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

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.7

ambience

4.8

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (36)
Good for Anniversaries (36)
Fit for Foodies (35)
See All
Good for a Date (34)
Romantic (32)
Quiet Conversation (29)
Creative Cuisine (25)
Notable Wine List (22)
Business Meals (18)
Worth the Drive (15)
Local Ingredients (15)
Tasting Menu (14)
Great for Outdoor Dining (14)
Good for Birthdays (14)
Great for Lunch (11)
Scenic View (10)
Great for Brunch (9)
Handcrafted Cocktails (9)
Healthy (9)
Modern Decor (8)
Authentic (7)
Seasonal (7)
Molecular Gastronomy (7)
Cozy (6)
Good for Groups (6)
Open Kitchen (5)
Bar Seating (5)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Happy Hour (4)
Organic (4)
Afternoon Tea (4)
Comfort Food (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Disabled Access (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
People Watching (2)
Great Beer (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Waterfront (1)
Private Room (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
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1513 reviews
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·Dined 4 days ago

An event not just a meal. The food is creative, explodes with flavor and presented like a gift for a king. The produce is mostly grown locally so the menu is always different. The wait staff is superb. Knowledgeable and available when needed. It is expensive so for us it is a special occasion place, but worth saving up for an evening of total enjoyment.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on July 15, 2017

Good service , unique food and great wine pairings. Special birthday dinner!!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on July 15, 2017

We had brunch, a bit pricey but an excellent dining experience. Service was outstanding, gluten-free options were plenty. Only issue was, hubby ordered 3 hard-boiled eggs with English muffin; he got 2 hard-boiled eggs & 2 English muffins. Beautiful restaurant, destination hotel.

Tags: Good for a Date, People Watching, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on July 13, 2017

The experience was wonderful. Great wine list. Food is very interesting, creative, but sometimes under-salted.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Worth the Drive, Great for Outdoor Dining, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Romantic, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value2

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on July 4, 2017

Wow. We truly stumbled on this restaurant looking for a July 4th opening before boarding an afternoon flight. A stunning setting, innovative menu, not at all stuffy servers and management. Food was outstanding, service perfect. I'd consider flying back for another weekend to stay and dine at this lovely place!

Tags: Disabled Access, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Good Vegetarian Options, Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on July 1, 2017

Whimsical and delicious. Amazing as always. My husband and I attend every year for his birthday, and we look forward to it all year!! I love that the menu morphs into each new season and something always surprises you! For the most part they have grown everything and most everything is local! Top notch service! We drive 2 hours and grab a room for the evening just for dinner at Herons! Quail deviled egg, pheasant miniature corn dog, dark chocolate foie gras served as your in between courses treat... Perfectly done.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Absolute treat for a special occasion. Can't wait to be back again.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Miami)·Dined on June 28, 2017

Herons is now a top notch restaurant with the highest standards of the best restaurants of New York City, London and Paris. We are fortunate to have such a great restaurant to enjoy here in North Carolina. The four course tasting menu with the wine pairing, is a dining experience which will be long remembered for the wonderful food, perfect wine pairings by Casey, and her fellow server team members John and Tim who are all the best! A wonderful experience!

Tags: Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Tasting Menu, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 28, 2017

All of the food was phenomenal. The staff was amazing.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 27, 2017

This is my favorite lunch spot. It's a little pricey, but worth it for business or special occasions.

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 26, 2017

From start to finish, the experience was amazing. The service was wonderful and attentive, the presentation was exquisite and creative, the food was delicious and the concepts were creative and surprising. Overall, lovely. Definitely fit for someone who likes a delicious, unique experience.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Organic, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 25, 2017

The appetizer was so salty, ruined my taste to all meal, for a 4 course meal gourmet restaurant I didn't spect something like that.

