About Chef and The Farmer
Kinston, NC 28501
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.
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm -Opening on Mondays starting November 7th
If your preferred reservations are not available on-line or if your group is over 5, please call our reservationist Monday - Friday 9am -5pm.
Herritage & Gordon
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, 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
Chef and The Farmer Ratings and Reviews
We had a smashing meal. I have celiac d ...
We had a smashing meal. I have celiac disease, and was thrilled at the thoughtfulness in accommodating my health needs. The chef even made me gluten-free onion rings, a favorite food that I've not eaten since being diagnosed twenty years ago. It almost brought me to tears! We highly recommend the cornmeal crusted fish and the short ribs - although as the menu changes daily, no guarantee they'd be prepared the same way. Worth the hype.
The menu and food was wonderful. Great ...
The menu and food was wonderful. Great experience . I thought that for the price of things that the severs could have been dressed better and the tables were too close together . We felt like we were with the groups around us.Other than that , I would recommend it to others.
The food is outstanding . Takes southern ...
The food is outstanding . Takes southern comfort foods and adds a twist. Seated at Kitchen bar by choice which is the best seat in the house. Conversation is easy while watching the dance of cooking. From the fried colllards to the coconut chess pie our appetite for good food was sated. Our choice of Amberjack fish and the Hoppin John vegetarian dish was wonderful. Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. What a treasure for Kinston!
My wife and I have been three times. We ...
My wife and I have been three times. We have never been disappointed. We treated some friends from out of state once and they loved it. We like that she sources local/seasonal ingredients because to us it's like Christmas. You don't know what is going to be on the menus.
It had been about three years since we l ...
It had been about three years since we last ate at this restaurant. Before the PBS show we went several times and loved the place. We took some guests from Dallas there last night for some inventive Southern cooking. What in the world has happened? I am a cheerleader for all things in Eastern NC but someone has to tell the truth. The bartender is incompetent. Ordered a Scotch and Soda with a twist of lemon. My waiter seemed baffled by the request and dutifully wrote it down. I was served a drink made with Cola and with a wedge of lime. Tried again and got scotch and tonic with a lemon wedge instead of a twist. The other person at the table who ordered from the bar got the wrong drink. The food is not good anymore. The steaks were not tender. The lasagne was so sub par that I sent it back and ordered the pot pie. That was even worse. Rule number one for pastry is that is should be flaky and tender. This was rock hard and so over salted that I could not eat it.
A very disappointing experience. Lacked ...
A very disappointing experience. Lacked only 20 large screen TVs to be have been the complete, zero ambiance, sports bar experience, complete with loud drunks. Food was mediocre and over-priced. Would never recommend this mess to anyone I cared about.
My sister and I celebrated our birthday ...
My sister and I celebrated our birthday at Chef and the Farmer and had an amazing time! The food was absolutely delicious. We especially enjoyed the desserts-wow. Joanne was our server, and she was delightful. Ben came to our table to welcome us and wish us a happy birthday, which was very kind. We only wish we didn't live so far away!
Our daughter and her husband visited fro ...
Our daughter and her husband visited from California, and we could think of no better way to show off the assets of eastern North Carolina then to treat them to the full menu at Chef and the Farmer. They returned home duly impressed.
Wonderful evening with friends. We all ...
Wonderful evening with friends. We all enjoyed our two appetizers (black-eyed peas hummus and flash-dried kale) and everyone enjoyed their entrees (including the two vegetarians). We all finished our meal with chocolate cake with pistachio and coffee---fabulous! It was easy to have a conversation (crucial, as we were "catching up") and our server was solicitous without being intrusive. Overall, a most enjoyable experience!
The food was delicious, featuring the us ...
The food was delicious, featuring the use of natural native ingredients to provide outstanding flavors. The Charcuterie was a perfect way to start our meal. This was followed by Seared Bass and the Brittany Ridge Pork. Excellent. A very unique dining experience for the taste buds. The staff was most courteous and attentive.
Being a 2 hr drive (each way) it is not ...
Being a 2 hr drive (each way) it is not a place we would frequent---It was all about the PBS TV show. Although I would go back to try the Boiler Room. We were a varied group of 4----My Dad & his friend are budget conscious and are happy with small country kitchen type meals. My husband & I are more adventurous ( actually I) and we are not on a fixed income--yet so more upscale dining is not an issue. We all enjoyed our meals, appetizers and wine--we even brought home the bones for the neighborhood dogs. I feel like I could be friends with Viv---I love to cook, I love fresh & local as well as eating whats in season and have a great appreciation for experimenting with flavors. Loved the pistachio pesto along side my fish! I have since bought Viv's cookbook--and much more than the recipes---the stories, her honesty, her love of family and her very entertaining way of expressing it all makes it all a must read!
