About Chef and The Farmer

120 W. Gordon St.
Kinston, NC 28501
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For additional reservation inquiries, please call our reservationist Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.

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.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary Southern

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm -
If your preferred reservations are not available on-line or if your group is over 5, please call our reservationist Monday - Friday 9am -5pm.

Cross Street:
Herritage & Gordon

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(252) 208-2433

Website:
http://www.chefandthefarmer.com/

Executive Chef:
Vivian Howard

Additional:
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 | $40 cake - serves 10 or more guests

To order, please call our event coordinator at 252.208.2433 x3

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Chef and The Farmer Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.8

ambience

4.7

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Food
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Service
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
14 More
Best Ambiance
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Value
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Fit for Foodies
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Notable Wine List
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Special Occasion
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Overall
Raleigh
Best Food
Raleigh
Best Service
Raleigh
Best Ambiance
Raleigh
Best Value
Raleigh
Fit for Foodies
Raleigh
Hot Spot
Raleigh
Special Occasion
Raleigh
Most Booked
Raleigh
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special occasion (334)
fit for foodies (297)
notable wine list (167)
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romantic (144)
neighborhood gem (135)
hot spot (124)
good for groups (88)
vibrant bar scene (46)
late-night find (14)
great for lunch (8)
kid-friendly (6)
great for brunch (5)
scenic view (3)
great for outdoor dining (1)
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Newest
2048 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Everything was absolutely amazing!!! My ...

Dined 3 days ago

Everything was absolutely amazing!!! My mother and I were there celebrating my graduation from graduate school. The restaurant was everything that I expected it to be. The food and service were the best that I have ever had. It was the culinary highlight to my graduation trip. Thank you all.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This restaurant did not disappoint. The ...

Dined 3 days ago

This restaurant did not disappoint. The service was fantastic and the food was as marvelous as I had hoped. Everything was carefully presented and the flavors were memorable. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable and super helpful with her suggestions and wine pairing. We sat near the side kitchen window and really enjoyed watching our meals being prepared. Although we were full from dinner we did make room for a light desert and the mint ice cream was phenomenal. Can't wait to return.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

Recent dinner

Dined 4 days ago

The Chef's use of vegetables, especially root vegetables, is superb. Her breads leave much to be desired. The preparation of the Trout was spot on.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We travelled all the way from NH to go h ...

Dined 4 days ago

We travelled all the way from NH to go here and we were not disappointed. Missed seeing Vivian,but still worth the trip.

Tags: fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great service, food, and atmosphere. We ...

Dined 4 days ago

Great service, food, and atmosphere. We love Chef and the Farmer. The service is always outstanding. The food was exceptional. The beef short ribs to die for!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Get treated like family

Dined 5 days ago

We had Susan for our server and she was excellent by all standards. Susan was able to educate us on each dish and describe it down to taste and texture, a rare find. We tried several of the dishes on the appetizer list instead of getting a main entrée. That was the best way to sample all of their specialty dishes - since we were only in the area for one night. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone if they are going to be in the Kinston, NC area - to treat themselves to unique and tasty dishes.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

We had terrific service--thoughtful, qui ...

Dined 6 days ago

We had terrific service--thoughtful, quick and attentive. Great cocktails, lively environment. The staff acknowledged that our meal was a special occasion: we drove from Indiana specifically to Chef and the Farmer for our 20th anniversary. Totally worth it.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful meal, great service

Dined 6 days ago

We went for a belated birthday dinner for my husband as he is quite a foodie and watches the TV show "A Chef's Life". It was a wonderful experience - service, quality of the food and wine. A perfect evening. One dish that stands out in particular was the softshell crab - perfection.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

What a great date night! Our meal was su ...

Dined 6 days ago

What a great date night! Our meal was superb and the staff was so friendly and knowledgeable! We will return!

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Too notch in every aspect! Can hardly ...

Dined 7 days ago

Too notch in every aspect! Can hardly wait to go again!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fabulous

Dined on May 17, 2016

We had planned for months to go to New Bern & were recommended to go to Chef & Farmer. It was excellent! We will return sometime I am sure.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Excellent service Great Atmosphere Perfe ...

