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  • Herons

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Herons Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.theumstead.com
  • Phone: (919) 447-4000
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 10:00am
    Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 6:30am - 2:00pm

    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm

    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

    Afternoon Tea: Wednesday - Sunday: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Steven D. Greene
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: No
  • Additional Details: 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
  • 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.
  • Private Party Facilities: The private dining room for 12 provides the stage for extensive food and wine-paired tasting menus. Executive Chef Steven D. Greene will both indulge and delight you during your dining experience. Reserve this space for lunch, for an evening with friends, colleagues or family.
  • Private Party Contact: Tammie Burdick (888) 778-7425
  • 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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Harrison Avenue
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Complimentary valet parking for Herons; self-parking available as well.
A word from 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 John Childers. The extensive 2500-bottle wine selection complements the 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. Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Our experience at Herons was notable for the excellent service staff. Not only were they efficient, they were very cheerful. Indeed. they made the eating experience very enjoyable at breakfast and at dinner. Overall the food is excellent and quite beautifully presented with novel ingredients. The servings are appropriately sized. Personally I would like more intense flavors to compliment the elegant presentations. Eating at Herons was a wonderful 2.5 hour experience recently. Lovely wines by the glass available at reasonable prices for the quality. A beautiful dining room in a beautiful hotel."
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "My fiancee and I went to Heron's to celebrate the anniversary of our first date. The service was amazing -- just the right mix of formal and down-to-earth. We got a great bottle of Chilean wine from the restaurant's enormous wine list. The food was delicious and the presentation was really cool. It was just an A+ all around. Who knew there was dining this good in Cary, NC? We'll definitely be back soon."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "My husband and I had a 6 o'clock reservation for dinner. I had requested a side table in a nice location with a view if possible. They seated us by the back window in a perfect location. Our waiter, Scott, was perfect. Just the right combination of knowledge and friendliness and completely versed in the menu and descriptions. We had the 4 course dinner and each was an artistic feast for the eye's. Many of the components were not familiar to us, but that was part of the fun. I have to say my favorite part was the Yuzu dessert. At the end of the meal, Scott brought us a chocolate dessert and placard with Happy Anniversary written in gold. We were very pleased with the entire evening."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "A friend and I had just come from the Umstead Spa where we had relaxing pedicures. The dining room experience at Herons continued the pampering with perfect service and wonderful lunch fare. The tomato soup was rich without being heavy with a bit of a zing to the fresh flavor."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "All aspects of our visit were superb. The cuisine is outstanding, the wine list is phenomenal, the service is all one could wish for, and the venue is lovely. It's easy to see why this establishment has earned five diamonds!"
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "My wife and I dined here on our wedding anniversary and had a wonderful time. The service was outstanding and our food was also."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Nothing better in the RDU area. Third visit to Heron's in the month of August 2014."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Excellent service but I would expect that at this price level. The quality and value of the food did not match the price level. They sat us at a table for two next to a wall and the restaurant was empty so it wasn't very comfortable for 2 people over 6 foot nor did it have ant special ambience."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "I always consider myself very fortunate to dine at Herons, whether for dinner, lunch, breakfast or brunch. Herons is a treat for the senses and should be visited often to reward the efforts of not only the many people who create the perfect experience of dining there, but also one's self!"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Excellent service, food and atmosphere. A very special night made possible by a very professional staff."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "I can only say that I have been extremely spoilt with fine dining in the UK (I am a UK resident). I searched this place out on the Forbes list when I came to town as I was looking for a special place for lunch. Having read about the Umstead and its owner etc... I was excited to be going. My reservation was not there, but I was accommodated. Lunch was not available on the Sunday, just a limited Brunch menu. No wine list given - just a selcetion of typical brunch cocktails. We asked what was in the mimosa and they didnt know. Finally the bill was given without us asking for it and we were actually considering a desert and coffee. The food was good, did not wow though and I was expecting to be blown away and I left a little sad."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "This is the place to dine if you want a relaxing fabulous dinner. If you are in a hurry you are better off eating at the bar. My husband and I both ordered the Chef's Tasting and were not disappointed in the least. The food was wonderful and the presentation was something like I have never seen. Chilled corn soup in a white chocolate egg? Unbelievable!! The service was the best. We had a few different servers who were always there but not to the point of being intrusive. We will definitely back."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Herons is not only memorable for extraordinary food, but for the dining experience. There is nothing comparable in this area in my opinion."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "The Heron Restaurant deserves every one of the five stars that I have rewarded them with as many other patrons have done the same. Service was in the top 5% of all of the restaurants I gave rated. Try it - you will be very pleased that you have dined at a Herons."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "The service was quite formal. Not friendly, but efficient. the wine steward was very knowledgeable. Each course was served with it own utensils and by its own server. The appetizers were incredible. I was disappointed in the rib-eye as my wife was in the trout. The cheese tray was lovely. As it was my birthday, they sent a lovely carved piece of fresh chocolate, a very caring touch. The wine was of my choosing, of good provenance and well served. A lovely dining experience, slightly marred by the less than perfect entrees. At $400 for two, my expectations were almost, but not quite met. The art throughout the room was very interesting and the outdoor patio was interesting. The room was a bit warm, but this is NC."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "This trip to Herons was a foodie splurge. It was on our dining bucket list and did not disappoint. The presentation was impeccable and the food incredible. I had the best mint julep of my life (and I have had many). The wait staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and went out of their way to insure our meal was perfect. The courses were works of art."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "I've been to Herons for dinner and for lunch and both were exceptional. Brunch was very good but I didn't think it was as good as the lunches or dinners I've had there. My husband had shrimp and grits and it was excellent. I had blue crab benedict and it was good but nothing exceptional. The ambience is definitely better in the evening. I am possibly being too harsh by saying I wasn't all that enamored with kids at brunch hurrying through the dining room since it was my husband's birthday brunch, but after all it is a hotel."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "I don't know which was better--the view from the outside deck or the food, but our Heron's experience was the best! The shrimp and grits were decadent and the crab Benedict was better than perfect. Everything, including the service, was amazing!"