Tags: Comfort Food
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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 22, 2017

Best food and beverage experience in North Carolina by far

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on June 18, 2017

Brunch was delicious. Atmosphere lovely.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 17, 2017

Good food & drinks with a smooth & relaxing ambiance.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 16, 2017

Exquisite fine dining with comfortable spacing between courses in lovely setting.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on June 16, 2017

We had a lovely dinner at Heron's for my birthday. The service was outstanding and I loved how nearly every member of the service team addressed me by my name! A few of the food offerings struck me as a little odd (Chocolate foie gras? Miniature quail corn dogs?) but the phenomenal experience and knowledgeable service staff definitely made up for it. Highly recommended for a special occasion!!

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 14, 2017

My husband and I were celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary. Herons is an absolutely perfect place for celebrating any occasion. The chef and servers took very good care of us. We loved the wine and beer selection, different flavors and presentations. This was our first time at Herons. We will definitely be back.

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food5
ambience5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 13, 2017

We went to Heron's for lunch to celebrate a friends 60th Birthday. The first thing is plan on a L- O- N- G lunch. We were seated quickly enough and we were given water quickly. The wait started after that. It took forever to get menu's and our server to come and take our order, it took forever to get the juice infusions we ordered (15-20 minutes) Our lunch came quickly enough the so the kitchen is on target. I ordered the Caesar Salad, my friends ordered the Shrimp salad and crab cakes. The presentation for all was superb! The Shrimp salad had large, perfectly blackened shrimp spread over the Kale, fennel salad sprinkled with pancetta and raisins. The creamy garlic basil dressing made the dish beautiful. The Crab cakes were beautifully done. They looked to have hardly any breading, almost pure crab. The Avocado relish salad was perfect! The Caesar salad definitely one of the best I've had. The dressing was delicious. The Chicken breast was served on a plate and had been sliced into four quarters, I cut it up further and put in my salad and the plate sat next to salad bowl until the dishes were finally pulled at the end of the meal.
We ordered three desserts, the Strawberry Shortcake (Do not think of normal "shortcake" the tiny meringues were cute but I didn't care for the overall flavor) , Chocolate Cremeaux (think deconstructed cake?.....a pile of pistachio sponge cake pieces spoonful's of chocolate (dark and light) and something else sprinkled over the top if was good but I'd pass on it in the future. and Osmanthus Custard. Of the three, the Osmanthus Custard was the best of the three. The custard was delicious and the sugar cellophane was a never before seen experience. the only drawback was the flat plate and spoon. There was no real graceful way to eat it towards the end without fingers.
We also had French pressed coffee, which was perfect.
I would go again, however I'd let my server know off the top that I don't want to take a two hour lunch.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating, Healthy, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 12, 2017

Our second time dining here - first was last year for our 10th anniversary, this time took parents for their 60th. Service is perfection, you are made to feel very special! The food is amazing, beautiful presentation and delicious. There were several amuse bouche bites throughout the meal that were whimsical and delightful!

Tags: Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 9, 2017

World class dining experience! Food, service and ambiance were all perfect.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 6, 2017

Service was outstanding, ambience blemished by 8 noisy business types seated next to ourselves who were celebrating our 24 anniversary.

Tags: Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 6, 2017

The food was very good. I especially enjoyed the trout. I had too much to eat which I hope not to do the next time.

Tags: Scenic View
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Jackson Hole)·Dined on June 3, 2017

We were there on our one year Anniversary and had an amazing time. The food is delicious, Chef Greene is amazing and the staff is amazing as well.

Tags: Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Houston)·Dined on June 2, 2017

Excellent ! One of the best in US ! We were there to celebrate my birthday and the staff made it very special !

Tags: Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 24, 2017

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 on May 23, 2017

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 on May 23, 2017

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

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on May 16, 2017

Went there for our 13th wedding anniversary and as always it was a delight! I HIGHLY recommend the kaiseki tasting menu with wine paring. The food on the tasting menu is always top notch in its presentation and flavor combinations. Luis has done a phenomenal job paring unique wines with the flavors of the food. The service was also top notch. My wife was a little cold and Victoria had them adjust the AC to make her more comfortable. Also John was very knowledgeable on the food and could not have been nicer and more accommodating.

We've been here multiple times now and I could not recommend it more for any special occasion or if you just want to have a great night out.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

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, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Business Meals, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, 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, 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: 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 2, 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, Business Meals, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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