Mike turned 34 a few weeks ago. We didn't have big plans or anything, it was a busy weekend with lots of homework for Mike and the kids first soccer game. His only request was to go back to Chef and the Farmer in Kinston to eat dinner. Mike was originally not supposed to be in town for his birthday, but his school got cancelled last minute. As soon as I found out I called the restaurant to see if we could get a reservation. Thankfully there was one left that weekend...at 8:45, which normally wouldn't be too late if you weren't preggo and starving my 6 most days and if the restaurant wasn't 2 hours away. Still for Chef and the Farmer, the sacrifices were worth it!
This time our friends Matt and Rachel came along too. Food is so much more fun with friends, especially ones who love good food too!
After eating there on my birthday, i had a plan for this visit. Last time there was so much on the menu to try and not nearly enough room in the belly. So I thought i would skip the large entrees and just focus on the appetizers, small plates and desserts. I'm not sure this is the best plan either, because this time around there were some fabulous things offered on the large plates menu and out of everything we tried, Matt's pork chop plate was by far the best thing on our table.
Here's some of the great things we ate that night!
(if you could care less about the food, you can scroll down to see the family pics at the end!)
Fried Okra with Ranch Ice Cream
Yep, you read that right. And it was really good!
Oh Man, these were delish. We all loved them. Similar to the popular Kale Chips floating around all the food blogs, but much better in my opinion.
Curried Peach Pork Belly Skewers with pickled jalapeño, cilantro
We had the Pork Belly Skewers over my birthday too, they were just a different flavor. These things are melt in your mouth amazing. This time with the curry flavor...i couldn't pass them up. Curry isn't a fave for my hubby. But Matt and I definitely enjoyed them!
Salad: Mixed Lettuces, apple, celery, granola, pickled red onion, Maytag Blue
This was so so good. I may venture out to say it was the best salad i've ever had. The pickled red onion really made this plate.
Benne Fried Green Tomatoes, goat cheese coulis, blueberry chutney
This was all for Mike...Tomatoes aren't really my thing, but surely a must-try for a tomato/blueberry lover. He said they were great- i'll take his word for it!
Grits with Balsamic Braised Beef and Fried Onions
This was a last minute add on order by Matt that turned out to be seriously wonderful. I should have ordered this as my meal and I don't even like grits!
on to main courses:
Matt and his Pork Chop
Mike with Shrimp Andouille Grits
Rachel and Me with our wood fired pizza's...They were good, and we were thinking a good way to get a smaller portion cause it was on the appetizer menu because we were already so full...but they were huge! Don't worry though, the hubby's helped us out!
A regret last time was not leaving enough room to try all the desserts. You can order all 4 on the menu for a special price, but saving room for them is the hard part. This time with 4 people, we had it under control!
Hot, Salty & Sweet, peanuts, cinnamon/chipotle ice cream
Tres Leches Cake with vanilla peaches, caramel, and pecan tuille
This was fabulous and the birthday boy's fave. So he got the most of it.
Mocha Éclair Parfait, Italian meringue, brûléed bananas
This was also amazing and Rachel and Matt's favorite dessert.
we also got one more dessert, that i don't have a pic of. it was a muscadine cobbler with sugar cookie crust. we wanted to love it, but no one did. Oh well...one flop in all of that food...i'd say we did great!
The next morning, was Mike's actual birthday. We had a yummy pancake breakfast and he opened some cards and gifts before getting started on a long day of homework (and unforeseen 2yr old puking episodes later that night :/ )
The kiddos picked out Batman Movies for Daddy. One for Daddy only and one that everyone could watch together (Lego Batman)
I also opted to pick up our favorite red velvet/cream cheese icing cake from a local bakery around here instead of baking something. Totally a good decision for this season of our life!
It was a really nice weekend celebrating the man who does so much for our family. Can't imagine doing this life with anyone else. We're so thankful for this man in our lives.