Farm to table local Virginia Beach, restaurant.
Heirloom is a local restaurant in Virginia Beach, Virginia that has only been open for a few years. A farm to table American restaurant with a calm social atmosphere. Seating can be a bit tricky, as booths of less than three will have to sit on the same side to increase social distancing from other eaters. The staff is friendly, and the menu isn’t too big, giving me confidence that the food is cooked fresh. We decided to try a full 3 course meal to see if this local restaurant is a local sensation.
Starting with cocktails and appetizers, I let the waitress tell me what she preferred. I let her know I’m more of a tequila guy, and was discouraged they did not have any tequila cocktails. Luckily the waitress recommended a non alcoholic drink that would taste great with a splash of tequila. “Afternoon on a Hill” with a splash of tequila is what she recommended and that’s what I recommend to you also. My buddy ordered a “Summer Silence” that he enjoyed so much he ordered three. Both had citrus tastes and were very refreshing , even during a winters evening.
Appetizers are the best way to kickoff your experience at Heirloom. Trust me, don’t wait until your entree to taste the food here. Oysters were fresh and delicious. Apart from the cocktail sauce and horseradish, the vinegar had a taste of marinated cucumber and seasoning. I poured it on every oyster after I had tasted it. The crab-cake was full of crabmeat , and seasoned perfectly. Seared with a crispy top gives it a slight crunch. Underneath a creamy tart sauce that paired amazing with the crab-cake. Most of the appetizers are seafood options with a couple light salads.
The biggest surprise of the night was not how well Heirloom deliver on dinner. It was the whole fried red snapper I ordered and when it was brought to the table. The snapper came on top of coconut rice, and candied plantains. The snapper was perfectly fried and crispy on the outside, but incredibly soft and tender in the inside. The meat simply slid off the bones of the fish once I broke the fried exterior. The fried crust reminded me of a lighter fried crab batter. It was absolutely delicious. The plantains were tender and sticky just as I’d expect candied plantains to be. The coconut rice paired nicely with a tropical theme, but was okay, and mildly undercooked with what I think was a bit to much coconut.
The one thing I absolutely did not enjoy about the snapper , were the carrots and flowers on my plate. It annoys me to see things on the plate that are only on the plate for decoration. The carrots were raw unseasoned , and in weird rolled up lengths. The flowers simply put, were just in the way. I could have done with a smaller plate and no carrots and no flowers.
When the waitress offered me the brioche french toast dessert , I was very skeptical. My choices were a chocolate cake , a chocolate mousse, or the french toast, and none of which I was very thrilled about. I love chocolate but do not like it in large doses, and I rarely get a chocolate cake that is moist enough. Mousse without a solid base, just doesn’t do anything for me when it comes to dessert, and I and no fan of french toast.
We decided to try the lesser of two evils and ordered the french toast and the chocolate cake. The surprise was how velvet like the cake was. Using a spoon to devour the cake piece by piece, a silky even layer of chocolate was left behind. The cake was moist the layers of chocolate we so smooth, and the side scoop of ice cream was the perfect pairing. The french toast though, was something out of left field. The top, seared crisp like the perfect cookie, crispy on the edges and sweet and soft in the middle. Not to sweet, the toast tasted great with a hint of cinnamon. The creamy sweet sauce with a hint of vanilla reminded me of a creme brûlée without the fire brûlée’ topping. I enjoyed my entire experience at Heirloom from start to finish. Rarely I’d anything perfect, and unfortunately this was no exception, but I would go back again and again because of how close to perfect it was.