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

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

Private Dining

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.

Herons Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.8

ambience

4.8

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (36)
Quiet Conversation (33)
Romantic (32)
See All
Creative Cuisine (28)
Good for Anniversaries (26)
Good for a Date (26)
Fit for Foodies (24)
Business Meals (17)
Worth the Drive (16)
Modern Decor (16)
Notable Wine List (15)
Local Ingredients (14)
Good for Birthdays (14)
Cozy (12)
Great for Brunch (12)
Great for Lunch (10)
Sunday Lunch (10)
Tasting Menu (9)
Afternoon Tea (8)
Healthy (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Scenic View (6)
Seasonal (6)
Private Room (6)
Open Kitchen (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Neighborhood Gem (5)
Molecular Gastronomy (5)
Authentic (4)
Fun (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Outstanding Value (3)
Pre/post Theatre (3)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Fireplace (2)
Live Music (2)
People Watching (1)
Happy Hour (1)
Bar Seating (1)
Casual (1)
Waterfront (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Organic (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
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1455 reviews
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 (Hawaii)·Dined 4 days ago

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

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on March 5, 2017

As usual, Heron's came through with an incredible dining experience. Interesting and creative menu and presentation. Always leave with some new tastes we have never had before. This is one of our top special occasion meals.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Private Room
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 28, 2017

I believe the evening was one of the best I have ever had. The Food and Service is truly 5 Star. I will return soon and often.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 25, 2017

Unbelievable brunch. Lucky to have a restaurant this good in the area. Easy to get in and the for the quality of food the pricing is great.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 25, 2017

We had a lovely evening. The food was well prepared and uniquely presented. The wait staff was very engaged and ready to provide some of the best service we have ever had.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 25, 2017

Had the tasting menu. Incredible visual creativity and flavours. Excellent

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 24, 2017

Really disappointed. The food was artfully presented although not beautiful. Most importantly my husband and I didn't think anything we ate was memorable, we ordered all the waiters recommendations, and a few things like all the Amuse Bouche were terrible. I have eaten at many of the best restaurants in this country and unfortunately this restaurant does not reflect the ratings it has received

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food2
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 19, 2017

The service was amazing, and the restaurant was beautiful and very refined. The food was bland and overpriced but beautifully displayed. All in all save yourself 300 dollars and try some place else for fine dining.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food1
ambience5
service5
value1

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 19, 2017

Always a top notch experience - food and service was excellent.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Another outstanding meal at Herons. I had the lobster roll for lunch and it was excellent. This was a business lunch and it was quiet enough you could easily carry on a conversation.

Tags: Private Room, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Best $300 you'll ever spend on a date. Totally over the top, without being pretentious.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Outstanding restaurant. Great food with an amazing atmosphere. Service was the greatest. Pricey, but well worth it.

Tags: Cozy, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 11, 2017

The waiter was a little sloppy and split some orange juice and didn't wipe it up, and we had to ask for different cutlery after we used them for our appetizer to our main course. But other than that the food was truly fantastic and would absolutely go again!!

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Healthy, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 7, 2017

We spent our anniversary and Herons made it special with little surprises and wonderful food and service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 4, 2017

My wife and I celebrated our anniversary at Heron's. From the very beginning, where we were greeted by name, to the very end, this was an incredible experience. Expensive - yes. But for a special occasion, it was worth the expense. From the attentiveness of the wait staff, to the presentation of each course, to the quality of the food, to the personalized extras designed especially for our anniversary, Heron's earned their 5-star rating!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Herons lives up to its reputation as a destination for exquisite dining in the Triangle.

From the complimentary valet parking and coat check ... to the amuse-bouche provided compliments of the chef ... to the impeccably professional and courteous staff, we were thoroughly impressed. We will be back, and with an even larger group if the occasion fits.

