With the highly anticipated recent grand opening of Buku’s second location in Wake Forest in addition to many other foodie delights around town that have been popping up as of late, Wake Forest is well on its way to becoming a powerhouse foodie destination of its own in the Raleigh – Durham region! Helping it along is Farm Table, a unique farm-to-table kitchen & bar that has been around for four years. This unique large and well-appointed restaurant can accommodate close to 150 people. It is located right off NC-98 in the Gateway Commons Shopping Center just outside of the prestigious Heritage and Traditions master-planned communities.
Co-Owner/Partner at the Restaurant, Laszlo Lukacsi has lived and worked in many areas throughout the Triangle and loves the charming town of Wake Forest for its “loyal local people,” who frequent Farm Table. Echoing Laszlo, long-time General Manager, Todd Skipper, told us that food and hospitality is all about people at the end of the day… “The Farm Table staff are a local extension of the Giorgios Hospitality Group family. For us, it is about enjoying people and hoping they also enjoy what we have to offer at all our restaurants & offer the community a great place to dine or work in.”
The founder of Giorgios Hospitality Group, Giorgios Bakatsias, has owned and operated restaurants in The Triangle region for decades, and in Wake Forest since at least 2010. He tells us the origins behind the Farm Table restaurant concept was a genuine curiosity to see how a restaurant could operate and work as a living breathing experience, with a menu revolving around the seasons and changing often, as his team works to create according to what they able to get.
” Farm Table is inspired by the word itself, and the true commitment and responsibility to become one with the local community of farmers and providers of these great ingredients that we all cherish as restauranteurs and to truly respect and celebrate that in the most authentic ways possible…
— Giorgios Bakatsias, Founder/Owner at Giorgios Hospitality Group
Farm Table is a community of people gathering around the table. It is also an expression of what real community is: to have a real relationship with the local farmers and create a living breathing experience. Every day is a fresh day at Farm Table, where Giorgios’ team re-examines skills & craft and honor the ingredients that come through their doors. Giorgios went on to say… ” It is all about staying in the moment and space where we are crafting honest food and flavors to be of real service in the community, by staying present.”
The main dining room seats 85 guests. The natural interior provides a space for families and neighbors to gather and share flavors. The restaurant also features a unique outdoor garden, which seats 35 guests. The relaxed, al fresco ambiance of the garden and outdoor fireplace provides a more intimate experience. And last, but certainly not least — the bar seats 20 guests where neighbors can meet for small bites and conversation. The bar features local beers, craft cocktails, and wines from boutique houses.
Seasonal Menu with Customer-Requested Staples
While Farm Table places a special focus on seasonal items, there are some customer favorites that you can reliably find on the menu. Loyal customers love the Roasted Beet Salad, Bacon Mac N Cheese, and the Pork Schnitzel, so those dishes earned a permanent spot on the menu.
Most items on the menu shift with the seasons. The summer menu is very tomato-focused. I enjoyed the Vollmer Farm Tomato Salad and the Seared Scallops, which were served atop fresh ratatouille. Both dishes were fresh and filling, without being too heavy, which is ideal for summer dishes. Another stand-out on the summer menu is the Eggplant Marinara, which is fried and served with fresh marinara, pesto, and burrata.
Come fall and winter, you can expect the menu to shift more towards root vegetables and winter greens. The Pumpkin Risotto is a customer favorite that you can look forward to in the cooler seasons!
A Chef’s Delight & True Localistas
Chef Steven Bobbit loves the flexibility and creativity that comes with working at Farm Table. “The menu changes about 10 times a year, so it’s not the same thing day in and day out, “ he says. Bobbit is a North Carolina native and focuses on southern cuisine. One of his favorite menu items is the Grilled Pork Chop, served with sweet potato puree and bourbon cherry glaze.
Farm Table isn’t just a name, it’s an apt description of the restaurant’s philosophy. Whenever possible, ingredients are sourced from local farms, bakeries, butchers, and fisheries. The tomatoes featured in summer dishes come from Vollmer Farm in Bunn, NC. Farm Table sources its fresh fish from Durham-based distributor Simply Fresh. Though some of the desserts are made in-house, you can also find treats from Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes on the menu. Flip over your menu for a complete list of partners. It’s awesome to know exactly where your food is coming from!
Farm Table is part of the Giorgios Hospitality Group, which has many restaurants throughout the Triangle. Farm Table is one of two Giorgios restaurants in Wake Forest, the second being its next-door neighbor, Gatehouse Tavern, which is a pub-style restaurant.
Giorgios Bakatsias, Visionary Restauranteur
Mr. Bakatsias is the “godfather” of the foodie scene here in The Triangle area and has been active for over 30 years. His restaurant empire features a total of 8 unique restaurants in Durham & Chapel Hill alone. He owns 2 restaurants out in Wake County in the town of Wake Forest, 2 in Charlotte and 1 in Asheville.
The 4 restaurants in Chapel Hill are: Bin54 Steak & Cellar, Village Burgers, KIPOS (Greek Taverna), City Kitchen American Brasserie, and over in Durham: Parizade (Mediterranean), Vin Rouge (French Bistro), Local 22 Kitchen & Bar and Nasher Museum Cafe at Duke University.
Giorgios Bakatsias is known not only as one of North Carolina’s top restaurateurs and restaurant design consultants, but also as a source of boundless energy, an unmistakable laugh, and eternal optimism. Giorgios believes that his story proves, “if you embrace life, it will yield untold experiences and love.”
” At Giorgios Group each restaurant is more than a place to grab a bite, it is an experience, a story, a captivating memory from owner Giorgios Bakatsias’ life as an internationally recognized restauranteur…”
Giorgios Bakatsias, the Southeast’s most prolific and visionary restaurateur, boasts decades of experience in the culinary industry. He has been the creative force behind countless dining restaurants, food venues, and gourmet markets. From conception to opening, Bakatsias directs all aspects of the creative process, including concept development and branding, architectural and interior design, selection of key management, lighting, textiles, and furniture. His appreciation for the guest experience, intuitive sense of cutting-edge trends in dining, and talent for menu composition have garnered the attention and praise of local and national food critics alike.
Giorgios learned to cook at the foot of his mother’s stove in the quiet village of Karista, Greece. He immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of 12. His parents’ small diner, above which the family lived, was his first introduction to Durham, North Carolina and the American way of life. He then obtained a global culinary education, learning in the kitchens of Paris, New York, and the Mediterranean. At 23, he had already developed several restaurant properties and conceived of dozens more.
Giorgios’ 13 restaurants offer a variety of culinary samplings from every corner of the globe, and they ensure that each explores robust and powerful flavor while maintaining fresh and locally sourced ingredients. Whether it be a Bistro, Taverna, Brasserie, or Top 100 Steakhouse, each Giorgios Group restaurant unconditionally guarantees positive guest experiences through quality and service.
Farm Table in Wake Forest is open every evening for dinner starting at 5pm. The restaurant occasionally offers brunch as well. Follow Farm Table on Facebook to keep up with upcoming special events and other local happenings!
So what are some of your favorite menu items at Farm Table in Wake Forest? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at FB.com/919Blog and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.
This post was created in collaboration with the Wake Forest Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Amy Howard for exclusive digital publication via TBN