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“Easter Buffet”
Review of Herons

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Ranked #5 of 477 Restaurants in Cary
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Harrison Avenue
Description: Herons delivers a dining experience that is both refined and relaxed. Led by James Beard Semifinalist in 2016 and 2017, Executive Chef Steven Greene, the expertly trained staff warms the room, providing seamless service that helps guests enjoy the pleasures of an elegant meal. The main dining room offers a full view of the kitchen, while floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light and overlook the terrace, lawn and wooded lake beyond. In addition to the 98-seat main dining room, a semi-private dining room seats up to eight, while the private dining room accommodates 12 and showcases pottery by North Carolina artist Ben Owen. Outdoor seating invites al fresco dining in the spring, summer and fall. The neutral palette of the décor in Herons provides a sophisticated, yet understated backdrop to the bright and inspired flavor combinations artfully presented. The dinner menu changes seasonally and draws heavily on produce harvested from The Umstead’s own sustainable farm. The exceptional quality of Herons’ wine list been recognized with a prestigious “Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I've been in and out of the Umstead hotel that houses Herons restaurant probably twenty times and have never opened a door. Every time I go to enter or exit, the doorman, a valet or a manager spots me and opens the door. It's that attention that pervades the hotel and restaurant. It seems they hire more staff then needed just make you comfortable. At the Easter buffet, every time my wife and I returned there was new silverware and a folded napkin while someone pulled out the seat for each of us. The restaurant was completely booked weeks in advance but was never crowded. Apparently, Herons limits reservations to make sure you don't have to wait for a table or a crowd at the buffet. The buffet itself was amazing and was staffed by the actual chefs who would proudly describe the dishes they made. The eggs benedict station had three made to order choices. Each of the main dishes including lamb, ham, chicken, and sea bass has their own accompaniments. And the short ribs would literally melt in your mouth. We paced ourselves starting with the cheese station featuring North Carolina cheese and jams. Proceeded to the salad, then to the soups (loved the lobster bisque) and on to the main courses. Luckily the desserts were small and plentiful. Wear loose clothing! The meal is pricey $75 per person plus wine. But it's one you won't forget! Herons is a great place for a special occasion

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Thank Pszychojoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 19, 2013

The service is really good in this restaurant. We picked a 4 courses menu and chose very nice wines from their extremely well sorted wine list. All the courses looked extremely good - very fancy and nicely adjusted on the plates. A small bottleneck was that even though the taste of the food was good it was also a bit loveless. The extra-bit was missing. Don't get me wrong, the quality was really good but the combinations were strange and it was not completely sound. And given this the price is too high.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank susi_0815
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Strange as this sounds it is true! My husband and I are regular diners in the Heron's bar. This week we stopped by to celebrate my husband's birthday. His wish was to order his favorite hamburger and a bottle of red wine and relax in the piano lounge after a busy week of travel. We had been seated for quite a while when the waitress came to take our order. She said a new policy did not permit bar food to be served in the part of the bar we were seated in - a recent rule. She stated that to be served bar food we would need to move into the main bar area which appeared to be rather full and noisy. This seemed so odd we asked to speak with the manager. A good while later Kyle the bar mgr. appeared. Completely void of customer service Kyle said he was forced to carry out "the new bar food policy" as per the chef and management. He did not offer us a seat in the "correct" section as it was likely full, but suggested we might want to order "bar snacks" instead which laughably included sliders!? In reality, in order to serve us the bar hamburgers, the wait staff would only have to walk 15 more steps. When we pointed this out Kyle said, "I'm not allowed to break the bar food rule". The whole scene was so utterly ridiculous, all we could do was laugh, shake our heads and walk out of the place for the last time.

3  Thank queen4aday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

My husband and I enjoyed a quiet lunch at Herron's. I made the reservations a week and a half in advance and was asked if we were celebrating anything special. I mentioned the gift card I would be using was an anniversary present. During dessert we received a complimentary plate of petite bites from the pastry chef. There were only 6 tables being served the hour+ we were there. Very attentive staff, great food, enjoyed the quiet of the restaurant.

Thank Tricia316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I typically am reluctant to eat at restaurants that are located in a hotel. However, after seeing Herons come up on so many "best food lists in Raleigh" I decided to give it a try. From the minute you turn into the circular driveway and catch sight of the magnificent Umstead Hotel and Spa, you know you are in a special place. This hotel is truly a work of art with paintings and sculpture that rival any good art museum. The dining room is quiet, elegantly decorated but not fussy or pretentious. The service was warm and attentive and very well-informed. For appetizers we started with foie gras, quail, and tortellini. These were all complex dishes with unique flavor combinations. Our family shares so we kept the plates moving around as we sampled these not overly large dishes. We also tried the chestnut soup. 2 of us had venison and 1 had salmon for our main course. It was all delicious, from the wine and bread to the food and service this meal was one of the most memorable I've had and I hope I can find an excuse to return here for dinner sometime soon.

Thank Carol F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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