To celebrate our anniversary G and I decided to finally check out The Umstead Hotel in Cary. We made an entire afternoon of it with massages and an afternoon at the spa and then dinner at the nationally recognized Herons. The entire hotel has a modern, elegant style with muted neutral tones and warm lighting. This elegance is carried on into the restaurant, Herons. The walls are covered in a warm wood paneling. The space is divided into smaller rooms with alcoves holding beautiful large artful pieces which set off the well-designed space. The large table are well spaced to allow guests to have intimate conversations. The kitchen is viewable from the dining area for those who would like to see the action.
We were seated promptly at the time of our reservation and throughout the evening the service was perfect. They offer a 5-course tasting menu for $85 which was quite tempting but we opted to go with the a la carte option. G started with the Porcini Raviolo which was just absolutely delicious! The raviolo was nicely filled with lots of porcinis and just salty ricotta salata and served in a sweet pea broth which offset the richness of the raviolo. I started with the Chilled Corn Soup. The rich creamy soup was sprinkled with varied flavors and textures, including lobster knuckles, potato crouton and popcorn shoots. I loved the play of the various textures on the tongue; the nice bite of the lobster against the sweet corn soup in one bite and a salty crunch of a kernel of popcorn in the next.
The delicious tastes and textures continued in our entrée choices. G had the Seared Tuna which was served with tempura rock shrimp, charred broccoli, nishiki rice and a drizzle of red curry. The tuna was just perfectly seared and offset by the crunch of the charred broccoli. The red curry added just the needed touch of spice to the dish. I opted for the Summer Vegetable entrée which was served with grilled paneer, cucumber blossoms, enoki mushrooms and offset with smoked butter. This was definitely one of the most elegant vegetarian dishes I have enjoyed; the combination of flavors and textures were wonderful! The earthiness of the mushrooms contrasted with the sweetness of the carrot puree and the paneer added a nice chew to the delicate vegetables. Just a wonderfully well composed dish! Finally, for dessert we shared the Dark Chocolate which was described as Chocolate “Butter”, Panko Cake, “Toast” Cream and Salted Caramel. The dark chocolate ‘butter’ was a decadent granache cake which was complimented by the other flavors and texture components.
Herons is a wonderfully elegant space with beautifully composed dishes. It’s not surprising that it was recently named one of the Best Places to Eat. If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion Herons is a perfect choice!
Herons at The Umstead
100 Woodland Pond Drive
Cary, NC 27513