Dined on May 17, 2016

Excellent service Great Atmosphere Perfect for our 10 yr. Wedding Ann.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

Very overrated

Dined on May 15, 2016

My husband has wanted to try this restaurant for a long time. I was going to take him for his birthday last year. I apparently needed to reserve a table many months in advance. I managed to remember about a month early this year. The earliest they could accommodate 2 people was 9:45. We still had to wait an additional 15 minutes. We had a choice of 5 larger entrees. I had the crab & my husband had the steak. My crab came out in bowl of green liquid that was rather tasteless & made the crab soggy before I had 2 bites. His steak was very average. He requested it be cooked medium. It was medium rare. I had a strawberry salad that was good. The drink I had at the bar was also good. Nothing was exceptional. I would try this restaurant one more time. Maybe they were having an off night. I certainly would not recommend it at this time.

Tags: hot spot
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Enjoyed it!!

Dined on May 13, 2016

We decided to go last minute and got an 8PM reservation. Food overall was very good- chicken on Carolina rice and fried asparagus were standouts. Flounder was fishy tasting ( we thought that was unusual) but we told our server so they took it off the bill. Would definitely go back.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience1
service5
value2

Disappointed

Dined on May 11, 2016

We went for a birthday and we're "foodies" so we thought it would be an experience. The service was excellent. But that's where it ended. Some of the dishes were just "confused." The portions were small. Everything was swimming in oil. And it was EXREMELY noisy. So disappointing.

Tags: hot spot
food4
ambience3
service5
value4

Gourmet Experience Developing

Dined on May 11, 2016

My wife and I had dinner here after having viewed the chef/operator's "A Chef's Life" TV show on UNC TV. The service we experienced from Greg was probably the highlight of the evening! Management has really trained the staff well! The entrees were marginally good, but way too large! We could have done with far less on our plates. My wife's trout was the biggest we have ever seen! It overlapped the plate! In other gourmet places we have experienced abroad the staff de-bones fish like this at the table and presents only the fish flesh, plus accompaniments. We had to do the "autopsie" ourselves. OK It tasted delicious, but..... My flounder was prepared "Calabash Style, i.e., lots of breading, and fish dried out. The filet was presented on top of a huge pile of risotto and vegies. Tasty, but dry, and way to large! The first courses, fried asparagas, and strawberry salad, were OK, but, again, way too large! I guess they are catering to the southern crowd that likes everything, including vegies, deep fried. Tasty, but too big. Greg did a super job with the wine selection. The dessert, a very small bowl of strawberry cobbler that we shared was good, but at $9 plus tax & service, way too expensive. Overall, Vivian has brought a lot of class to Kinston, NC. We are confident she will improve the overall experience as time goes by.

food4
ambience4
service5
value3

This was our second trip to Chef and the ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

This was our second trip to Chef and the Farmer. Passed through with friends a year ago, and couldn't speak highly enough about it then. It lived up to all of the hype, which is so hard to do when expectations are high. The seared pork belly was stellar (shocker, I know...) and so was the peanut risotto and essentially all of the dishes. We entreated friends to travel the 90 miles here to eat, as it would be well worth the trip just for dinner. This time, however, it was "good" but honestly felt the food has fallen flat. I was so excited too - it's strawberry, pea, and asparagus season! My wife and I are pretty easy going with food and like to eat out regularly. We had the fried asparagus, hot vegetable dip with crudites, spoonbread, trout, and strawberry cobbler. I think they must have received previous feedback that their food was too salty, because ours was consistently underseasoned. It actually pains me to write this, because I love their story and our last meal was so excellent, but the dishes were so consistently underseasoned. Honestly, if this was a random nice restaurant we went, we would say 'eh,' and likely not return. I'm not giving up on them, but at this time, would recommend stopping by for dinner if you're in the area. I don't see ourselves making any trips specifically here in the near future. Hopefully this experience was a "one-off."

