About Herons

Noted by Condé Nast Traveler as a "culinary gem," The Umstead Hotel and Spa's signature restaurant Herons features the refined American cooking of Executive Chef Steven D. Greene and Chef de Cuisine Spencer Thomson. With an extensive wine list spanning over 1,500 selections and 10,000 bottles, one is sure to find the perfect complement to their sophisticated dining experience. Guests will enjoy the elegant setting and exquisite art collection indoors as well as dining on the terrace, with panoramic views of the lake. The Umstead’s Bar is also available to local diners and hotel guests for a more casual experience. Herons, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond Restaurant, serves breakfast and lunch daily, weekend brunch and dinner Monday - Saturday.

100 Woodland Pond Drive
Cary, NC 27513
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Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
American

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 10:00am

Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 7:00am - 1:00pm

Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm

Dinner: Monday - Thrursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Afternoon Tea: Wednesday - Sunday: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm by reservation only

Cross Street:
Harrison Avenue

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 447-4200

Website:
http://www.theumstead.com/

Entertainment:
Our sumptuous surroundings are enhanced by live music every day of the week at The Bar and Lounge of The Umstead Hotel and Spa.

Catering:
Please contact Carrie Cassidy of The Umstead Hotel at 919.447.4131 or at carrie.cassidy@theumstead.com for catering in the Hotel Event Space.

Parking Details:
Complimentary valet parking for Herons; self-parking available as well.

Executive Chef:
Steven Devereaux Greene

Private Party Facilities:
Herons private dining room for 9-12 guests provides the stage for extensive food and wine-paired tasting menus. Executive Chef Steven Devereaux Greene will both indulge and delight you during your dining experience. Reservations are required.

Private Party Contact:
Tammie Burdick: (888) 778-7425

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Herons Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.8

ambience

4.8

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (37)
Fit for Foodies (35)
Quiet Conversation (35)
See All
Romantic (35)
Good for Anniversaries (33)
Good for a Date (32)
Creative Cuisine (27)
Notable Wine List (22)
Business Meals (20)
Modern Decor (15)
Worth the Drive (15)
Good for Birthdays (14)
Cozy (12)
Great for Outdoor Dining (12)
Tasting Menu (12)
Open Kitchen (10)
Local Ingredients (10)
Great for Lunch (9)
Great for Brunch (9)
Molecular Gastronomy (9)
Healthy (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Authentic (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Seasonal (7)
Scenic View (7)
Afternoon Tea (6)
Good for Groups (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Organic (4)
Happy Hour (3)
Private Room (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Live Music (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Fun (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Waterfront (1)
Fireplace (1)
Bar Seating (1)
People Watching (1)
Great Beer (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
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1486 reviews
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 (Raleigh)·Dined 5 days ago

It is such a great place for a date. The service is also great. Will come again.

Tags: Romantic, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 6 days ago

This is a beautifully designed dining experience for a romantic evening with a loved one. The ambience is great, with quiet chatter and laughter from the guests. Herons' staff is extremely professional and they know and understand the menu items well. The menu is easy to understand with plenty of varity to the foods that are offered. Unfortunately this is where this restaurant falls short. Unless you are into brand new experiences and tastes that are influenced by different cultures and highly unique flavors, this may not be for you. Each dish has a unique and acquired taste. From the very unique takes on soups, salads, and sushi, to a very uniquely tasting corndog; or even the oddly tasting chocolate treat that was served in between courses, nothing tasted remotely of something I have eaten before. This is a double edged sword because although I have never had rabbit before, this made me not want to try rabbit again. I'm not a fan of cuisine mixed with art and random flavors strung together. I will admit the presentations were above par and out right exquisite, I just wish the food had the taste to match.

Tags: Romantic, Notable Wine List, Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food1
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Western NC)·Dined 6 days ago

Friends we visiting from out of town. We had a wonderful lunch. Not rushed and time to visit.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 19, 2017

As often as we have gone to Herrons we have never been disappointed. The food is exceptional and served so creatively. The staff is at your beckon call. Herrons is worthy of its 5 star rating.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Healthy, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 18, 2017

I had made reservations for 11.30. Nobody at the desk till 11.25. I know that the restaurant opens for lunch at 11.30. Was somewhat surprised to be told at 11.28 to wait.

