We found ourselves another small-town gem on Friday night. Big Guy took me out on a date to a new restaurant, The Hen and The Hog, in Halifax, NC. We were blown away by the restaurant space and the decor was perfect. It’s a huge restaurant and would be a perfect location for a rehearsal dinner or any other event.
When we arrived, we grabbed a seat at the bar for a pre-dinner drink. Bubbles for her, bourbon for him.
I was not blown away by the wine list (pretty basic and all stuff you can find in a grocery store) but then again, I’m on the brink of being a wine snob.
The staff seemed a little anxious to make sure we sat down at our table exactly at the time of our reservation. I asked if we could remain at the bar to finish our drink but I don’t think she quite understood – I didn’t push the subject.
The menu was broken up into small plates, large plates and dessert. We decided to order two small plates to share.
Savory NC Cheesecake – Saltine & Oat Crust. Red Wine & Spiced Cranberry Compote. Pistachio & Gremolata.
Cheer wine Braised Heritage Pork Belly – House Hush Puppies. Spicy Greens.
I was absolutely blown away by the pork belly – which is rare. Pork belly has become very underwhelming since everyone is doing it now but the chef got this right. It was cooked to perfection, the sauce was amazing and the hush puppies were one of my favorite bites all night long. I was a little unimpressed by the cheesecake. It was too sweet for an appetizer. I think it needed a more pungent cheese in the mix and perhaps something spicy in the chutney.
Pan Seared NC Flounder – Celery Hearts, Shiitake Mushrooms, Bonita Sweet Brussel Sprout Chiffonade & Scallion in a Bacon Dashi. Chili Oil.
I finally decided on the flounder for my dinner and was so happy with my decision. The presentation was the best of the evening. The bowl was brought with the fish, brussels and sweet potatoes and then at the table the broth was poured in the dish and the oil was drizzled over top. The flavors were amazing. The fish was cooked to perfection and my only complaint were that the potatoes were a little undercooked.
And while I didn’t need dessert, I’m so glad we ordered something to share.
Toasted Parsnip Pound Cake. Gingered Beet Ice Cream. Bruleed Grapefruit glaze.
I adored this dessert. The perfect balance of sweet and savory and a little spicy.
The menu changes seasonally, and we’re already looking forward to visiting again in the Spring.
Have you tried any new restaurants lately?