Review – The Fearrington Granary in Pittsboro
My husband and I wanted to celebrate our anniversary and immediately said, “let’s go to the Granary.” We live just two miles from Fearrington and frequently walk our dog around the village. The Granary has had some ups and downs in the past, sometimes opening for dinner, other times it was open only for lunch and brunch. Earlier this year, the restaurant closed, but then reopened a couple of months ago with a new menu, revamped décor and it is now open for dinner, which is fantastic! The Fearrington Granary fills a much needed niche in Chatham County, because we have many casual dining places and fast food restaurants, but hardly any fine dining places, and many of us cannot always afford the prices at the Fearrington House Restaurant (though I highly recommend going there for special occasions). OK, so the chefs at Fearrington may call this restaurant casual and the atmosphere is somewhat casual, but the food to me is fine dining.
The new restaurant is filled with clean, white wooden tables, a few simple paintings on the wall and a nice bar with a couple of flat screen televisions giving the place a warm, laid back atmosphere. It fits nicely with the modern American cuisine. The menu is a mix of salads, sandwiches, main plates and meats cooked on the grill. The menu was created by executive chef Colin Bedford, who is one of the best chefs in the Triangle region. An aside must be made here to say that I sincerely hope Chef Bedford will one day try out for “Top Chef” because I think he would be a shoe in for the show and would also bring a lot of publicity to Fearrington and to the Research Triangle region.
The wines and other beverages were selected by Wine Director Max Kast, also from the Fearrington House staff. This man is a true expert of wines and every time we have dined in the Fearrington House, we have discovered new treasures thanks to him. This particular evening I was not able to have wine though, so we will have to come back on one of the nights that they have a wine and dinner pairing.
Our waitress, Kelly, greeted us with a smile and was very helpful to us in picking out items on the menu. We started the meal with one of the appetizer specials, which was a watercress soup. It was made with pureed potatoes, leeks and the watercress. The soup’s bright green color reminded me of spring, when the landscape is filled with vibrant shades of green. The soup was silky smooth and soul satisfying. It went really well with the wheat bread. I could have eaten just the soup and bread and been satisfied.
For the main dish, I had a twice baked goat cheese soufflé which was served with watercress, spinach, mixed greens, more goat cheese, two kinds of roasted beats (the traditional red ones and some beautiful yellow beets) that were pickled and cooked in a sherry vinaigrette and topped with some candied pecans. The soufflé was creamy and light with a mild flavored goat cheese. The sweetness of the beets married well with the sourness of the goat cheese. The presentation of the dish looked like a piece of artwork. You can really tell the chefs are at the top of their game. I really enjoyed this dish and will be sure to order it again!
My husband decided to order off of the grill menu. Kelly suggested he have the meatloaf. This sure was not your mother’s meatloaf! It was made with top of the line cuts of beef and grilled into little patties. The tomato and onion really complimented the ground meats. It was served with a choice of sauces and sides. Scott asked Kelly to tell the chef to pick a sauce for him and the chef gave him the red wine sauce. It was a perfect choice for this dish. Scott also chose the garlic and Parmesan cheese potatoes gratin. The potatoes were sliced very thin and made into a casserole and were so delicious we both wished we could have taken some home! He also had the grilled asparagus. The asparagus were nice thick pieces, but tender and the grilling gave them a nice nutty flavor. The whole dish was very comforting and delicious. My husband kept remarking how great this dish was.
To end the dinner, we ordered dessert. We had the lemon and berry posset with a shortbread cookie. It was served in a mason jar, which was really cute and was a great reminder of the South. The lemon curd on the top was sweet and tart and the posset was nice and creamy. The berries on the bottom were blueberries and so good, I was scraping out every bit that I could get from the jar.
There is no doubt that it is worth the trip to Fearrington Village to come eat at the Granary. While you are there you can also go visit some of the shops in the village and see the famous belted Galloway cows and the goats. It is a great place to relax and spend an afternoon or evening.
The Granary is also open for lunch and on Sundays serves up a wonderful Sunday brunch. We haven’t eaten there for brunch since the re-launch, but have heard from others it is really great. The Granary also has a really nice patio dining area, so when the weather is nice you can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful little village grounds with its English style gardens.
The Granary is located in Fearrington Village, off of 15-501 in Chatham County, south of Chapel Hill and north of Pittsboro. They are open for lunch: Mon-Sat, 11:30am-2pm, brunch: Sunday, 10am-2pm, dinner: Mon-Sat, 5pm-9pm and the bar is open: Mon-Sat, 11:30am-9pm.