Birthday lunch (included that info in me reservation) for my friend who I don't see often. I had made reservations way in advance. Although nobody else was at the restaurant we were shown to an undesirable booth. I asked if we could have the table at the window. OK We were interrupted during our conversation twice by the waitress..menu..are you ready to order?

Service was much better (different staff) during lunch and the food was good.

Tags: Afternoon Tea, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 17, 2017

This is a tricky review to write. On the one hand, Heron's serves the kind of innovative cuisine you rarely find in the triangle. And they do it in the posh, quiet setting in the Umstead Hotel. On the other hand, the service (while polite) was slow. We waited a long time for drinks. We were finished with our lunch for at least ten minutes before anyone bothered to whisk away our plates. My entree (the Carolina trout) was delicious and decadent, just the right size for lunch. My companion, however, ordered a chicken sandwich. The sandwich had the whole chicken breast--fat in the middle, skinny on the ends, so there was no way it could be cooked evenly. The culinary highlight was the strawberry shortcake at the end. The sugared violet made me ridiculously happy, and there was an interesting combination of flavors of textures. In all, it was a lovely 2+ hr lunch that we thoroughly enjoyed and I would go back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Afternoon Tea, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 15, 2017

Heron's provides a great dining experience. The dining room was beautiful and the service top-notch. They had a good selection from which to build one's prix fixe. The dishes were beautifully presented and I love the little nibbles they provided between courses.
The only knock I would have ---and only because it's clearly the best and most elegant dining room in the Raleigh area--is that the chef could go for a little simplicity in the food prep. Some of the dishes we had just had too many components to them (as in multiple plates) that it was hard to really appreciate the fine flavors.
But the one thing I have to give the chef credit for: both my husband and I felt like we just consumed a very wholesome, clean meal that was just delicious. We felt full but there was none of the heaviness one feels after a big meal.
Great wine selection, too!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Good for Groups, Romantic, Authentic, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Molecular Gastronomy, Seasonal
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 15, 2017

Another delightful treat dining at Herons.

We'll be back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 11, 2017

Perfect spot for celebrating Mother's Day before the crowded weekend.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on May 10, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY ! I have eaten all over the world in some of the best restaurants and this is a 10 ! The food is very creative and the service is superb !

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Sunday Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 6, 2017

Herons was absolutely amazing. We loved every moment of our dinner experience. The service was impeccable and the food outstanding.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on May 4, 2017

This was a friends birthday and we hadn't seen each other almost 12years and based on previous reviews I selected Herons. This was an amazing evening, from being greeted at the door to the constant attention throughout the evening.

The food was phenomenal and between each dish we were presented with something to sample from the Chef. We had multiple people waiting on us but Lori really made it enjoyable. We even shopped in the hotel gift shop. Will definitely return and highly recommend.

Tags: Private Room, Good for a Date, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 3, 2017

The food and the service were excellent! I recommend Heron without reservation, it was a treat.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 3, 2017

I took my wife for our 25th anniversary and it lived up to its 5 star reputation. We did multiple courses with paired wines. No other place in Raleigh compares to the unique flavor combinations or presentation or welcoming service. Overall 5 stars.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Sunday Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Open Kitchen, Business Meals, People Watching, Molecular Gastronomy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 29, 2017

Although our overall experience was really wonderful, I was so very disappointed when we were first seated at 6 p.m. We were celebrating a wedding anniversary and were really anticipating a special dinner at this outstanding restaurant. We were led to what was easily the very worst seat in the house -- near the swinging door of the kitchen which was my husband's only view. Noisy and not at all romantic. I asked for another table but the hostess said 'they were all reserved'. Well, we had reserved ours too, and we were surrounded by other tables which were also set for two with no one seated at them. We had a great server named Lori who generously agreed to let us sit at a table on the terrace after we discovered that was an option. We moved outside and instantly felt like we were finally able to have our celebratory dinner in style. Heron's should just remove the table for two where we were originally seated; there is no option for at least one person at that table to only look into the kitchen the whole evening. Not the ambiance any of us hope for at such a high-quality restaurant.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Open Kitchen, Modern Decor, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 29, 2017

My husband and I visited for the FIRST time to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. Knew nothing about this restaurant, but two of our daughters booked a room for our anniversary stay. The stay and the restaurant was no other we've ever visited. It was a wonderful experience. My husband is very picky and he wants to go back again just for the chicken and waffles. We loved it and plan to come again. Thank God for my daughters, they don't realize what they've srarted.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Healthy, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 29, 2017

Most impressed with the service. Lori far exceeded our expectations. As for the courses, outstanding. Clearly the Chief is top notch; however, it felt dated in terms of the presentation and unigueness of the flavors.

