About Herons

100 Woodland Pond Drive
Cary, NC 27513
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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.

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:
The private dining room for 12 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. Reserve this space for lunch, for an evening with friends, colleagues or family.
Reservations in the Private Dining Room are highly recommended.

Private Party Contact:
Tammie Burdick: 8887787425

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

Restaurant Photos

Herons
Chestnut soup – quince, white chocolate sphere, bacon, brown butter, foie gras, crème fraîche
Kusshi oysters, onion gelée
Videri milk chocolate cremeux, calamansi sorbet and espuma, matcha chiffon cake, cocoa pearls
Milk chocolate matcha bonbons
Chocolate canelé
Smoked trout cannoli, American sturgeon caviar
Sweet potato purée and caramel, roasted grapefruit, cinnamon feuilletine, oat gelato
Diver scallop, caramelized cauliflower and purée, carbonized bamboo tapioca, black rice
Quail corn dog, truffle ketchup, pickled cucumber
Beet salad, marinated, powder, glass; goat's milk meringue, pistachio, trout roe, purple sorrel
Dessert Quartet
pear
Carrot Cake
Maine Lobster
Roasted Monkfish
Ceasar Salad
Chocolate
Seared Foie Gras
Afternoon Tea Sandwhiches
Cesar Salad
butterfish
Ice Creams And Sorbets
Shrimp And Sunchoke
Goat Milk Marshmallow
Pheasant
Duck Consomme
Afternoon Tea
Chester White Pork
Peekytoe Crab
ahi tuna carpaccio
Prosciutto Wrapped Cobia With Risotto And Eggplant
Morels
Meyer Ribeye

Herons Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.8

ambience

4.8

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Best Overall
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Service
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Ambiance
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
11 More
Notable Wine List
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Special Occasion
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
American
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Overall
Cary
Best Food
Cary
Best Service
Cary
Best Ambiance
Cary
Best Value
Cary
Fit for Foodies
Cary
Special Occasion
Cary
Most Booked
Cary
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special occasion (69)
fit for foodies (57)
romantic (49)
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notable wine list (42)
scenic view (26)
great for outdoor dining (21)
great for lunch (19)
great for brunch (18)
good for groups (8)
neighborhood gem (6)
hot spot (3)
vibrant bar scene (2)
kid-friendly (1)
late-night find (1)
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Newest
1270 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Lovely place with delicious food and a v ...

Dined 3 days ago

Lovely place with delicious food and a very attentive staff.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
food2
ambience5
service5
value1

The food did not live up to the hype. G ...

Dined 4 days ago

The food did not live up to the hype. Great wine selection but not worth the price for the food

Tags: notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We previously visited Herons for a Mothe ...

Dined on June 17, 2016

We previously visited Herons for a Mother's Day celebration May 2016 and had such a marvelous time that we decided to return for our Father's Day celebration. Coincidentally, we had the same 2 dynamic waiters that we had on our first visit, Scott and Scott. 😃 We were thrilled by this because we knew without a doubt that we would be well taken care of, which we were. It is not often that we have the same exceptional service and impressive food quality, display, and taste that we've had on a previous visit, but we've concluded that this restaurant only knows how to demonstrate exceptional and exquisite service. This is still on our #1 list, and we will return again in the future. We highly recommend this restaurant to anyone that would like to experience fine and sophisticated dining, quality and tasteful food, and unmatched service!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Don't miss this breakfast! Shout out to ...

vip
Dined on June 17, 2016

Don't miss this breakfast! Shout out to Season for impeccable service!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I always enjoy Heron's. The menu and th ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

I always enjoy Heron's. The menu and the service are always great. I have eaten there many times, and have never had a bad experience or a disappointing entre.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

As always the food and service at Heron' ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

As always the food and service at Heron's were beyond reproach. We hadn't been in a while and had forgotten how nice the dining experience there has always been. We won't wait so long before we go back.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

An unique experience

Dined on June 8, 2016

Service is incredible. Food is unique and wonderful. A great night.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
food1
ambience4
service3
value1

the chef is trying hard to impress other chefs.