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

What a wonderful time! The food was tot ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

What a wonderful time! The food was totally worth it. Exceptional pairings for overall delight with each bite. I got the chance to sit at the bar and observe all the dishes as they were prepared. Works of art! The vibrant staff make sure you have a good time. My server Mallory was knowledgeable and very helpful with my selections. Met Ben!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Loved the Farmer, wish we could have seen the Chef

Dined on May 11, 2016

We had dinner there May 10th, 2016. The most memorable items of the night for us were the cold smoked fried potatoes ( I thought I had eaten potatoes just about every way they could be cooked) and the basil ice cream ( on the strawberry tart) which were both suprising and superb. The rest of the dinner was very good but those two items made the meal. We didn't care for the grilled cabbage that came with the huge Pork Chop nor did we care for the blackened cabbage loaf that came with the Braised Short Ribs, but everything else was great. I highly recommend the brick oven baked flat bread with asparagus and caramelized onions, and the strawberry salad. Ms. Vivian can be very proud of her crew. We sat next to the kitchen and we were treated with viewing the bustling staff turning out plate after plate of the most delicious food. It was a very well oiled machine. Our only disappointment, which we admit was just pure selfishness, was not catching a glimpse of Ms. Vivian herself and not getting the chance to tell her how much we admire her and her very compelling PBS show, but then she deserves a life too.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

From beginning to end this place was ama ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

From beginning to end this place was amazing. We tried 5 different appetizers that were all extraordinary in addition to our entrees and dessert.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Everything we hoped for!

Dined on May 10, 2016

All I can say is that the 2" thick pork chop was out of this world! Our table was directly beside the kitchen was awesome to watch the chefs cook our dinner!

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The food was outstanding, got the Pork C ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

The food was outstanding, got the Pork Chop and it couldn't be better. The service honored the food too. I went with my three kids and they also agreed that the almost two hour drive worth it.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Dinning at the Chef and the Farmer

Dined on May 5, 2016

my wife and I enjoyed dining at your facility this month. I'm retired Navy officer, and a sports medicine physician. We have been all over the world to include the oriented and a broad and having eaten at every type of restaurant imaginable. I have enjoyed monkey in Panang Malaysia, authentic Indian cuisine in Hong Kong and the World famous Steak from Mancy's Steak House in Toledo just to mention a few. all that background being said I just wanted to let you staff no that this was the best meal my wife and I have ever had. The fodd was incredible, the omnience was top-notch and the service with second to none. Thank you all!

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

As Good As Advertised

Dined on May 5, 2016

We had seen the programs on Public Television and wanted to see if the place was as good as it appeared. Plus, we appreciated the very direct connection with agriculture. We drove 130 miles round-trip for an 8:45 p.m. reservation...and we are not late night people. It met and exceeded our expectations. We did not get to meet or see the owners, but we did not expect to. That would have been a bonus, but our waitress, Susan, was SO good at what she does, her cordial nature sufficed

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

I thoroughly enjoyed dining at Chef & th ...

Dined on May 4, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed dining at Chef & the Farmer. With many unique dishes each an experience to enjoy. My only issue was that both my wife's and my entrees dd not come out together. Hope to come back sometime while traveling in NC

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious, fresh, innovative, creative cuisine.

Dined on May 4, 2016

Whenever I'm within a two hour drive of Kinston, NC, hometown of my father and his siblings, I always find time to swing by the Chef and the Farmer restaurant. Their numerous awards and accolades do not do it justice. The food is extraordinary, the servers attentive and the buzz around the room exhilarating. I must do if in the Eastern NC region.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

A Special Place

Dined on May 4, 2016

Enjoyable and satisfying! Will definitely return. Be sure to make reservations because the place is popular.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A special food evening