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Amuse Bouche, corn custard soup, seared scallops, tomato melon soup, smoked trout, succulent halibut, local cheeses, a great wine and beautiful ports and sherries, topped off with Robert Starling's music in the lounge. A perfect evening in every way. The Triangle's best restaurant."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "The wait staff were admirable. They anticipated whatever I wanted. I tasted my husband's appetizer and they were right there with another fork for me, elegantly presented on a napkin. They reseated me when I came back from the restroom. They addressed me by my name when I beckoned them to my table. When asked how specific dishes were prepared, they were very well informed. The presentation of each dish was beautiful."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Very delightful experience in relaxed atmosphere. The hotel has works of art to view and the scenery from the restaurant was beautiful. The staff are accommodating and professional and were able to answer questions about the menu and the plant that was on the table! The food was very good and they have several gluten free options available."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Had an enjoyable lunch with a friend. I enjoyed my blue crab very much. The breads that were served were very good, too."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "This was the best meal I have ever had! It wasn't just a meal, it was an experience!! Everything was truly amazing-both in taste and presentation. I found myself enthusiastically waiting for the next course to be brought. The wine pairings exceeded my expectations as well. My only regret . . . I needed to slow down in my enjoyment to appreciate and savor more every bite and every moment. Thank you so much!!!!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "My friend and I met for lunch and it was excellent. Beautiful atmosphere, superb service, and great food. I will be back."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Given the price, Herons needs to be a very memorable meal. The good news - they absolutely deliver. We went for a birthday (they didn't know), and every aspect of the meal was as it should be. The service: friendly, knowledgeable about the menu, helpful, precise, professional. Had nice conversations about both the food and the wine. Wine list: fantastic. Lots of by the glass and 1/2 bottle options. Food: Delightfully good. I'll remember the corn custard with buttermilk foam and truffle sauce for years. I can still taste and savor it. The seared scallop my wife had was similarly superb. The Halibut main course is excellent, and the dark chocolate dessert paired with Dandelion Vineyards PX 30 - wow. Very highly recommended & special."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "I took my wife to herons for dinner and the service and food were fantastic. Best I've had in the triangle."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Everything was absolutely superb! The food was absolutely scrumptious. The service was exceptional. The surroundings are so serene. We walked away in such a peaceful and "full" of so many good things. I highly recommend Heron's!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Best Dining experience I have ever had ! My wife and I had dinner there to celebrate our anniversary and it was a great time ...... we added another great memory to our lives together at Heron's. The food was excellent and the service beyond compare."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "In a return trip to the Ulmstead, and another evening spent at Heron's, we could not be happier with the experience. Service, food and ambience were top notch, and never disappointed."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The service impeccable! The food OUTSTANDING!!!!!!! The atmosphere is beautiful, relaxing and special."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Outstanding meal and service. Flavors jumped off the plate. Presentation was wonderful with a variety of food combinations."
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "The food is consistently great, service perfect, the views are amazing. Can't wait to go back!!"
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "This was perhaps the best meal I have ever had. The food was superb and the service was excellent. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Everything perfect as always even with the new chef."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We've gone to Heron's over the years for special occasions and always loved it. This time the food seemed to have slipped a little."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "We celebrated our wedding anniversary at this "fine dining," expensive restaurant. The restaurant is beautiful, with great ambiance. The appetizers, main entrees, and desserts all disappointed us. Portions were small (expected), and the combination of ingredients in our dishes did not produce a good taste experience. There was no WOW for anything on the menu that we ordered."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "What an experience, everything was delicious and service was the best I have ever experienced."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "I dine at Herons 6-8 times (or more) a year and am always impressed with the exceptional dining experience. This is great place for taking out of town guests, as well as celebrating special occasions with family and friends--or just going to treat yourself. Food choices are best of the season, prepared beautifully, and served like art. The bread basket always has at least 3 delightful choices. Sparkling or still water is offered--no extra charge for the sparkling water. Staff and servers are gracious and professional from the entry of the hotel, on to the gift shop, and in the dining room. And, the views of the gorgeous landscape are in sight for enjoying for while you dine inside or outside. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Decided to celebrate the anniversary at Herons. Paid $250 for a 3 course meal with wine and tip for a delicious evening hosted with extreme attention to detail in a beautiful setting. Only drawback was being seated in a high traffic area. My first course was a carrot gazpacho and I had never tasted such a delightful and surprising mix of flavors and textures. I will never forget it. The evening was paced just right and the serving sizes were generous. Lots of choices for a prix fixe approach. It was a lovely evening and would recommend it for that special date night."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "My daughter and I had been to Heron's before but it was my husband's first time and we all thoroughly enjoyed our brunch there. The food was excellent, as usual, and we went for a walk around the lake afterward and that was the perfect way to top off our visit. Our waitress brought us a small dessert with a chocolate label saying Happy Anniversay at the end of the meal. Highly recommend Heron's."
    Dined on 6/15/2014