Opened in August of 2010, Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant is a locally-owned restaurant magnificently perched upon the banks of the Neuse River. You can enjoy elegant yet casual dining in its downstairs great room, the private upstairs dining room, or (seasonally) on an outdoor waterfront dining area that offers the best view in town. Named after a persimmon tree found during its construction that was milled and used to create the host stand, the restaurant has become a favorite New Bern destination.
Antonio Campolio, Persimmons’ head chef for the past five years, champions a team that prepares innovative and delicious modern cuisine made from locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients. “I wouldn’t be anywhere else, Chef Antonio said. “I love New Bern, and plan to plant roots here.”
The entire restaurant is also feeling the love.
“Throughout the shutdown, we felt fortunate, said Chef Antonio. “Restaurants in New Bern have survived really well compared to others.” He said that the dinner kits and produce kits Persimmons sold during the shutdown helped struggling local farmers as well. The restaurant was also able to offer the community prime grade meat.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Swiss Bear promoted the sale of gift cards to help keep downtown businessess afloat. Ticket sales were brisk at Persimmons. According to Chef Antonio, one customer said that they did not eat at Persimmons frequently, but wanted to make sure it was still around so they could have a burger on the deck when it opened.
“The community rallied to buy gift cards and groceries, and to make food orders. As a result, we were able to take care of our employees, Chef Antonio said.
Giving love back
“We as a team are now focused on showing love to the New Bern community,” Chef Antonio said. “We have held several special events as a way to pump love back into a community that has supported us this year,”
Persimmons offered special order Thanksgiving meal kits as a convenience for its customers. During the Christmas season, Persimmons held card and cookie decorating workshops. It is also offering free cookies and hot chocolate through the third week in December, starting at 5:00 Saturdays and Sundays. During the first two weekends of December, Persimmons gave out 2500 cookies.
With cold weather officially upon New Bern, the Persimmons menu includes several popular fall and winter offerings. Now you can choose from among heavier foods such as fried chicken, short ribs, and pot roast, as well as some interesting pasta dishes.
Persimmons’ love and gratitude for the community permeates everything its team does, right down to its seasonal bar menu. “The bartenders have put a ton of love and thought into new seasonal drinks, said Chef Antonio. “There are many fun flavors, so if you’re interested in seasonal cocktails, like eggnog, come on out.”