For starters, this article is best read with a drool bib on, because foodie friends, you will need it. These two local cultures collide in southern class and hospitality like only south of the mason dixon line can bring. In the sleepy little downtown of Dunn, NC there are plenty of rustic amenities. When you walk down the street you can almost smell the 1940s. There’s a certain romance about it. This is where streetlight walks bloomed into 65 year marriages and now where you can get your coffee, wine, and food truck food in one place. Heaven on earth.
Walking in the cellar you’re welcomed with the smell of fresh coffee beans, and the warm view of antique wood bar and local art. The lighting suggests a romantic feel of a candlelit bath; without the fire hazard. As I pulled up to park my weary bones, hung my coat on the coat hook that each bar stool has their own, I was greeted with southern charm at its finest. Do not disregard this twang friendly place as a wine blind establishment. They know their pinot noirs as well as they know their collards.
Walking outside back of the cellar you could hear the grumblings of a workhorse generator, and greeted with the mean green food machine billowing the smell of sauteed shallots and passion. Chef Deb and Sharon of The Little Chef in a seemingly choreographed ballet of chaos preparing almost one hundred guests made to order all with impeccable skill and execution. I in particular had the blackened tuna. A simple classic dish, but the sushi grade tuna, seared to perfection but retained as much moisture and juiciness as the day as it was caught. The fried shallots giving it a nice crunch with the chipotle aioli coming in sneaky like a streaker at the superbowl, and just as bold.
So, wipe your mouths, and check out The Cellar, and The Little Chef on facebook and visit. Pull up a chair, grab a wine, coffee or whatever your vice, and relax, because in a world of nonstop chaos, these folks really know how to help you downshift. Bon Appetit!