My husband and I visited from Raleigh ar ...
My husband and I visited from Raleigh area for his 50th Birthday. Our experience was outstanding. The food was amazing; combinations and ingredients that worked on every course. The service was impeccable~ not too obtrusive but able to answer all our questions. We will definitely return for our next celebration!
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our ...
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our date night. It was worth the two-hour drive. Food and service were amazing. We appreciated the local, familiar foods of our childhoods presented in different, delicious ways. We also wanted to support a grassroots effort to bring small, locally-owned businesses to eastern North Carolina, which has been hit so hard by a tough economy over the past 30 years.
seen this place on PBS -TV and had to t ...
seen this place on PBS -TV and had to try it. had heard so much about it from others and it was as good as they said. our family of four all got something different and everyone's dish was delicious service was great and we will be going back.
gave this trip to my wife for Christmas ...
gave this trip to my wife for Christmas as one of her gifts and she loved it. we came from richmond va so we had a ways to travel. the weather was perfect, we loved Kenston and the beautiful homes their. the restaurant experience was awesome. we felt like food critics sitting in a place we watch on tv. the food choices were great the staff was very friendly and very attentive. being able to watch what was going on in the kitchen was a lot of fun. she enjoyed it so much she is talking about the next time! For anyone who wants to experience wonderful food that is a little different than normal this is the place you should come to. Great experience!
We celebrated my wife's birthday by eati ...
We celebrated my wife's birthday by eating at the Chef & Farmer. Some interesting items on the menu. We were particularly impressed with the flash-fried collards as a featured entree. My wife had a beef entree similar to well done prime rib and I had grilled trout. We sampled each other's entree. The beef entree was a better choice. Trout was a bit too fishy for my taste. We had an outstanding choice of desserts. Wait staff was outstanding and quite helpful in describing menu items. We highly recommend this restaurant!
We sat at the bar overlooking the busy k ...
We sat at the bar overlooking the busy kitchen and I would not sit anywhere else, unless I was with a crowd. The staff is wonderfully trained and see to your every need and to watch the food being prepared makes you want to order everything on the menu! The menu is seasonal with local produce and each dish is creatively constructed. I can't recommend this place enough. We live in Charleston SC and it is our 3rd visit and Kinston isn't easy to get to, but well worth the trip.
My second visit. The first time was with ...
My second visit. The first time was with a group of 10. Because of the size of the group we had no choice but to eat in the private dining room and the only seating option was 5:30. The room was nice, but noisy. Not crazy about eating that early. Mixed reviews on the food within our group. Other than one order of overcooked duck, everything else was fine--not great, not bad. Although we live 2.5 hours from Kinston and must spend the night, we decided to give it another shot. This time two couples in the main dining room. Great ambience, excellent appetizers, okay entrees. One order of an undercooked pork chop, which was replaced, but took too long. Our server was distracted. She apologized several times, saying she was really busy. Hmmm. Our wine glasses sat empty several times and each time we had to bring that to her attention. All four of us agreed that if we lived close by, we would come back, but we don't, so we won't. We have two excellent restaurants in Wilmington with as much, if not more, to offer: Manna & PinPoint, and that is only a 45 minute drive for us. Final thought: we had a second reservation for dinner at Chef & Farmer the following night, but we cancelled it and went to their sister restaurant across the street, The Boiler Room Oyster Bar, and had a GREAT meal!
We've eaten at Chef and the Farmer sever ...
We've eaten at Chef and the Farmer several times. This time, it was a disappointment. The cabbage in my Hoppin' John wasn't sufficiently cleaned and still had sand (!) in it. It took forever for dinner to be served. I could see maybe an hour and a half from appetizers to dessert, but two hours??!! My husband and I had the orange buttermilk sorbet. I make strawberry buttermilk sorbet at home and we've had the lemon buttermilk sorbet there at Chef and the Farmer so I think I have some idea how it should taste. The sorbet last week was almost too tart to eat. I couldn't finish it. Think they forgot the sugar. Perhaps the server could have warned us? For the hour and a half drive to get there, I think we'll be sticking closer to home.
The Chef and Farmer is always full of su ...
