It would be easy for Bruce Moffett, who owns the place and runs the kitchen, to rest easy. His tiny dining room stays packed. His restaurant's reputation seems unassailable. Yet he and his brother, Kerry, who cooks alongside him, have maintained impeccably high standards. His food is never complicated, but still manages to be creative—witness a recent menu's fried oysters with pork belly and watermelon. He uses local ingredients when he can, and he knows how to keep his regulars happy. If we were inclined to make such bold statements, we might call Barrington's the best restaurant in the city (oops, did that slip out?).

Barrington's on the Cheap
Barrington's is a small place with a lot of regulars. Translation: what you see is what you get. The good news for value seekers is that the restaurant's signature items are on the lower end of the price spectrum. You can get the heavenly Handmade Parmesan Gnocchi, which has been on the menu since opening day in October 2000 and is tossed with savory braised organic veal and porcini mushrooms, for all of $19. The almost equally popular Seared Organic Chicken with mashed potatoes, wilted spinach, and garlic pan sauce goes for $22. You can add a salad and dessert to either and stay under $40.

7822 Fairview Rd., 704-364-5755,

Categories: Feature, Food + Drink, Restaurants & Food