Hotel & Restaurant Spotlight: Starlight Cafe and Farm, Greenville, NC

Jason Frye
| January 29, 2024 | 1 Minute Read
Oysters on the half shell, set in an ice-filled bowl with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce iStock

Guests call Starlight Cafe and Farm a “must-visit” and a “hidden gem,” and they’re quick with recommendations like the oysters and Charleston Shrimp and Grits (a recipe from Chef Tobias’ time with Chef Bill Smith from the famous Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill).

Under the guidance of Executive Chef Tobias Boutilier, the kitchen at Starlight Café draws inspiration from Southern ingredients to create dishes that feature flavors and recipes from around the world.

The blending of Euro-centric dishes with local ingredients, many coming from the Boutilier’s nearby family farm, shows on the plate. A café favorite, the Belgian Frites are inspired by Chef Tobias’ father, Alan, a native of Antwerp, Belgium. Another favorite is the beef Carpaccio, a cousin to beef tartare, featuring perfectly-sliced New York Strip topped with truffle oil, local greens and a dusting of parmesan; it’s a dish that really shows off the kitchen’s skills. The family farm is also on display in the delicious vegetarian entrée which makes seasonal veggies the star.

The café’s cocktail menu rivals the creativity and exceptional execution found on the food menu. New cocktail creations and updated classics put the spirits up front with drinks that include the Corpse Reviver #2, the tasty Calvin & Hobbes (with Four Roses bourbon, St. Germain, Cointreau and lemon) and the refreshing Key West Lemonade (Pinnacle vodka, house-made sour mix, cranberry and soda).

Specials like bucatini with pork Picatta, skirt steak with cactus salad, and dishes focused on seasonal produce demonstrate Chef Boutilier’s devotion to the culinary arts, drawing on his creativity and palate to create memorable dishes and events that celebrate food. Harvest dinners bring the fall and spring bounty to the plate, and monthly wine dinners put the focus on the joy of pairing food with the fruit of the vine.

AAA Inspector Notes:

“The menu at this downtown spot features produce from the restaurant's own family farm, grass-fed beef and seafood from local suppliers. The menu mixes Asian and Southern flavors in dishes such as ginger-steamed mussels, fried shrimp toast, pork porterhouse with red-eye demi-glace and vegetarian options. The brunch menu offers treats like the picnic platter with ham biscuits and deviled eggs, beignets, and chicken and waffles.”

Close up of deviled eggs on dark surface iStock

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