Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Fearrington House Restaurant: Back to top-drawer

A couple of decades ago, the Fearrington House Restaurant out near Pittsboro was one of the few places in the Triangle where you could get a top-drawer meal in a lovely setting with great service.  Over the intervening years, though, the rest of the area's restaurant scene improved dramatically, while the Fearrington House stagnated and later worsened.  A few years ago, a group of us gave it another try.  The food was good but not great, and the service was embarrassing.  I felt no need to go back.

What changed my mind is that for some time now I've been hearing a lot of good things about the place and the work of Executive Chef Colin Bedford, enough good things that recently a group of us gave the restaurant another try.  We opted for the tasting menu and placed ourselves at the mercy of the chef.

I'm very happy to report that the result was a superb meal, a top-drawer dinner with excellent service that in my opinion puts the Fearrington House Restaurant firmly in the top handful of restaurants in the area. 

Our server had worked at The Mint when that now-defunct restaurant was great, and he had been good then.  He's better now, and he and his team took excellent care of our large party. 

Every dish we tasted featured a delicious combination of ingredients.  No dish was simple, but none was overly fussy, and all the flavors combined wonderfully. 

For my taste, the star of the evening was the risotto. 

Click on the image to see a larger version.

A warm and wonderful mixture that featured chanterelle mushrooms and Carolina Moon cheese, this delicious dish also included bits of eggplant, fennel, green olive, and green beans--all topped by a "snow" of foie gras that the servers added at the last minute. 

Fearrington is a lovely place in the middle of nowhere, so it's quite a long drive for me.  I now accept, though, that I'll have to make the drive every season to try the new menu. 

I highly recommend the Fearrington House Restaurant.

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