The Fearrington House Restaurant

Chapel Hill's charming dining room
The Fearrington House Restaurant, a charming Victorian-style country dining room, is located on several rolling acres eight miles south of Chapel Hill in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Tucked away on gently rolling grounds that were once part of a dairy farm, this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant is the epitome of romance.

The old silo, dairy barn — which is now used for special events — Belted Galloway cows and Tennessee fainting goats grazing in the lush meadows, and the restaurant’s 1927 Colonial revival farmhouse attest to The Fearrington House’s rich history as a working farm for more than two centuries. The property is dotted with flower gardens and lush landscapes, and the restaurant is accented with elegant antique furnishings.

Dinner lives up to the lovely surroundings. The upscale menu is American, with techniques borrowed from France and robust flavors taken from the surrounding region. The thoughtful, seasonal menu is complemented by a deep international wine list that features close to 500 selections with a focus on California varietals.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • Removed from the city and sitting adjacent to grassy meadows, the restaurant and luxury inn exude peace and quiet. Walking to the North Carolina restaurant’s doorway at dusk, you’ll hear nothing but trickling fountains and crickets.
  • The gardens surrounding the old 1927 farmhouse are worthy of a pre-dinner stroll. Take a seat in one of the Adirondack chairs under the ancient oak trees to watch the Belted Galloway cows make their evening migration from one meadow to the other.
  • Wines are hand-selected by sommelier Max Kast, who has a passion for introducing guests to unfamiliar and rare wines such as a variety from South Africa that was a favorite of both Napoleon and Jane Austen.
  • Ingredients often hail from nearby farms, including eggs from Lu’s Farm, cheeses from Looking Glass Creamery and micro greens from Duckwood Farms — reminding you of the rural setting of this fine-dining locale — while some ingredients, like the honey, come straight from the Fearrington property itself.
Things to Know
  • A jacket isn’t required for men, but the Four-Star restaurant certainly recommends that gentlemen don a coat and tie for this special dining experience. Because the restaurant is a prime spot for marriage proposals and anniversary celebrations, you’re bound to see couples dressed to the nines.
  • For a unique experience with your closest pals, reserve the Wine Room, which boasts a long table for wine dinners or private gatherings of up to 12 guests.
  • To snag your table at The Fearrington House Restaurant, simply call the main number at The Fearrington House Inn (919-542-2121). Alternately, you can also book online through OpenTable.
  • Since the three- or four-course prix-fixe meals also includes amuse bouche, pre-desserts and mignardises, plan on dinner lasting about three hours.
  • You’ll want to think twice about bringing children. Kids rarely dine in the gourmand-friendly restaurant, which only welcomes those 12-years-old and up.
The Food
  • The prix-fixe menu at The Fearrington House Restaurant has a strong focus on seasonal ingredients prepared in innovative ways. The menus change from week to week and are based on what’s freshest at the time.
  • The signature sweet, hot chocolate soufflé, was introduced by Edna Lewis, the doyenne of Southern cooking who was a guest chef for a year back in the 1980s, and has been on the Four-Star restaurant’s menu ever since. It’s simply sinful with a warm, lava-like chocolate filling and whipped cream topping.
  • Each course at the North Carolina restaurant is artfully assembled, often using surprising combinations of flavors — think trout, smoked tapioca, cabbage and goat milk, or scallops, celery root, rhubarb and sea beans.
  • Chef Colin Bedford does a particularly fine job with seafood, sourcing from trusted, local fishermen — if the seared scallops are on the menu, don’t think twice about ordering this magnificently executed dish.
  • Not a fish-lover? Then consider the Taleggio agnolotti with truffle butter, Cornish hen with truffled creamed corn or smoked beef tenderloin with braised lettuce and housemade bacon.
The Chef
  • Colin Bedford, the executive chef at the The Fearrington House Restaurant, hails from England and learned about cooking early at the knee of his mother.
  • He earned a Diploma of Hospitality from Yeovil College in Somerset and then apprenticed at The Castle in Taunton, an English luxury inn know for fostering up-and-coming chefs.
  • Next he traveled to the Prince of Wales Hotel in Ontario where he started as a pastry chef and moved up to executive sous chef. Along the way, he gained experience in the farm-to-table movement, working with local ingredients whenever possible.
  • Now at The Fearrington House Restaurant, Bedford stresses the seasonality of foods and sources much of his ingredients from local farmers, fishers and foragers.
Getting There
2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro, North Carolina 27510
The Fearrington House Restaurant
More At This Location
Check Availability