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Paleo Friendly, Authentic, Romantic
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 27, 2017

Was a great experience for a special occasion. Would recommend to friends. Pricey but a great experience

Tags: Tasting Menu, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 25, 2017

Amazing experience and 'reassuringly expensive'. The food and service were exceptional. For a special occasion I would strongly recommend.

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 24, 2017

The 3 Michelin stars this restaurant has are well deserved. We had an absolute fabulous meal. Very creative and inspiring. The service was to perfection and the ambiance is absolutely delightful. We had our anniversary dinner there and at the end of the meal we received a custom printed card with the menu and the wine choices in a sealed envelope. What a nice touch. Looking very much forward to coming back.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on April 22, 2017

The service was excellent and the ambiance was nice, though we were the only ones in the dining room for Saturday lunch. Portions were small; menu descriptions could have been more informative. (Salad nicoise had tuna on the side.) The desserts, alas, were a disappointment. Juice as amuse bouche tasted soapy.

Tags: Modern Decor, Business Meals
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 18, 2017

The service from Scott was impeccable and aligned to the quality of the food and what you'd expect at this price point. Dishes were very creative and the presentation was exquisite. We opted for the lowest option on the menu which was the three course meal. This however amounted to much more tasting items along the way. Three hours passed by quite easily with the three-course menu selection and so one should plan their evening accordingly. We paid about $150 per person for dinner including a cocktail and a glass of wine each. An overall fantastic dining experience that I would recommend to any foodie out there!

Bon Appetite!

Tags: Seasonal, Local Ingredients, Molecular Gastronomy, Disabled Access, Worth the Drive, Organic, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 18, 2017

The occasion was my friend's 60th birthday. We had a wonderful time due to the attentiveness of the wait staff, the lovely ambiance, the attention to detail of the serving mode, and of course, the delicious lobster roll!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 18, 2017

We celebrated our wedding anniversary.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Columbus)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Anniversary dinner at Herons. Liked open concept kitchen. Multiple in between courses courtesy of chef- imaginative and artistically presented. Duck perfectly done but side dishes did not lend itself to the meal and felt odd. Steak perfectly done with generous amount of mushrooms. Desserts were deconstructed- strawberry great. Sakura- just ok. Service was polite but odd due to large party in private room/ felt they were hovering over us when in reality were standing waiting to pick up and deliver large group plates. Very happy we made the drive. After dinner, walked around beautiful lake.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 14, 2017

We were celebrating my parents 61st anniversary. The evening started with a nice personal note from Herons at my mother's seat. Very nice touch to start the evening. John was our waiter; very knowledgeable about the wine list and dinner menu. I am always thankful when John is my waiter at Herons. He and his team are so professional and friendly. The food was fantastic including the special palate foods in between each course. The food presentations were a show themselves. For example, the oyster dish (second course) had fog over the dish when served. The last presentation was a raspberry food with a chocolate message reading Happy Anniversary. Beautiful evening!!!!

Tags: Authentic, Modern Decor, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Healthy, Great for Brunch, Cozy, Great for Outdoor Dining, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Romantic, Open Kitchen, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on April 13, 2017

Loved it but the service was too slow...

