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Dinner at Fearrington House Restaurant

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We expected a wonderful dinner at Fearrington House this past week. After all, it's one of only two Four Star restaurants in North Carolina, according to Mobil, and the only 5 Diamond resturant I know of according to AAA. That should put it right up there with other 4 Diamond restaurants including Bacchanalia in Atlanta, Emeril's in New Orleans, The Four Seasons and Bouley in New York and Masas in San Francisco.

It's not even close.

Food is ordinary at best. Service is fawning yet insincere. Room is pretty but cold. Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen better restaurants in North Carolilna. And we easily could eat in two or three of them for the cost of a 3-course dinner for two at Fearrington House. I hate it when that happens.

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  1. I have not been there in years, I always felt that there was better food in other NC Restaurants, but that Fearrington had the best over all dinning experance. Once for a specal aneversity we also included overnight stay at the Inn wich provided us with a fantastic experance.

    Suprised to hear that you were unhappy with the service and found the room cold. Unless there were changes I always enjoyed the room and the service.

    1. Three years ago at Fearrington my wife dropped a knife onto her plate. It make a clanging sound that hung in the room for five or so seconds. I think the staff and patrons at the restaurant that night are still shell-shocked from that noise.

      In other words, way too stuffy for me.

      1. You know what is funny, the last time I was there, years ago, I remember going with another couple for a nice dinner and having normal dinner conversation (we are not old and stodgy, I promise). We were having a good time until when, about half way through the meal, the room began filling with large parties of drunk UNC alums after a football game. They all, I think, were trying to see who could be the most loud and obnoxious. They were NOT a young crowd. We could not even hear each other. I have not been back.

        1. first of all, i would never put much stock in these stars and diamonds. restaurants get these classifications and then slack. that being said, i've heard good things about fearrington, but im glad to get a recent review. I've never been there but now I know to go somewhere else for my next big triangle fancy din din. (according to chow, not diamonds and stars; that classification system is ridiculous imo)

          1. Too bad to hear that, I had an amazing meal there 12 years ago, and ended up going back there to propose to my wife a year later! Haven't been since (moved away from NC).

            1. It's a bummer for me. My wife and I received a gift certificate to Fearrington for our wedding anniversary. I would much rather have tried Bonne Soiree. I dined at Fearrington a couple of years ago. I remember it being good but not stellar.

              1. I had an outstanding dinner at the FH last year. I spent the night there and fully enjoyed my stay. I did not find one thing about to complain about the meal, the rooms, service or anything period. I would go back in a heart beat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Littleman

                  No, I think you have it backwards. I think FH was always mediocre at best and people have become more demanding of both the dining experience and food quality. Looking good isn't good enough any more. We had not very memorable brunch at FH about 15 years ago when we first moved to NC and until this last adventure hadn't been back. Now we remember why.

                2. Could it be that Fearrington House is as good as it ever was but it now has first rate competition that is raising the standard of excellence?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: blewgo

                    no... i'd argue on the side of sitting back on its laurels. my wife and i dined there on someone else's dime a couple of years ago, and were sorely disappointed (not to mention glad that we weren't paying for a very expensive meal that was, at its highest points, mediocre). The German sommelier of whom square speaks is gone, but the indifferent, poorly informed service is still present. Fearrington has tried to pull the wool over people's eyes for too long-- I for one am glad that people have begun to discover that. There are places to eat all over NC (and the Triangle, for that matter) that cost a great deal less and deliver more on every level. The management and staff of the Fearrington House should be ashamed of the stars and diamonds that they tout so freely.

                  2. My wife took me to Fearrington House for my birthday a year ago and dinner was terrible. We were one of three tables and were largely ignored. I ordered two nice bottles of wine and a glass of something sweet with our foie gras course. On more than one occasion we had to pour our own wine and the sweet wine never arrived with the foie gras. The food was not much better. Tomato soup with pasteurized crab, gummy skin on red snapper horribly overcooked, and b grade foie gras also overdone and tough are the dishes I can remember. Everything was sub-par and the sommelier (a German woman, I think) was unknowledgable and indifferent, although we did see her drinking a cocktail at the bar on the way out.