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May 1, 2014 07:57 PM


Helloooo, Heyday!

May we not say “goodbye” for a very long time.

You, Heyday (collectively, all of you involved) are exactly what we have been looking for, for a very long time.

A neighborhood joint where everything works: The food, the drink, the ambiance, the service and the price point.

The kind of place where we concluded, “Hello, Heyday, we will be back … and often!”

We were a party of six, turned into eight. [Heyday easily accommodated our last minute party number changes.]

Started out sharing “apps,” the lower-priced upper part of the menu. All were good. Then we each ordered from the bottom of the menu, the proteins. Sharing the “apps” was our only mistake. One should each order an app or salad, and then a protein.

Breads. The menu specifies you have to ask for bread. Do!

Two kinds of rustic breads, one a boule, the other, rolls, from “recycled grains” from …. Indeed Brewery? [Professional reviewers can get these details right.]

Breads served with house-churned butter. Make that salted, house-churned butter. Yum!

No charge for the breads, and we had several rounds. Breads of the earth.

A reasonably priced wine list.

Awesome service. The right level. Not intrusive. Not exclusive. People who you want to think will remember you when you come back. [Will find that out, shortly.]

Raves for the asparagus, the chicken liver tart, the beet salad, the pork, the branzino. Raves for the prices on the wine list. We ordered a number of bottles.

[Sidebar: I had the malt-grilled pork, and the flavor was fantastic. Who would have thought to do a sauce in sun chokes and sunflower seeds? Who doesn’t like ramps, this time of year?]

Ambiance? Chandeliers hung on rafters. Kind of like the unfinished third floor in my old house. Perfect. A noise level that conveys energy, while enabling -- not discouraging -- the kind of conversation you expect to have with people you like to eat with -- and converse with. [Hello, Burch? You don’t have that. And, you don’t have a price point where I will return often.]

Out with a group of friends who have tried every new restaurant in town for 16 years.

We all agreed: Heyday hits it out of the park.

One final note. This is a place you can dine with friends, or dine alone. Love my friends, but I almost envied the gentleman enjoying his meal at the communal table in the bar. I’ll be stopping by solo soon to see what happens at that table.

Because Heyday seems like the kind of place where you have no qualms about doing that.

My kind of place.

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  1. Yay! We're headed there on Sunday. Can't wait!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Seige

      So as I mentioned - we went tonight. It was delicious, indeed.

      1) Couldn't agree more about the bread. We're trying to cut back on the carbs, but we cheated and had two rounds of bread. So freaking good!
      2) The portion sizes are great for sharing a few items between two people. We started with fish - branzino and the monkfish. Both were amazingly flavorful, but I think the monkfish was the winner for me.
      3) Second course was the squab and filet. Both were fabulous, but the filet had me at morel mushrooms. The squab was served with beetroot tapioca and bone marrow like butter. The flavors all married so well, but I have to say beetroot tapioca doesn't really like staying on a fork.
      4) Third and final course was the banana yuzu sundae. Very light and refreshing, if not even a bit tart.
      5) Like Sarah, we loved the atmosphere from the huge windows to the open beamed ceiling to the church pew seating. The vibe was great and we'll definitely be back.
      6) And they even have their own parking lot!

    2. I love Heyday. I've had both brunch and dinner there, most recently last night. Our table had the beef tartar, chicken liver and mussels as starters. We all agreed that the tartar was good, the mussels delicious and inventive and the chicken liver tart was exceptional. For dinner, 2 people had the steak, one person had fish and I had the spiced lamb. It was amazing. One of my favorite dishes in the past few months, meltingly tender, just so so good. I also really love the chocolate mousse with rosemary. And we had a good (and somewhat inexpensive)bottle of wine- I appreciate that they have a range of wines and even the less expensive bottles are nice. The last 2 times we've had dinner there we've had Mandy as a server- she's great, good energy. And as a bonus we were able to park behind the restaurant instead of trolling for a place on the street.

      1. Ate at Heyday recently and it was incredible.

        Highest points: chicken liver tart (section I); skate and vegetables (section II); guinea hen and duck breast (section III); drinks (the Spring Break and Little Edie; their water game is ON POINT - there was someone at our table when anyone's water was an inch below the top of the glass.

        Low point: Other than the water, we had really slow service. We waited 45 minutes before someone took our order (and got us bread).

        The dessert menu was just a little too weird and healthy sounding for us. Although the complimentary cookies they provided were incredible, so perhaps we shouldn't have judged a book by its cover and ordered dessert.