Pro tips: DO make a reservation.
DO call if you are running late.
DO remember to tip your valet.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Seasonal, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Scenic View, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 28, 2017

Quite expensive for the taste of the food. Too simple and something we can do at home but then expensive:

Tags: Sunday Lunch
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience4
service5
value2

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Food, service, atmosphere were excellent! We were at the Umstead Hotel for a birthday weekend. Very lovely experience.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 21, 2017

Fabulous birthday brunch! First time dining and we loved it!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 18, 2017

My wife and I just had one of the best meals of our lives, I couldn't believe this is the first time we have dined here since moving to Raleigh. We have tried all the top restaurants and this far exceeds the rest around.

Tags: Molecular Gastronomy, Quiet Conversation, Outstanding Value, Local Ingredients, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Tasting Menu, Open Kitchen, Scenic View, Private Room, Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on January 18, 2017

I took my wife out for a romantic birthday dinner. We ordered the 8 course kaiseki. The portions are very small, but each one was plated beautifully. There were some interesting dishes. Not sure what they're exactly called but chocolate rocks seemed to be a recurring theme in many of the dishes that evening. Ambiance and service were excellent. I absolutely recommend it, under a few conditions.

First condition is the price. It is a bit expensive, but with establishments like these, you're not only paying for the food, but for the creativity and entertainment value in how its presented. I can't confirm because I've only been here once (so I haven't actually seen the physical menu items served), but as far as I could tell, we were served some dishes that already existed on the menu. I believe a chef-selected menu (the kaiseki) should have distinct items not already on the menu. It may just be our personal preference to try something that is definitely unique, otherwise not a big deal.

Second condition though, the taste. It's what you'd expect from a high-end restaurant, but no more than that. If you were blindfolded, the value is not worth it, as the experience was more in the beauty of the food's aesthetics. The taste definitely did not detract from the experience, but it should not be a main focus of dining here. Many dishes did not feel "in sync", as in there were flavors that did not feel well balanced. They were not dishes that made you agonize over the small portions.

Except the parker roll and the truffle butter. Those were amazing.

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 16, 2017

My wife and I celebrated our first year of marriage here. The experience and service was outstanding. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. I am glad we chose Herons to help us celebrate.

Tags: Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 16, 2017

We have found that Heron's has become rather too chic. The food is beautifully plated and described, but the flavors leave something to be desired. It is very expensive, but you pay for that wonderful service and atmosphere . Not the place to go to get good value for your money.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Disabled Access
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 16, 2017

We had a perfect lunch get together with family and friends. We enjoyed the art on display very much. The food was perfect!

Tags: Modern Decor, Afternoon Tea
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on January 12, 2017

Spectacular! Food was some of the best I have ever had. Very artistic presentations.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Orange County)·Dined on January 12, 2017

Beautiful ambience with excellent customer service and delicious food! Top notch!!

Tags: Healthy, Afternoon Tea, Handcrafted Cocktails, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 3, 2017

Been around the world and the entire experience was exceptional in every way!!
I would compare it to the best I have experienced.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 1, 2017

As usual, the food was very good, the service was very good and I enjoyed the dining experience.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Excellent meal and excellent service! Very beautiful and peaceful location.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Cozy, Modern Decor, People Watching, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 30, 2016

The food and service are excellent, but it's pretentious to the point of almost being ridiculous. We've been coming to The Umstead and Heron's for years, and I appreciate the "foodie" element as much as the next person, as well as the difficulty in the preparation of the food, but it seems to get more "stuffy" and feel less warm every year. It's almost as if you're watching a comical spoof of an uptight restaurant. After awhile, it was almost laughable. I see why the bar was so crowded and Heron's was not. We'll follow suit and eat in the bar area next time.

Tags: Modern Decor, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Tasting Menu
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Our request for a nice view was met. We liked all the little extras and the presentation of the food.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 27, 2016

I wanted to lunch with my daughter and granddaughters somewhere where we could hear each other in conversation and enjoy the dish of our choice. The service and ambiance is important to me. We had a very good experience at Heron's. The others enjoyed their selections. I ordered a Cobb Salad and was disappointed - a head of lettuce cut in half with a few additions. Too much for me to "grapple" with at lunch. I prefer bite size pieces in my Cobb Salad.

Tags: Afternoon Tea, Disabled Access, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch, Healthy, Great for Brunch, Scenic View, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

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