Dined on June 6, 2016

This restaurant has a great reputation but really under impressed both myself and my out-of-town guests The menu is overly complicated and the food is not very good I appreciate creativity but not when it makes the dishes inedible. Wait looked really pretty but the food was not good I would scrap the entire minion start over. Simplify, focus on taste and not trying to impress food writers

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

lunch

Dined on June 6, 2016

Had a lovely table with a view. Decided to stay inside instead of outside. The food was very good . This is the first time my friend was at Herons. She enjoyed it a lot.

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

A lovely place...but disappointed somewhat

Dined on June 4, 2016

Every year, we make a trip to Heron's for breakfast. For some reason, they are no longer serving bagels with cream cheese and salmon lox on the weekends. I even asked the waitress if it would be possible to make an exception and have the chef make this exemption. No sirreee. Everything else was good, especially the crab benedicts. But, it would have been nice if a tiny request was honored. Oh well.

Tags: great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Truly exceptional food, wine pairings an ...

Dined on June 1, 2016

Truly exceptional food, wine pairings and service!!!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always memorable

Dined on May 30, 2016

We celebrated our anniversary here, as we knew it would be another wonderful experience. A cucumber apertif began the memorable lunch. The bread presented (without an extra charge) included a whole wheat and a garlic/cheese selection; the latter was exquisite, with a very subtle and delicious flavor. Two first course (salad and ceviche) whetted our appetite. The salmon was perfectly prepared with the accompaniments. Of course, service was impeccable.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Culinary creativity and world-class service.

Dined on May 25, 2016

I recommend ordering three or four courses and allowing the sommelier to pour his pairings. The food is celestial and the wines that are chosen complement the food perfectly. Yes, it is expensive. And it is worth every nickel. If the weather is nice, sit outside and you will see into a beautiful courtyard. It is a perfect setting. You will also espy a spunky cardinal who comes to inspect all in his domain.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Expensive but First Class Experience!

Dined on May 21, 2016

Dined here for a special occasion and it did not disappoint. The food was wonderful (especially enjoyed the lamb), the ambiance was quiet and elegant. However, the service was spectacular....attentive, knowledgeable but never intrusive.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food1
ambience1
service2
value1

I expected awonderful meal but I was di ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

I expected awonderful meal but I was dissapointed by the quality of foods.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The best dining experience ever!

Dined on May 18, 2016

Can certainly understand why Herons comes so highly recommended Beautiful dining experience. Delicious food well presented. Meal introduced us to new flavors paring interesting ingredients. Service was top notch Attention to detail as well as making us feel pretty darn special was off the charts. Definitely would visit Herons again. Our waiter "Scott" was amazing. Thought of everything to make our anniversary dinner one to be remembered.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Still Very Good but not quite Outstanding

vip
Dined on May 16, 2016

First visit in around a year. The food was very, very good, just not quite as outstanding as in previous visits. Service was attentive but not necessarily as smooth or polished as in the past. What I'm saying here is everything was great but in general not at the level of past visits. That said, one of the finest lunch experiences you can have in the Triangle.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Dining at Herons is always a special and ...

Dined on May 10, 2016

Dining at Herons is always a special and memorable experience. This visit was even more so because we ordered the Chef's choice and were treated to numerous courses of extraordinary culinary delights which were not only delicious but visually stunning to behold! It was an experience we will always remember! Our waiter John was outstanding!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Incredible presentation, impeccable serv ...

Dined on May 5, 2016

Incredible presentation, impeccable service, and delicious food.

food3
ambience5
service4
value3

Brunch

vip
Dined on May 1, 2016

I had brunch Sunday with family at Heron's and unfortunately, brunch is not something they do very well. I have eaten there several times and have attended many functions at the hotel. Dinner has always been superb, but, like my last couple of experiences, brunch is not impressive. I keep thinking, maybe brunch has gotten better, so I try again, since the setting is so gorgeous - but it hasn't. The food is mediocre at best. The omelet of the day was so rubbery that it was inedible. My daughter had the BLT with fried green tomato and pimento cheese and that was tasty. Don't waste your money on the warm doughnuts and biscuits, neither were edible. This time, I have learned my lesson and will not return for another brunch.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love the ambiance