        Overall, fantastic meal and I'm still thinking about that chicken liver tart.

        4 Replies
        1. re: drew13000

          45 mins. before someone took your order!? I would have been in the face of the manager or out the door.

          1. re: ChancesR

            Well, we were chatting, we ordered drinks, we looked at the menu, chatted some more and it actually probably wasn't until about 30 minutes in that we were like ok, we haven't seen our server in a long time, we've had our water glasses filled about six times, and now we're getting antsy. We weren't really in any hurry, so maybe the server was taking a cue from us, but yeah, had we not been so engaged in conversation, we would have flagged someone down. It was funny because when the server finally came back to the table, he was like, "Do you guys have any questions about the menu or do you need more time?" We're like, "no, no, we're ready, don't go away."

            1. re: drew13000

              At Heyday the servers are told to wait for the guests to be done with conversation/catching up/socializing before the food order is taken; this is since the place is seen as something of an special occasion and they want people to remember the whole experience.

              There *is* something to be said when servers aren't trying to hurry people out the door.

          2. re: drew13000

            That chicken liver tart is indeed astounding.

            I'm surprised about the slow service. When I was last there, I had the polar opposite -- but not necessarily in a good way. We wanted to take our time, and felt a little rushed by our server who checked in too frequently to ask if we were ready to order, ready to order the next course, etc.

            And we were seated in the bar with several open tables, so I couldn't imagine there was a need to turn over tables quickly.

          3. I was there a few weeks ago for the second time.

            It was once again a evening filled with great food and excellent service. Similar to my first visit, there were several spectacular presentations and a couple that fell flat.

            The service from start to finish was perfect. It was early on a Monday evening and before we decided on the courses, we were engaged with the server, not only on Heyday’s menu, but other restaurants. She was full of knowledge, offered suggestions, was incredibly friendly and over the course of the meal was spot on in every aspect of the meal.

            We decided to split a few dishes. For the “I” course we ordered the Chicken Liver Tart that is served with toasted shallot, onion jam, and pickled vegetables. When it arrived the server also brought a portion of the Chilled Blue Mussels since she recommended it and thought we would really like to try it. The Tart was one of the best renditions I have eaten. The mousse was deep in flavor and paired perfectly with the pickled vegetables and the buttery crust. The mussels were served under a “dome” of frozen yogurt, with pickled cucumber, and dill, and unfortunately I disagree with the server. I did not like this dish. The scant four mussels were the epitome of a needle in a haystack in this over-constructed presentation. The tanginess of the yogurt plus the frozen gel overwhelmed the mussels.

            In “II” we ordered the Poached Bone-in Skate with black truffle, salsify, and hazelnut and Rabbit Royale grilled leg, ham, carrots. The skate was over the top fantastic, moist, flavorful and worked great with the various textures and flavors of all of the toppings. It is served “bone-in” and takes no effort in removing the meat, just scrape along the bone; it is well worth the minimal effort. The rabbit was not as expected, but was very good. The “leg” was actually the meat from the leg that was removed and re-constituted into two small cylinders; one was encased in smoked meat. The flavor was deep and rich, and worked well with the accompaniments.

            The “III” selection brought two outstanding dishes to the table. The Duck Breast is served with endive, pumpkin, and granola and consisted of two small sections of meat. They were very different in texture. One of the pieces was incredibly chewy and tough and the other was delightfully tender. They were both perfectly cooked to maintain a deep richness and the accompanying vegetables and textures were wonderful. The hit of the evening was the Spiced Braised Lamb, served with almond-potato puree, and a grilled green onion. It is spiced, not spicy, and the lamb was fantastic, great flavor, moist, tender and the almond-potato puree was a perfect complement. The single green onion delivered a mild pickled flavor and a wonderful crunchiness.

            How can you resist a dessert called “Fifty Shades of Hay”? This is as close as I will get to either the book or the movie. It was 50 shades of disappointment. A scoop of ice cream that included soaking hay in the cream (yes there is a bale of hay in the basement) is served with meringue, frozen grapefruit and an array of crumbled items. The dark colored meringue was the best part. If you take a spoonful of the various items along with a little scoop of the ice cream it is not bad, but this is an overly complex textural dessert versus a flavorful dessert. It indicates the kitchen is versed in various techniques, but it fell flat as a great ending to a great meal.

            Sometimes the technique is justified when the end product is exceptional. For many dishes it worked perfectly, but for others it did not. I cannot wait to return to Heyday and sample some of the chefs’ other creative cuisine.