Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Herons: The best local restaurant

A couple of nights ago, we headed out to Herons to see what Executive Chef Scott Crawford and Chef de Cuisine Steven Greene would do with the area's spring ingredients. I'd arranged for them to create a special tasting menu for us, one that would combine some things from the normal menu and some they would create for this meal. The result, as you can see below, looked awesome.

(As always, click on an image to see a bigger version.)

I'm happy to report that the dishes tasted even better than their descriptions made them sound. Each one combined flavors of spring in fun and amazingly delicious ways. As we finished each course, we remarked that surely they could not sustain this quality level in the next dish--and then they did.

I won't drown you in food porn, but I thought one shot would illustrate the complexity and beauty of the dishes. This course, the first after the amuse, featured peekytoe crab in between compressed pineapple and avocado. Each bite combined richness with sweetness and the fatty overtone that a little bit of avocado provides.

Only the final dessert disappointed us, but after a meal that good, we forgave it.

Another star of the evening was the apricot and goat cheese scone. Each small pastry melded the apricot and goat cheese with the scone in a warm, delicious, rich concoction that we all adored. I could easily have eaten those until I burst.

In past trips to Herons, the service has been unable to keep pace with the food. I'm happy to report that our service was excellent, with only a few very minor missteps. These folks were on the ball and far above all the previous wait staff we've had there.

All in all, I haven't had a meal this good locally since the two amazing tasting menus back at The Mint when Eric Foster and Jeremy Clayman were creating the food there. (They're long gone from that restaurant, and I most definitely no longer recommend The Mint.)

In both food quality and service, Herons now stands alone atop the Triangle food scene.


Michelle said...

The descriptions of these dishes on the menu is akin to a work of art. The careful gathering of just the right ingredients and the placement of such give the presentation of a masterpiece. My hope is the taste lives up to the creation. If nothing else, the photo shown is beautiful.

Mark said...

The dishes tasted better than they looked.


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