate our 39th Anniversary at Chef & the Farmer. It was a good decision. Our perfect dinner was a great way to kick off our long weekend trip to New Bern. We liked it so much we decided to stop in Kinston on the way home to try the Boiler Room Oyster Bar (sister restaurant) which was equally as good. Thanks to the entire staff for helping our evening be such a feast for our senses."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Charming, welcoming - a wonderful dining experience. The wait staff was exceptional. The food absolutely to die for - great job. I was truly impressed."
    Dined on 6/11/2014