When we decided to visit Richmond last week, I knew we were going to check out Pasture, as we’ve heard a number of good things about it, and with the eventual opening of a second place right here in Charlottesville, I knew I wanted to see what we were in for. But where to go for dinner Saturday night?
While sitting in our hotel room after an adventurous afternoon checking out the sights in Richmond, I was cruising Facebook and pinged Dylan Allwood, sous chef at Charlottesville’s Brookville Restaurant, asking him for his advice on our dinner plans. I had learned that Dylan had worked as a line chef at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond before coming to Charlottesville, and his immediate response, “can’t go wrong with Heritage,” was enough for me.
We made our way to Heritage, by foot from our hotel and arrived earlier than expected. We were about 20 minutes early for our reservation, and although we almost grabbed a drink someplace along the way, I’m glad we waited because the cocktail menu was diverse and carried a number of classic drinks that I love.
The menu at Heritage is divided into Small, Medium and Large plates, and Susan and I decided to get one from the small, one from the medium and then each order a large dish … we’re not shy when it comes to eating. Chicken Liver pate with rhubarb mostarda from the small items caught my eye, and the bourbon barrel smoked pork belly with kimchi from the medium list was a sure bet. Our server – who was very personable, efficient, and helpful – warned us that although the pate was from the small list, it really was miscategorized and was large enough for two. We agree with him, and happily finished it when he brought us a reload of toast.
The Bourbon pork belly with kimchi and bok choy, was a new twist for us, and was a perfect example of something that really wow’ed us. The heat and flavor from the kimchi really cut into the fat of the belly in such a way that it left your mouth watering for more with each bite. The only regret we have from the evening is that we didn’t realize “pork fries with BBQ and house pickles” on the small items list, was actually fried pork belly until the table next to us ordered it. That will be a requirement next time.
Our main course, or large plates, were equally as wonderful as the start of our dinner, and the freshness of everything we had reminded us about the value of using local providers. The creaminess of the risotto and freshness of the pea shoots and spring onions made for a party in your mouth that screamed SPRING! My hanger steak, a cut not often eaten at home, was perfectly cooked and succulent.
Normally after such an amazing dinner, I often skip dessert as I’m more of a savory person, and I like to tell myself that I’ve had enough already! I’ll sometimes agree to “share” a dessert with Susan, and although that is what we ended up doing at Heritage this night, I regreted that decision as soon as it was made. We picked the vanilla bean cheesecake with local strawberries, pistachios, and pound cake, after our server described it as, “the deconstructed love child of cheesecake and strawberry shortcake.”
And that it was! Words fail to really describe how good this cross between cheesecake and strawberry shortcake really was, but Susan’s take was, and I quote “Epically wrong on so many levels!”
So go now to Heritage, and get it while strawberries are still fresh … or better yet check out the Hill & Holler Dinner this coming weekend that will feature Chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage and Owen Lane of Magpie. You never know what might be on the dessert menu, and either way it’s bound to be delicious!
Thanks for reading along.
Remember, F2% Because Heavy Cream is Always Better!