Dined on May 3, 2016

My husband and I planned our drive from Florida to home (New Hampshire) with a stop in Kinston along the way. Kinston is not on the direct route. We,like many others ,had to overnight in Kinston. Please note that I became aware of Vivian through the PBS show. The life of a chef. Our expectations were met and exceeded. The restsurant is ALIVE and vibrant. Every employee was extremely helpful and welcoming. The menu was such that we did not know what the dish consisted of. Our waiter was excellent and explained each dish so we could make choices. The first GREAT surprise was a cocktail.....rob Roy. Delicious. Everything was just the same down to mint ice cream which tasted as if we were eating the herb itself. Vivian was kind enough to come and talk to us. This may be this foodies best restaurant experience. Makes me begin to realize that cooking is not just putting together ingredients. Vivian's imagination and courage in food preparation is a gift to all who love flavor. Thanks to Vivian and Ben for living their dream!! Martha

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Another wonderful meal

Dined on May 1, 2016

A special destination dinner with friends. Excellent share plates and delicious entries.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Really enjoyed the evening

Dined on April 30, 2016

We drove in from Marietta, GA to see what the buzz was and so glad we did. We enjoyed all the courses and creativity that went into every bite. The fried collards were fantastic and my vegetarian spoon bread dish was a treat. I was really impressed with how well the service staff performed and came away inspired to do more in my own kitchen! Also enjoyed a nice Rioja. Thank you for a lovely evening. I cannot wait to visit again!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Service was amazing. Food was not the n ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

Service was amazing. Food was not the norm for me great new experience.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

Overall Good

Dined on April 29, 2016

The portions are not generous but very good. The menu read my meal came with potato salad and instead it came with roasted potatoes that were stale , most likely from the day before. The pork was excellent, but smaller than a deck of cards.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

The trout and beef were cooked perfectly ...

Dined on April 28, 2016

The trout and beef were cooked perfectly. I preferred more seasoning in the flesh of the fish vs the skin. The homemade ricotta on the salad and the flash fried collards greens were great. The restaurant has a great feel for a relaxed good meal.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Great Experience

Dined on April 28, 2016

Drove from Upstate New York to enjoy a dinner at Chef and the Farmer. The service was excellent, food was different for us and we enjoyed trying new things. All the food was visually appealing and tasted good. Looking forward to going back in the near future.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Best meal ever

Dined on April 28, 2016

The flavors were outstanding. The staff was extremely attentive. Wonderful dining experience. It's definitely worth the drive to Kinston !!!!!

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

MamaJ

Dined on April 27, 2016

Delicious food with excellent service. Really enjoyed my blood orange martini and the chocolate chess pie with bourbon ice cream, caramel sauce and pretzel crunch was Outstanding!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Ma's Birthday

Dined on April 26, 2016

The experience was wonderful. All staff was helpful.Very impressed with every aspect of the business.

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

special occasion

Dined on April 26, 2016

overall the food was tasty and cooked to perfection. however, i found it hard to find something on the list of entrees that i liked everything that was on that plate. i've eaten at restaurants all over the world and i've never seen a fee for changing an item on a plate. that put me off since obviously the other items were already in the kitchen! the seasoning was excellent and the food well presented but because the entree food was "stacked", that particular flavor permeated everything on the plate. if one didn't like the primary flavor, there was no recourse. also, there were quite a few ingredients that i was unfamiliar with so it was hard for me to be assured of what i was ordering! i have an adventurous palate but i would still recommend fewer unique ingredients so the each diner would have a better idea of the dish they were ordering. i have had family in kinston, visited there often over the years, and feel very close to it. hopefully your restaurant and notority will breathe new life into a once-thriving and wonderful town. i wish you well!

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Experience!

Dined on April 24, 2016

My husband and I watch A Chef's Life all the time and we decided to go to Chef and the Farmer! It was wonderful. The food was amazing and the service was excellent. We are planning a trip back here in the fall/winter when my sister and her husband are in the area! Can't wait to see what is on the menu then!

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Birthday Dinner

Dined on April 22, 2016

Took some friends to dinner here last Friday night. Everything was great! The desserts were fabulous and I'm not a big dessert eater. The basil ice cream was a revelation. I've been eating trout for 50 years...right out of wild Michigan streams. The whole trout at Chef and the Farmer was the best I've ever had. Take me to church!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion

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