Nestled alongside one of the East coast’s busiest marinas sits a restaurant called Fairfield Harbour Food and Spirits. With a sunny deck lined with umbrella-clad picnic tables, day boaters and locals alike can settle in for a casual meal or a cool drink, waterside.
Fairfield Harbour Food and Spirits recently earned the coveted Peppermill Trophy and was recognized as the Overall Best Restaurant in the 2014 Taste of Coastal Carolina – for very good reason. They “wowed the crowd with their amazing Greek plate of Chicken and Pork Souvlaki skewers, spanakopita, tzatziki sauce and pita bread, lemon chicken orzo soup and a Greek village salad.”
To diners’ delight, Fairfield Harbour Food and Spirits offers far more than a simple burger and fries (though it does offer classic casual meals). Under direction of Chefs Chris Manoudakis and Roy Simmonds, this quaint restaurant treats diners to authentic – and truly delicious – Greek specialties. With front-of house expertise provided by co-owner Tina Scire, the trio ensures a relaxed and satisfying dining experience in a casual nautical setting.
For our group’s meal, we arrived hungry and left incredibly satisfied, wishing we could eat even more. Chefs Manoudakis and Simmonds presented a range of house favorites, beginning with a classic Greek salad of romaine lettuce, sliced peppers, summer tomatoes, Kalamata olives, slivered red onion, feta cheese, and rice-filled grape leaves called dolmadakia, topped with a housemade Greek dressing. On the side was a platter of warm pita triangles and olive oil.
For the main course, we delved into buttery, flaky, golden spanakopita – filled phyllo pastry layers baked with seasoned spinach and feta cheese. We also enjoyed a platter of crisp fried calamari with a classic tomato sauce, and a dish called papoutsakia.
Papoutsakia, I’m told, means “little shoes.” These delicious treats are baked eggplant slices stuffed with spiced ground beef and lamb with tomato sauce and melted cheese, and they were very good.
But, the must-try dish of the evening is a Greek mainstay called Pastitsio. Fairfield Harbour Food and Spirits serves one of the best pastitsio dishes I’ve tasted – even while traveling through Greece. Chef Manoudakis knows how to pay tribute to this favored family dish of his ancestral homeland. His pastitsio offers intensely flavorful meat with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg in the taste-layered sauce. But his creamy bechamel sauce adds richness throughout the dish. You just have to taste it to understand how good it is when these flavors bake together.
Come ready to relax, and come hungry. Fairfield Harbour Food and Spirits is a family-friendly destination that will quickly make you a devotee of Greek food, the way it was meant to be served and eaten. Try it – I guarantee you’ll like it!
100 Marina Drive, New Bern NC 28560
Reservations requested for parties of six or more. Private party function space available. Catering provided by Blue Bay Catering and Events.
Photography by Robert Dumon Photography.