I took the wife to Fearrington House for her birthday; the evening was lovely, but the food was a pretty thorough disappointment. Being a teacher, let me provide a report card:
Salsify puree: B
Foie gras: A
Veal sweetbread fried in cornmeal: D
Tuna tartare: B
Stuffed veal breast: B
Lemon mousse with rubarb: B-
Chocolate souffle: D (very heavy and cakey)
Petits fours: D
At $40 or $50 per person the meal would have been an enjoyable lark; at $100 per person -- roughly the price of a meal at Daniel in New York -- it was not acceptable, or at least not worth repeating.
Here's how I would rank the expensive and semi-expensive restaurants I've tried in the area:
1) Magnolia Grill
2) Il Palio
4) Grill at Glenn Lennox
5) Fearrington House
8) Acme (I've never been but my wife insists it's atrocious).
None of these restaurants are particularly worth the money, but the latter three most certainly aren't. The thing to do, I think, is to save up one's money and make an occasional road trip to the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia (Zagat 29 stars).
We continuously hear good things about Lantern; we'll try this next.