Black Heron {Restaurant Review}

La Grande Vitesse (second place winner in the Grand Cocktail competition)
La Grande Vitesse (second place winner in the Grand Cocktail competition)

My husband Troy and I have known Seth and Laura Porter, owners of The Black Heron, for quite some time through the home brewer scene. Unfortunately, it took us a long time to get down to their restaurant. We decided to rectify that yesterday and take advantage of Restaurant Week (which runs through August 23).

Troy decided to have a cider, whereas I decided to try their Grand Cocktail entry, La Grande Vitesse. Price:$9.00 Recipe: 1oz Silver Tequila 1oz Raspberry Ruhubarb Syrup Splash of Simple Syrup Ice Topped with L Mawby What makes this cocktail unique is the Modern Michigan summertime spritz.

It was incredibly light and refreshing and I can see why it took second place in the Most Creative Herradura Tequila Summer Cocktail category. Looking over their drink menu, I appreciated their emphasis on Michigan beer, and loved their use of local ingredients in the cocktail, but would have also liked to have seen some Michigan wines.

As we often do during Restaurant Week, we decided to pick different courses for the options so that we could try everything. The Black Heron offered two options for each of the three courses so that worked out nicely. One of the options for each course was vegetarian (or had a vegetarian option).

Course 1

Ceviche: whitefish, leche de tigre, plantains, avocado salsa, grapefruit
whitefish, leche de tigre, plantains, avocado salsa, grapefruit

The ceviche was delicious, but could have used a bit more kick. Of the two starters, this was Troy’s favorite.

vegetarian sushi plate
vegetarian sushi plate

The vegetarian sushi plate was super cute, so I did not have high hopes for the flavor. I was luckily wrong, it was quite flavorful and I love that they used local radishes, which is an ingredient I don’t use all that much in my own cooking. The liquid in the cucumber cup was a blueberry tea palate cleanser. Such a cute idea!

Course 2

pork cheek, gruyere, red wine bolognase, lemon and ginger tomatoes
pork cheek, gruyere, red wine bolognase, lemon and ginger confit tomatoes

Next up was the ravioli. This was hands down our favorite dish of the night.

Michigan heirloom tomatoes, queso fresco, jalapenos, cilantro, avocado, Mexican herbed vinegar, avocado oil
Michigan heirloom tomatoes, queso fresco, jalapenos, cilantro, avocado, Mexican herbed vinegar, avocado oil

We also enjoyed the Mexican caprese. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with Michigan heirloom tomatoes, no matter what you do to them! The jalapenos did have their seeds, so they were nice and hot.

Course 3

mojo, pearl couscous, sauteed kale, mango egg yolk
Pork Tenderloin: mojo, pearl couscous, sauteed kale, mango egg yolk
Chicken and Rice Golabki: Seasonal mash, smokey tomato orange sauce, pickled red onions, fried cabbage
Chicken and Rice Golabki: Seasonal mash, smokey tomato orange sauce, pickled red onions, fried cabbage

While both of the third course dishes were good, the chicken and rice golabki was our favorite. There wasn’t a whole lot of chicken in it, and so I can easily imagine that the vegetarian version is just as delicious. Troy liked the pork better but the mash was our favorite of the sides.

Other Notes

The atmosphere at The Black Heron is bright and airy, and family friendly (it seemed to us–there was a large family enjoying their dinner). While the Restaurant Week menu was what most would consider “fancy,” we also saw some gorgeous looking hamburgers go by and they had a taco special going on. We will definitely go back for their poutine. We also saw some great looking desserts, but alas, we were full so again, we will have to go back another time for that.

Finally, if you would like to hear an interview with The Black Heron team, tune in tomorrow (August 22, 2015) on WYCE!

wyce

Whaddaya think?