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food5
ambience5
service3

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 10, 2017

We started our dining experience with drinks on the patio with a lovely view of the lake. Our dining experience was not nrushed by any means. The wait staff addressed us by name and explained everything on the plate as it was served The food was delicious with little surprises inbetween courses. A perfect special occasion experience

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Rich was a great server and the presentation is the best I have ever seen.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 8, 2017

The courses were well timed and the presentation was delightful. Excellent flavors.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 31, 2017

Excellent experience overall. Our waiter (Scott) spoke with us about our specific needs and likes before the meal and was very considerate about everything. Our sommelier (also a Scott) was extremely helpful and picked amazing wines to pair with our meal (he made me like some dry wines which I don't normally enjoy). The meal itself was fantastic and had a delightful element of showmanship with each course and delicious "in between course bites" to try something new and different. All in all a great place for a nice get together and I would definitely recommend it.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Seasonal, Molecular Gastronomy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on March 25, 2017

The presentation and cuisine of the chef's tasting menu was exquisite and the service was incredible. Highly recommend!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Molecular Gastronomy, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on March 22, 2017

Most of the menu items were cooked sous vide, which is normally wonderful. Unfortunately the execution showed that the immersion bags were on too tight- you could see where the food was compressed & too firm. The process is meant to "bloom" the food not make it held hostage. The oysters & egg were very good. The service was over the top excellent which is why we didn't send our food back- it would have made them feel bad.

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food1
ambience5
service5
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Took my best friend for a birthday brunch. As always, the fresh squeezed orange juice alone was worth the trip and the pancakes were the best in the area. And the highlight of the meal. The chef sent us a gift of fresh pressed blood orange and lychee juices which were a fun treat. The meal was rounded out with fresh fruit and coffee, both great. We love the quiet ambience and courteous service. All of these things keep us coming back. An exceptional experience.

Tags: Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Good for Birthdays, Afternoon Tea, Cozy, Open Kitchen, Great for Brunch, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 17, 2017

We had a wonderful dinner. Definitely do the wine pairing dinner. The food was delicious and the service was the best I have ever experienced. You must go!!!

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Tasting Menu, Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 17, 2017

There aren't adequate superlatives to describe our Herons experience. I've dined many places around the U.S., & some in Latin America & Paris, but Herons really stands out as unique & a meal-of-a-lifetime. The service is amazingly fine-tuned & skilled in attentiveness & timeliness, but never hovering. The dining area is beautiful & elegant, & there's a relaxing ambiance. But the food, wow. Every dish is beautifully presented & richly flavored. Most impressive of all, though, nothing we ate was like anything we've had anywhere before. Admittedly, the price is eye-popping. But for the most special of occasions, it's truly worth the money. Which is saying a whole lot for the 2 of us who dined. Cannot recommend highly enough & will cherish the memory.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Open Kitchen, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Seasonal, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 17, 2017

We moved to the area from Atlanta about 2 years ago and love to dine out. This restaurant is by far the best we've tried. I highly recommend this for anybody who enjoys the experience of dining. If you are just looking for meat and potatoes try Ruth's Chris right around the corner.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 17, 2017

It took at least 30 minutes for our food to arrive. I think there was a problem with the kitchen staffing on this day since the chef sent out a complimentary appetizer. It took another 20-30 minutes before we got our appetizers, another 20-30 minutes to get our entrees, another 20-30 minutes to get our coffees. Overall we spent nearly 2.5 hours for lunch to just get appetizers, entrees, coffees and the bill! I don't recommend this restaurant for lunch if you are mindful of time.

Service could be better coordinated among the team servers who aim to please so you don't have to repeat the same requests (e.g., fresh ground pepper, decaf refill vs. regular, sparkling vs. still water).

Food quality is what you'd expect at this type of restaurant.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 10, 2017

We enjoyed our 10th Anniversary here with the 8 course dinner! This was the most amazing culinary experience we have ever had. I highly recommend that you schedule dinner at Herons.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Healthy, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Organic, Romantic, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Fun, Local Ingredients
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on March 5, 2017

My husband and I ate at Heron's for his birthday. We had the three course tasting menu and chose the first three courses as our options (dessert always seems like a tease at restaurants like this). We had the dumplings, hamachi, soup, wild boar, and fowl. All were outstanding, with two notes: the soup was a bit sweet (white chocolate took over the lobster) and the wild boar was a little dry. The small samplings between courses were interesting and stunning concepts, and while i can appreciate the "river rocks" I'm afraid I will never develop a taste for foie gras.
The service was outstanding -- shout out to Scott, our server, and to everyone who attended us. It was my husband's birthday, and the note, chocolates, and little details were special but not over stated (please God, thank you for not singing).
The service is what sets any restaurant apart, and the staff at Heron's make it worth every penny.

Tags: Good for a Date, Molecular Gastronomy, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

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