Some years back I was lucky enough to celebrate a birthday with a night at Fearrington. We had a great room, the grounds were beautiful and we walked in to dinner with high expectations. What followed was one of the more disappointing meals of my life. It soured me for some time and I had no desire to go back. Since then, there is a new regime in the kitchen, a new beverage crew and Joris (one of the world's great maitre d's) returned. I've had two very good experiences there since and decided to redo the birthday night.
We had magical weather and thoroughly enjoyed the property all afternoon. Had a great Fullsteam custom brew while sitting outside listening to acoustical music, then got dressed and headed to the House. What followed was one of the best meals of my life.
We were immediately greeted with Champagne by the incredibly knowledgeable and gracious sommelier Max. We decided to let him pair wines and the kitchen cook for us, as we didn't want to make any decisions. Canapes hit the table, and we realized at some point we want a whole meal of these little bites. Latkes with carrot caviar (spherification done very well), chicken mousse with fresh chevre and crisp prosciutto (their take on chicken cordon bleu) started things off. Then came a raw course of Yellowtail (fresh horseradish, black quinoa) and scallops (vanilla tapioca pearls, fresh orange). Seared wreckfish with carolina rice and shrimp butter was cooked perfectly. Caramelized parsnip with barley could never sound as great as this tasted. This was also my favorite wine pairing, as Max served us an almontillado sherry that interplayed with the parsnip so well you couldn't figure out if you were tasting the wine or the food. We also were able to taste 90 BV Latour with wooly pig and squab thanks to the coravin system. Lightly smoked pork belly with apple was just phenomenal. There were multiple elements to all these dishes and the plating was ornate.
Dessert started with a caramel foam with yogurt powder and candied orange zest. Then coconut, with multiple coconut textures and dark chocolate. And finally and amazingly light chocolate souffle (somehow gluten free).
I know I'm forgetting some details and dishes, but the gist of it is this kitchen is completely kicking ass right now. Service was superb in every aspect, and we walked out on cloud nine. Hands down the best meal I've had in NC, better than my one meal at Per Se, and in the top ten in my life.
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