Dinner at Lantern

© Courtesy of Tom Colicchio
Dinner at Lantern

Editor's note: Tom Colicchio, the head judge on Bravo's Top Chef (and a Food & Wine Best New Chef 1991), will be blogging every day this week about his road trip from Atlanta.

Once back in Chapel Hill, we headed straight for Lantern to taste Andrea's food for ourselves.

Lantern is widely known for marrying a farm-to-table philosophy to impeccably produced Pacific Rim cuisine, and Cane Creek is just one of many local farms and fisheries that Andrea features on her seasonally-driven menu. Local shrimp, sea trout, soft shell crab, flounder, mackerel, sea scallops, and a wide array of local vegetables all made it onto our table that night.

Over the course of the meal we also got a chance to see Cane Creek pork deployed in many forms. There was a lemongrass barbecued pork dish, a pork chop with a fried farm egg and spicy local cucumber mint salad, pork belly with 5-spice and pickled pumpkin, and lest any part of the pig be excluded, a head-to-tail pork terrine served with hakurei turnips.