The Chef and Farmer is always full of surprises! The food was an experience of new tastes and juxataposition of unexpected flavors. Delightful! The staff was fun, and their recommendations were spot on! Our favorite place to bring out of town guests never disappoints!
I traveled quite a distance to have dinn ...
I traveled quite a distance to have dinner at Chef and the Farmer as I'm a big fan of Vivian Howard. The restaurant is beautiful, the service was great, and the food was good. I absolutely loved several dishes we ordered, while a couple of them were misses in my opinion. I would recommend this restaurant, especially for a special occasion, and would definitely go back if I find myself in the Kinston area again.
Have been several times however, tonigh ...
Have been several times however, tonight the food was not up to their usual standard. Overcooked New York strip ... blah..greasy flash fried collards ... yuck! Very disappointed. Was celebrating our 41at anniversary .Apologies all around with free desserts as a peace offering. Brannon our waitress was very friendly and attentive.
I've been planning on dining at Chef & t ...
I've been planning on dining at Chef & the Farmer for over two years. Finally, my dates opened up and I was able to make reservations for my husband and two best friends. We enjoyed every dish we ordered!
I've listened to people talk about opening a restaurant. I always suggest they watch Vivian Howards show on PBS as a starting point. I've worked in kitchens as a prep chef and worked at busy kitchens. Chef and the Farmer has accomplished everything to make a diners experience enjoyable and a menu to satisfy all of your taste buds.
This was a pilgrimage for us. We had be ...
This was a pilgrimage for us. We had been wanting to eat here for three years, and were finally able to tie it in with a trip to Charleston.It was worth it! We now understand Vivian's approach to her food better than before. Her realization of local food sources and re-imagining of the food of the South is consistent and delicious! The service was gracious, including an extra dessert for keeping us waiting. Unnecessary, but much appreciated. There were a couple of menu innovations that we loved - the Classic Shorts, small versions of classic cocktails to start the meal, but not too much that a bottle of wine will be over the top. Dessert flights - we wanted to try everything, and almost did!
Before meeting Vivian Howard in a book s ...
Before meeting Vivian Howard in a book signing in Cary, NC, we made a reservation at The Chef and The Farmer for Jan 2. We drove 80 minutes each way and it was well worth the drive to Kinston. Very innovative food created from local ,humble "Carolina" products. From appetizers to rutabagas, my wife and I enjoyed it all ! Service was excellent. Definitely recommend their tables near the kitchen to see how it is done.
Paul and Deb B
A jewel in eastern NC! Big fan of the sh ...
A jewel in eastern NC! Big fan of the show and this 1st time visit to the restaurant exceeded our dreams! Liked the fact that we ate very one-of-a-kind cuisine and did not leave hungry and ambiance was not pretentious or stiff. It had the perfect balance of high class and local familiarity. Loved the flash fried collards and all the different big plates we ordered were perfect. In fact, we still crave those collards now on a daily basis morning and night! Tender delicious local meat paired perfectly with local veggies that had a gourmet spin to them. We were surprised to get full sizes of each dessert when we ordered the dessert sampler. It was worth it! Very much liked the graham crackers that dipped into the key lime and coconut pie filling. Bourbon ice cream was also delicious with the chocolate chess pie. We will definitely come back and hope to meet Ms. Howard next time.
We drove a long way to dine at Chef and ...
We drove a long way to dine at Chef and the Farmer, only learning of the restaurant after watching the TV series. We relished seeing the various staff, busily attending tables and customers, even though Vivian had already left for the evening. The mixed drinks were creative confections, perfect compliments for the meals to come. The beer cheese bread was probably the best carb on the planet. Loved the chicken liver mousse (would have enjoyed more toasts given it was a shared plate), the crispy sorghum on the apple, beet citrus salad was an inspired touch to off-set an assertive dressing. Partner raved about the flounder and fried oysters, short ribs had a wonderful sauce (meat more fatty than expected, even for short ribs), served with a sumptuous sweet potato mash and delicious farro side. Warm and charming server was a bit stumped for additional information on the menu items once they arrived leaving us more curious about the vegetable and condiments. Minor stuff. Overall, it was a treat to dine at Chef and the Farmer, a memorable evening of local food elevated superbly.
My husband and I have been here several ...
My husband and I have been here several times for special occasions. Tonight was without exception, amazing. The beef and sweet potato lasagna was out of this world tasty. We always love the fried collards and desserts did not disappoint.
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