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

    .

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
See all photos
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
381 reviews since July 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
98% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (306)fit for foodies (299)notable wine list (183)romantic (138)neighborhood gem (131)hot spot (125)good for groups (64)vibrant bar scene (44)late-night find (16)great for lunch (5)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (2)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Chef and The Farmer
    CMD71
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    We drove 4.5 hours and it was worth the drive. The staff was great and the food was better then we could have imagined. We hope we get to go back some day when we are in North Carolina.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High expectations
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    This restaurant's reputation had us pumped for some extraordinary food. The shared plate of fried green tomatoes with blueberries was as good a dish as I've had. My main meal of sirlon was good but I wish it had been a bit more tender and flavorful. My husband thought his pork chop delicious. The accompanying sides for each of our meals were excellent. I particularly enjoyed the sweet potatoes. All in all, an interesting experience but not quite as amazing as we had expected.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • So So
    Foodiecritic
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I booked this through Open Table and put in the notes that it was our 32nd Anniversary. Well, there was no mention of our anniversary at all, the staff was not very helpful or pleasant, and I was just not impressed. Love the food, love Vivian and her show, but the restaurant is not what I had wanted it to be. Booked another restaurant for our anniversary through Open Table and noted it was our anniversary for the same weekend. They had special menus printed saying Happy 32nd Anniversary, the staff all acknowledged that it was our anniversary, the service was amazing. It is the little touches that make a special occasion special for people. Watching the show, I felt that this restaurant would have that but it doesn't.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A perfect evening!
    RaleighGirl
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Vivien Howard's amazing menu and her staff thrilled and delighted us all Saturday night. The appetizers, wine, amazing entrees, and new bourbon from the guys over at Mother Earth Brewing left all of us anxious to come back to Kinston and do it all again. Thank you, Chef and The Farmer!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday
    bobdine
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Great food--different choices---Love this place--was a little noisy last Sat---Waiters seem rushed with the large crowd Excellent presentation on the plates--Great place for a romantic dinner--Not early on Sat night Was a little disappointed--I am not from the south and wanted to try some butterbeans--Watched Vivian's show on TV--Respect for the Butterbean--But I did not order a meal that had butterbeans--So I asked to have a small amount to taste & I was told no by the waitress after she checked with cooking staff---I will return again--because we love the place--But was a little shocked at the response
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Did Not Disappoint!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    The food was outstanding, from the house made breads, which were amazing, to the dessert and everything in between it was a great meal. Too many times popular places don't live up to the hype or your own high expectations but Chef and the Farmer delivered! Worth the trip from Virginia Beach and we will make it a future stop on our way through North Carolina
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Elegant Dining
    VariedDining
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Food was excellent. Service was spectacular. We weren't rushed at all even though we were almost the last in the restaurant due to a late reservation time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Perfect
    adahn6
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    We came here for our anniversary dinner. It was the best restaurant experience either of us had ever had. The ambiance was very good, with a very attractively designed main dining room and open facing kitchen. The service was very solid from the start, and we were very pleased with our waiter during the night; he was funny, timely, and helpful with menu choices. The food was, however, what really set this restaurant apart. Every dish we got was attractive, inventive, and very tasty. Of particular note are the parmesan beer bread, the pork belly skewers, and the mocha eclair parfait; these dishes blew away even our high expectations. I don't like recommending anything unconditionally. In this case, however, an exception is due: eat here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is how to run a restaurant
    happyeaterVIP
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    This is a great restaurant that understands great food and service while keeping the atmosphere congenial and involved. It's the best new wave Brooklyn, NY restaurant in Kinston, NC.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jenny
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    I love your menu. Your creativity is wonderful and the menu reflected it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • awaitingresponse
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    I gave it the highest rating in all categories. Here are some tweaking recommendations: Could older folks reserve a spot where with enough light to read the menu or could you print it on whiter paper? If not, I have now found that I could read it online. How soon is it posted each day? I wish I had told the server to bring me another gouda/onion pudding--so hard on top it hurt my mouth, but I thought this restaurant was so wonderful it must be intended to be that crispy on top. Underneath I could taste that it was delicious.
    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.
  • Fun to watch line staff
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Our table provided us with a view of the Line, and it was fun to watch the process. I only wish my cooktop could put out the BTU's they work with. It was also fun to note which of the staff we'd seen on the PBS show. The first reservations on a Tuesday night can be erratic, but TCATF gave us a great meal with superb service. A good dining experience is not just about the food; the diner should be made to feel special. TCATF has this figured out. Complements to both Chef Vivian and GM Ben!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not to miss!
    kinstonfun
    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!
    colfenbu
    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
    stampdoc
    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