First of all, the decor and the cuisine at the restaurant were not developed by some marketing staff after reading about trends. This restaurant seems to be less a gimmick or cliché than the realization of a dream — one that’s been in the works in earnest for five years by executive chef Trey Cioccia, a Wilson County native who previously served in the kitchen of The Capitol Grille under chef Tyler Brown. When Cioccia talks about using local, farm-grown ingredients, he seems quite genuine when he says it’s his effort to pay homage to his roots (not just cash in on a trend). If he’s a little behind the pace of other restaurants adopting this concept, it’s because he’s spent so much time getting everything just right.
Yes, there is some reclaimed wood. There are exposed lightbulbs and a rustic feel to the dining room. The difference is that Cioccia and his team (including his sous chef, Robert Michael Compton, whom he’s known for more than a decade) have been working tirelessly to design and choose every element you see, even making and finishing some of the furnishings by hand themselves.
Everything else was handmade primarily in Tennessee and throughout the South. Cioccia wanted to create a space that was authentic and very personal; he’s even included a piece of antique furniture inherited from his great-grandfather in the dining room. It’s clear that the mission was to create a space that was comfortable, yet refined. Like when you eat dinner in the dining room instead of the kitchen at your grandmother's house.
And yes, the food is described as "Southern with a modern twist" (but not elevated!). As for the farm-to-fork description, there are actually fewer steps in between the farm and the table than at some other restaurants. Many of the ingredients come directly from Cioccia’s own farm. There’s even a portion of the restaurant kitchen dedicated to curing and smoking meats and preserving produce.
And what doesn’t come from those farms is carefully selected from other local and regional favorites such as Benton’s, Fall Mills, Anson Mills, Bell’s Bend Farm, Hatcher Family Dairy, Wedge Oak Farms, Triple L Ranch, Noble Springs Dairy and Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheeses, among others. The menu will change frequently, but will always include a green plate for vegetarians (even if it's not listed on the website).
At the bar, house-flavored moonshine will be available, as well as custom cocktails. There will also be a selection of local craft beers as well as American wines served from a custom-made, temperature-controlled wine room (which I appreciate; no more hot red wine or ice-cold white wine). The bar will also have a separate “snacks” menu that will be updated daily. To keep up with menus and specials, be sure to follow The Farm House on Twitter and Facebook.
The Farm House is now officially open and will serve dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. Bar opens at 4 p.m. Sunday hours are brunch only: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch is coming soon.
In addition to the dining room and bar area, there’s a room with a chef’s table that is available for tastings and small private events. Complimentary valet service is available.
The Farm House
210 Almond St.