Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Herons and Chef Scott Crawford hit a home run

(Sorry for two restaurant reviews in a row, but I'm a bit behind on them.)

A couple of weekends ago, we decided it was time to return to Herons to see what Chef Scott Crawford and his team were doing with the best of the local spring foods. This time, though, when I called for the reservation I showed off a few foodie credentials and then asked them to convey my simple message to the Chef: Please make the food you would most like to make, the menu you wish you could serve, really go crazy, and charge me whatever you need to do to make it work.

He did. You can see the menu here; click on it to view a larger, easier-to-read image.

I'm happy to report that the result was a top-drawer meal. With the exception of the desserts, which are frequently a problem at high-end restaurants, every dish was a winner.

Let's get those desserts out of the way. The strawberry shortcake was so-so, but the bubble gum ice cream was one of those noble efforts that simply should vanish into the don't-do-this-again bin. The chocolate mousse was good, but it wasn't great.

The other seven courses, though, were great, and because of them I'm already eager to see what Chef Crawford and his team will be doing when they switch to a summer menu.

I have to single out the poached lobster in pearl pasta with English peas and pistachios as a truly perfect taste of the season. All the textures and flavors blended perfectly. Crawford expertly uses nuts in many dishes, and they always work well. I won't say that I licked the bowl clean, but I might have swept the inside once or twice with my fingers.

If you live here and you're willing to spend a bit for an amazing dinner, call Herons, ask them to make you something special, and you will have a wonderful evening.

Don't forget to invite me.


Laura said...

"With the exception of the desserts, which are frequently a problem at high-end restaurants"

Why do you think that is? Also, what are your favorite places around here for desserts?

Mark said...

Laura, I have no clue, but it is definitely something I've noted at many restaurants.

I can't point at any single place and say it has the best desserts overall. The chocolate souffle at Fearrington is deservedly well-known, and each good place has some good desserts, but nothing leaps to mind, alas.


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