vip
Dined on May 1, 2016

As always Herons is fantastic. Never a disappointment. If you haven't been you need to put Herons on your list!!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A gem of a find

vip
Dined on April 29, 2016

We moved here from phoenix Arizona, where the restaurant scene is vibrant with a great selection of restaurant's from Scottsdale to Palm desert, California. Moving here to the Raleigh area was disappointing in the selection of fine restaurants. Finding Herons was a great experience for us. The staff was excellent, the food was excellent and the atmosphere was fantastic. We are planning on making it one of our favorite places to dine. John F. Ellis

Tags: great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Getting the right table is hard!

Dined on April 24, 2016

Reservation for 1PM Sunday, using Open Table, requested window seating. Arrived to mostly empty dining room and offered banquette seating next to a table with diners. We dislike banquette seating because the inside bench is never quite comfortable for any of us, we feel like we are in the conversation of the next table (or they are in ours) and that is the darkest part of your restaurant. We were told that window seats were not available. Took an outdoor table when promised shade. Two seats were in shade, 2 were not. (The screen above does not provide shade when the sun is on an angle!) No one offered to set up an umbrella and we were discouraged. Adding to our annoyance, a group of young ladies in very high spiritswere also on the terrace. If they had stayed and no action was taken on providing shade, we would have left. Fortunately they left, leaving us with lovely silence and we stayed for a very good meal. We live in Pittsboro and coming to Herons is a special treat. Over the years we have had similar problems getting a table we requested at Herons, so it is not the fault of an individual hostess. I do wonder if the young people acting as hostesses are trained to seat people according to some secret formula that has nothing to do with what was requested. Sometimes I think it is because I come with another older woman and you don't want older ladies getting good seats, but this time we were two couples. And, I do understand that good brunch seating is reserved for hotel guests, but that is why I took a later time and there were plenty of tables at 1:00.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Best Triangle Dining

vip
Dined on April 23, 2016

Every time I go to Herons I am impressed by their high standards. From the moment I telephone and speak to the charming and competent hostesses to the moment we leave, the ladies in the party usually clutching some little extra gift, it is a wonderful experience! Of course, the food is without a doubt some of the best we have eaten anywhere; innovative, fresh, flavorful and beautifully presented. Who would pair white asparagus soup with white chocolate? The chefs did and it was amazing! The service is always polite and congenial without being stuffy and the staff seem genuinely pleased to see us. When I speak to Hai about wines, his enthusiasm and knowledge are a joy to observe. We usually have a car pick us up so that we can enjoy his and our selections! The ambiance is very comfortable, the noise level subdued which is what we like and, whether it is for business or pleasure, I don't believe there's a better place to dine in the area. Some come close but none quite reach Herons' very high standards.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food3
ambience5
service2
value1

Breakfast at Herons

Dined on April 22, 2016

The setting inside and outside is lush, beautiful and serene - a place to calm the soul. I could fall asleep there. Otherwise, Herons was disappointing, especially given its five-star rating. The coffee lacked richness in its flavor, the orange juice had not been recently squeezed and the omelet was not hot. And neither was the service. While the waitresses were efficient, pleasant and polite, one reached right in front of one diner's face to serve coffee to a neighboring diner, plates were cleared before everyone finished eating. The check was brought too promptly and its bottom line shattered the tranquility that the ambience of the place had worked so hard to create. Breakfast may not be Herons' strong suit.

Tags: special occasion, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great High End Lunch Option

Dined on April 21, 2016

Very good lunch experience. Food and service was exceptional.

