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Aug 31, 2009 08:56 PM

Recent Herons experiences? Tasting menu?

It's Mom's 60th b-day this weekend so commensurate with the occasion, we (just the 4 of us in the family) are considering splurging on the tasting menu at Herons. We have not yet been to Herons but have heard pretty good things from moderately foodie friends, but I wanted to check out the opinions of chowhounds!

Has anyone been lately for dinner? Has anyone actually had the tasting menu (5 courses, $70 per person)? Are we better off ordering a la carte? Saw the thread from Jul 09 but that was more about the prix fixe lunch there.

I can manage the cost but want it to be worthwhile -- I'd rather not spend this much only to find it "passable".

If not Herons, where? Fearrington House? We're in North Raleigh but are willing to drive (30 minutes) for good food. Mom is open to most any cuisine (Dad prefers not spicy). Mom loves a good paella (she has fond memories of Parizade's version in Durham from about 10 years ago so unless we find a suitable alternative, that may be one of the options for this weekend as well). We're a little over Second Empire and have done Magnolia Grill, Nana's, The Mint, Coquette, Savoy, 18 Seaboard... (which seem to be the most common suggestions among other threads).


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  1. Bonne Soiree in Chapel Hill is another one to add to your potential list. Besides Fearrington, it has the most refined atmosphere and service in the Triangle, and the preparation is always top notch.

    1. Fearrington is always good for such an occasion. St. Jacques is a special occasion French (like old style Parisian French, mostly) restaurant in a strip mall in northern Raleigh. I tend to take people there who are somewhat traditional in their tastes, or when I just absolutely need Escargot in garlic butter and/or dishes like duck a l'orange or coquille st. jacques style food.

      Mikeh has the knowing of it in his comment as well.

      Actually, while I'm at it, has anyone done Taverna Nikos lately? When my grandmother was like 80, we took her there, and we had a lovely meal at a table for 20. Can you say Lamb Steak with greek roasted potatos?

      1. I agree with the recommendations already mentioned, but would also want to try Heron's myself. I haven't been yet, but have been to Woodlands Inn (SC) during the tenure of Heron's current chef (Scott Crawford), and the meal was amazing.

        1. Can't say about Herons now as we went when it first opened and had a great time. Crawford has been getting high marks by some people in the local eating community including our reviewer Greg Cox.

          I was impressed with Revolution in Durham and what Chef Anile is trying to do over there. Four Square also seems to be a good choice. Watt's Grocery was also tasty but again not the most quiet or intimate of settings. Jujube tends to be a favorite around Chapel Hill along with Bonne Soiree (which is definitely more intimate than Jujube). I do not know about Carolina Crossroads nor Fearrington. Some people really like Fin's in Raleigh and others say it can be hit or miss (same with Mo's Diner).

          St. Jacques was nice but you'll be right in assuming it seems out of place.

          Would you be willing to go to Hillsborough? Apparently there are some interesting things there for food and the main street of historic district always looks quaint to me.