What makes this gem such a memorable dining destination is that the cooking is ambitious yet whimsical, and completely devoid of formality or fuss. Whether the bartender or Chef de Cuisine Scott Muns serves you, no one in this kitchen seems self-important. Your continued enjoyment is paramount—an honorable feat considering that one is in for a meal that occupies most of the night.
The small space may be packed, but the ambience is pleasant and very comfortable. The prix-fixe menu includes beverage pairings, but guests seated at the bar may choose to order drinks à la carte as well. Regardless, dishes spark interest and the service remains at its highest level. Start with a pristine sea scallop from North Carolina, matched with diced kohlrabi for crunch, and dressed tableside with a lush brown butter sabayon. Then move on to monkfish en papillote delicately set atop creamy Carolina Gold rice.
Invention is also a point of pride here, best seen in the baton of "French toast" that combines foie gras, blue cheese, and black truffles to thrilling effect. Similarly, a perfect wedge of butternut squash-ice cream cake, with crème fraîche and pumpkin seeds, is divine in demeanor and flavor.- MICHELIN guide inspectors