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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