Tags: great for lunch, scenic view
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Fantastic Experience

Dined on April 17, 2016

Phenomenal dining experience. We had originally planned to do the 4-course option with wine pairing, but at a last minute decided on the Kaiseki experience. Having 8-courses each paired with a fantastic beverage was the best choice! Absolutely amazing cuisine and fantastic presentation. High praise to the culinary team, waiters/waitresses, and hosts at Herons.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Heron's cuisine and service are far above Triangle

Dined on April 15, 2016

30th Anniversary celebration and enjoyed great service and unique courses .. deep wine list and romantic atmosphere .. highly recommend The Umstead Hotel due to its great art, scenic views, privacy and great bar with music.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5

Great menu and epic wine list. The tast ...

vip
Dined on April 13, 2016

Great menu and epic wine list. The tasting menus are well appointed and have nice variety

food3
ambience3
service2

We have eaten many times at Herons for d ...

vip
Dined on April 10, 2016

We have eaten many times at Herons for dinner and always rate it excellent for food, service, quality, atmosphere etc. This is our first time trying brunch and it was really very ordinary. Nothing that you couldn't get somewhere else. The best thing about it was the phenomenal harpist who could play Santana very well - amazing.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Fine Dining that was a gastro journey.

Dined on April 7, 2016

My wife and I have dined here previously before we had moved to Raleigh. We had always wanted to go back and her birthday seemed like the perfect time. The ambiance of the restaurant is really amazing, lots of soft toned colors and live flower arrangements make the atmosphere very comforting. We had a drink in the lounge/bar area which is really nice as well. Once at dinner we had chose the 4 course chefs menu with the wine pairing. All of the dishes were very good, and my wife and I were very happy with our choice to come here again and we will be back. We recommend herons to anyone looking for a journey into delicious food.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

For most of our meal we were the only on ...

vip
Dined on April 4, 2016

For most of our meal we were the only one's in the restaurant...very quiet. Service is always outstanding....many of the staff have been there a long time. The food is always well prepared and portioned. Creative use of very fresh ingredients. Great meal..

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

perfect dinner

vip
Dined on March 28, 2016

There are not many restaurants as fine as Herons. Food is spectacular.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

just plain incredible!

vip
Dined on March 26, 2016

herons has set the bar even higher! fantastic tasting menu with incredible wine pairings.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Lived up to the hype

vip
Dined on March 12, 2016

Our experience at Herons can only be described as "unbelievable." It was truly one of the most sublime dining experiences we have ever had. The food was the best we have eaten in The Triangle. The service was impeccable. The atmosphere was relaxed, yet elegant. It was, in a word, perfect. If you are looking for the best restaurant in the area, this is it.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Simply Amazing every time

Dined on March 11, 2016

We have visited Herrons several time and it is simply amazing every time. The moment you walk in you are catered to. The food is exquisite and the preparation is like having a show with dinner. Thank you Herrons for never disappointing.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Out of this world!

Dined on March 11, 2016

My wife and I came for our anniversary dinner, and we decided to splurge and ordered the Eight-Course Kaiseki with Beverage Pairings. We had no idea what to expect. We've eaten in fine hotels and restaurants around the world, but this was an experience like no other. It was an evening we'll never forget. The food was extraordinary -- each course seemed to outdo the previous one; the wait staff and sommelier were attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly; and the wine pairings were absolutely exquisite. What was already becoming an unforgettable evening was made even more so when, for one of the courses, the chef came to our table to offer freshly grated truffle. Upon learning of our love of mushrooms, he created the next course to include grilled porcini! In an area with as many dining options as the Triangle, one can try to experience them all but still ultimately get bored. Herons stands out in our minds as an island of unparalleled quality, originality, and elegance.

Tags: great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

It was amazing! It was an amazing birthd ...

vip
Dined on March 5, 2016

It was amazing! It was an amazing birthday because of this place!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Herons Special Occassions

Dined on March 4, 2016

We visited Herons for the first time..this March my request on the reservation was for a quiet intimate table as I planned to propose to the love of my life. Herons delivered just as I requested ... She commented to me later that the atmosphere, food, impeccable service from the staff was perfect and fitting for our occasion. The service that we received was just awesome ... The little extras provided were much appreciated ... I highly recommend Herons to anyone wanting to deliver a special evening for that rememberable occasion.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great brunch experience for the price

vip
Dined on February 28, 2016

Heron's offers an excellent Sunday brunch for the price point given the elegant nature of the restaurant and the impeccable service. Also, there pre-fixed dinner with the wine pairings is phenomenal for the price. Biggest problem is the wait for reservations for brunch

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion

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