When I was around the age of 26, I had a friend who taught me about food. He was English. We met while I was in graduate school and working for the American Embassy in London. The lesson didn’t have anything to do with carbs, fats, fasts, or junk food by FritoLay,. If you didn’t know, FritoLay’s tagline is “Good Fun!.” Notice it doesn’t say ‘good food’? And I’m not buying their truth in advertising.
What my friend, Graham, taught me was to respect food. It was a simple lesson and a game-changer to the way I looked at food. To this day, if I see someone mishandling food in a grocery store, I tell them. On the Monday before Thanksgiving last year, I walked by one of the butchers at Costco tossing the frozen turkeys into the freezer cooler. Yes, tossing! Even frozen meat should be respected. This food will nourish our bodies. In my most southern “bless your heart way”, I suggested he slow it down a bit. I don’t want to buy food with bad Karma. Of course, he looked at me with a blank expression.
Another time in a Fresh Market, I bought a bunch of carrots with beautiful green tops. At check out, the cashier kept man-handling my greens. My blood pressure spiked. I watched her a couple more times hoping it would end quickly but no. It wasn’t ending! I finally said STOP! She stared at me like I had lost my mind. So you see, respecting food can be both curse and a cure.
But I digress.The point is food should be respected and treated with respect. I believe in valuing every bite. Often, basic bean and pea soups are my favorite. I’m content with eating real basic foods over processed foods. And when it comes to eating out, I want the experience of a good meal endeavor. Like garden art, I would rather have one nice piece of art than ten cheap pieces for the same price! As such, David and I are not the types to go out to dinner often, and when we do, we want it to be good.
For our Christmas gift to each other, we had dinner at Fearrington Village.
Fearrington Village, Pittsboro, North Carolina, offers a variety of dining options, and I enjoy them all, but I wanted a special night to enjoy a meal with my husband. It may only be an annual pleasure (for us anyway), but it is not to be missed.
There’s no denying, you will never have a better meal! @FearringtonNC @HelenYoest Click to Tweet!
Since 1980, The Fearrington House Restaurant has welcomed guests with classic Southern hospitality and a European flair. Once the original farm homestead, the intimate dining rooms add to the experience.
Executive Chef Colin Bedford’s plans the menu around the season and the cuisine interplays the legendary culinary traditions of the American South with his European training and a focus on local ingredients.
The food at Fearrington is treated with respect; revered in fact. They get me. @FearringtonNC @HelenYoest Click to Tweet!
Bedford joined The Fearrington House in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2008. Since then, his exceptional menus have won critical acclaim. The Fearrington House earned a national ranking as one of the top hotel food destinations in the world. The restaurant boasts a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond status. Bedford was also named a Grand Chef by Relais & Châteaux, the international culinary world’s highest honor. No doubt, Fearrington House Inn would receive a Michelin rating; but alas, this ranking is limited to New York City, the Washington DC area (Including Little Washington), Los Angeles, Los Vegas, and San Fransisco.
Since David and I do like to dress nice on occasion, he wore a coat and tie; I wore a nice dress. However, Fearrington House Inn does not have a formal dress code. So if you don’t want to wear a jacket, it’s OK! But you can also think of it as a good excuse to put make-up on. 😉
It was difficult to choose from the menu, but we somehow managed. From our choices this is what David and I had for First Course:
Sweet Potato Soup with Smoked Duck Pistachio, Black Garlic, Shimeji
*Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Sweet Potato
Pedro Ximénez, Ponzu, Pain de Epices
*Arctic Char with Apple
Nori, Brown Butter, Capers
House Cured Bacon with Heirloom Carrot
Pistachio, Medjool Date, Granola
*Scallop with Black Truffle
Buddha’s Hand, Ossetra, Caper
*New York Strip with Purple Quince Cocoa, Turnip, Guajillo
Although at first blush, the portions seemed small; our tummies were full before dessert; we almost didn’t order it, but we didn’t want to miss out on anything. Instead, we agreed to share one. And oh were we very pleased.
Dark Chocolate, Vanilla, Whipped Cream
The Fearrington House Restaurant is located eight miles south of Chapel Hill and 20 miles west of Durham, the Research Triangle Park, and Cary.
David and I are already looking forward to Christmas where we can continue our new tradition!