We had a phenomenal birthday celebration last night at The Umstead Hotel and Spas’ : Herons Restaurant. The environment was lovely, we were well attended to by the wait staff, and the food was fantastic.
I took lots of photos, so I’ll let them speak for themselves…
Gorgeous flower table setting: the bottom had a few smooth stone rocks with crystal clear water, then the live flower and greenery.
I enjoyed a Hummingbird Nectar cocktail: Prosecco with a hint of Limoncello
While Andy got his standard Bombay gin martini, up high, dirty with two olives
We placed our order…
and were then treated to an amuse bouche of salmon tartar with thyme and mango – this certainly got our taste buds dancing.
Followed by two petite breads – multi-grain baguette and a savory pimento cheese scone. Both were fantastic and the prefect amount, especially the scone.
His appetizer: Vanilla Poached Lobster - Parsnip Puree, Warm Buttered Tangerine, Almonds (blurry photo). This was possibly his favorite thing of the evening, it was a uniquely and perfectly paired dish.
Her appetizer: Autumn Mushroom Soup
White Truffle Custard, Pine Nuts, Pickled Shallot. This was so velvety and exquisite, it was pleasurable to eat.
The petite breads were so good we both requested just a bit more, this time I went with the regular baguette and another pimento cheese scone that was shared by the two of us.
Her salad: Oak Lettuce - White Figs, Duck Prosciutto, Hazelnuts, Banyuls Vinegar. It was delicious I loved the sweet vinegar dressing and the crunch of the toasted hazelnuts, my very favorite nut.
His salad: Herons Signature Caesar - Parmesan Crackers, Fresh Anchovy, Crispy Poached Egg. He had quite the fancy display.
His entrée: Spice Crusted Venison loin - Sweet Potato, Glazed Quince, Black Trumpet Mushrooms. His venison was very tender, the quince was like spiced apples and the sweet potatoes were the prefect pairing.
Her entrée: Seared Organic Salmon - Braised Fennel, Toasted Sunchoke Butter, Chanterelles. Cooked to the chefs recommendation of medium-rare the salmon was tender, moist, and flakey. I enjoyed pairing my bites with a slice of fennel and a dip of sunchoke butter – so good.
This girl’s meal can’t be complete without a taste of something sweet – they all sounded great…
He went with a 20-yr tawny port: I tasted cinnamon, vanilla, and a caramel-molasses. He also enjoyed a regular coffee.
I got a decaf latté and…
Creamed Cheese Donuts, Smoked Vanilla Parfait with Apple Sauce “Grand-mere”. The bottle layer was warm spiced, sautéed apples, then a chilled parfait layer (similar to vanilla ice cream), topped with warm, crunchy donuts with a apple cider glaze.
To conclude the meal we were treated to an after dinner choice of three sweets: he got the handmade bon bon and I got the pecan praline.
We both had a phenomenal time and towards the end of the meal found ourselves discussing upcoming celebrations that we could use as an excuse to come back soon.