Kinston, NC, Blogging: Chef and the Farmer
This is the third and final installment on our recent day trip to Kinston, NC. Blog 1 covered the various ways we amused ourselves by the Neuse riverfront last month. Blog 2 was on Mother Earth Brewing, which we were delighted to discover is based in downtown Kinston — oh happy Providence! This one is devoted to Chef and the Farmer, the farm-to-fork restaurant of Chef Vivian Howard, a James Beard semifinalist, and her husband, Ben Knight, an artist and the front house and beverage manager. Located just around the corner from Mother Earth Brewing at 120 W. Gordon St., it’s ideally located for a final destination on a day spent downtown.
The restaurant felt lively without feeling pretentious.
Ben deserves accolades for the interior design of the restaurant. I loved all the different textures and colors used to create a refined yet playful dining room full of odd angles. There was brick, tile, paneling, wood, and stone in a palette of dark brown, yellow, and sage green. Even the bathroom had its own bevy of materials with cork, slate, and vanilla coloring. The menu features a hodge-podge of dishes as well, with a few each in small plates, specialty grits, pizzas, salads, and entrees. The menu was heavy on grains the evening we were there.
I love that it’s printed daily and an 86ed stamp signifies any options they’ve run out of. The bread service set the stage for the meal that followed.
It was so good with rosemary, sweet potato, and caramelized onion bits. The crust was crunchy, but the centers were soft and delicious, and its fragrance was divine.by