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Tuesday, August 21, 2018.  What’s in a name?  When it comes to Spoon River Artworks and Market, in the small coastal town of Belhaven, NC, I am not sure.  And I failed to ask the owner the origin of the name.  More importantly, the meal was unforgetable.

Spoon River sign

A word of warning to my readers.  I am not a food critic, restaurant reviewer, or whatever title is adopted by pros paid to review restaurants.  I simply love food, and there are certain establishments I cannot wait to visit again.  Those establishments, I will write about, and those I have “learned my lesson from,” will not be written about. As the old saying goes, “There’s no education in the second kick of the mule!” 

Spoon River Artworks and Market promotes itself as a “farm to fork” restaurant serving artful food. I will not argue that, except to say that based on my personal experience, and their reviews on Facebook, TripAdviser, Yelp, and Google, they are serving much more than “artful food.” It could have something to do with the fact that it is owned and operated by a farmer and his wife.  The food, ambiance, and hospitality would be considered outstanding in any restaurant in the world, but it is located in a small, Eastern North Carolina town.

Spoon River interior

That comment is in no way mean to demean Belhaven, it is a wonderful, picturesque community of about 2000 residents.  It has a town dock, plus the Belhaven Marina a half block from downtown, and two other marinas, the River Forest Manor & Marina, and Dowry Creek Marina, a short distance away.  The fact that a restaurant like Spoon River Artworks and Market is located in such a small community is part of what makes it so unique.  “Farm to Fork” restaurants are just catching on in most communities across America, yet in November 2018, Spoon River will celebrate six years of operation.

Six years of operation in a community of 2000 residents, and still packing in customers on a weekday night? Most restaurant operators would tell you that is remarkable. Great food. Ambiance. Hospitality.  Plus, at Spoon River Artworks and Market, you may pick your adult wine beverage by the glass, bottle, or flight, or visit their wine market and personally choose your bottle(s) from their outstanding selection!  AND, let us not forget their outstanding Executive Chef Julio Andre!  At Spoon River Artworks and Market, they know all the secrets – and more – to a successful restaurant.

The evening that we ate at Spoon River, “the Admiral” had the most interesting and delicious shrimp salad that she has ever been served.

Spoon River Shrimp Salad

I had the thickest, incredibly tender, cooked to perfection pork chop, and “farm to fork” sides that I have ever been served.

Spoon River Pork Chop

We both left the restaurant with “To Go” containers!  And besides our dinners being delicious, abundant portions, the plates looked as if they were staged for competition.

To learn more about Belhaven, and Spoon River Artworks and Market, read Josh Shaffer’s “An Eclectic Mix in Belhaven,” that appeared in the May 2013 issue of Our State – North Carolina Magazine.  Better yet, put Belhaven, NC and Spoon River Artworks and Market on you next itinerary when CruisingTheICW north or south through North Carolina.