Friday, January 23, 2015

Heritage Tavern

I had the most complete meal at Heritage Tavern for Restaurant Week while being overwhelmed by the cuteness of fox silhouettes and mini pig plates.  I almost forgot about this excuse to eat at expensive restaurants, as I had a list of places set and aside and ready for the parent visit.  Heritage was on that list, but after reviewing all the pre fixe menus, I couldn't resist roping everyone into going with me.  
Head Cheese and Escargot
crispy headcheese, creamed grits, fresh herb-radish and lemon salad
Half of us went adventurous with the strange meats and snails appetizer.  Even I was hesitant because my last terrine was not enjoyable enough to repeat.  I just couldn't get past the fact that I was eating the solidified fats I usually scrape off.  But I really wanted escargot (which were perfectly cooked and delightfully not drowning in butter), and "crispy" felt like a safe word.  It was.  I could get to full and satisfied with three bowls of this.  The thick crispy shell played well with the soft and chewy unknown insides - I know it sounds gross but it reminded me of pork hocks so I was pleased.  The cheesy grits were less gritty and more mashed-potato creamy, and all that strong savoriness was  cut nicely with the fragrant herb salad.  I sat there, futilely scraping at the remaining bits of grits and sauce with my fork, resisting the urge to lick the bowl in a nice restaurant.  Let me back track to the bread I so hastily ate with the whipped honey butter because shit was heavenly... but piece of advice for the future, save the bread until you know you might need to sop something up.
Braised Pork Shoulder, Boudin Blanc and Crisp Pork Belly
braised cabbage, sour cream spaetzle, natural reduction sauce,
blueberry-juniper berry jam
Pork belly is and always will be my weakness.  It's like scallops.  Aioli.  Eggplant.  Chipotle.  Mushrooms.  All the buzz words.  But raised to the tenth power.  I have yet to meet a chunk of pork belly I did not like.  And I loved this.  Heritage definitely did not back off on the portion sizes as I expect restaurants to do during RW, but $35 is not cheap for the student life, so I was happy to be able to box up half of it for a sad happy lab lunch.  Not one, but two lovely chunks of belly, a creamy sausage no one saw coming (none of us considered what boudin blanc might be), and a bed of sweet braised pork with cabbage.  You had to construct your bites so it wouldn't be too sweet or too salty or too meaty, but that's the fun of it.
Warm Future Fruit Apple Strudel
vanilla-pecan anglaise, golden raisins, rosemary syrup
Andddd dessert.  While I do always want to cleanse my palate with something sweet, I am paradoxically not the hugest fan of dessert.  Some dried apricots or chocolate covered pretzels or a little square of Lindt usually does the trick.  The best is a couple bites of cheesecake when I would get around to making one.  So I usually overlook the dessert choices.  I mean, as long as it's not boring and lame, I'll probably be equally satisfied with anything.  As tempting as the variation of chocolate cake option was, I had to go for the apple strudel because I heart fruit.  It was not out of this world; it was not bland and predictable.  It was overshadowed by the bites of espresso ice cream I had from Lorraine's plate.  More specifically, my happy hour Obsidian Stout poured over a bite of espresso ice cream.  Perfect.

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