Address: 8705 Germantown Avenue, Chestnut Hill
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★
Style: American Cuisine
Food: Dinner and Sunday Brunch
Atmosphere: Smart Casual
Parking: Public Lot Parking
Price Range: Moderate
Unique Feature: BYOB
Tucked away from the busy avenue lies Chestnut Hill’s newest restaurant, Heirloom. What makes this recent addition stand out in the area is that Chef Al Paris takes advantage of the local produce, dairy, and meats that the region has to offer, and adds his talent to bring out the flavors throughout the meal.
Our hostess warmly greeted us on this chilly weekday night and led us into the dining room. Although occupying a small space, Heirloom offers guests a comfortable atmosphere with a décor featuring golden hues, earthly browns that color the walls, furniture, and accents. Even the tables are made with reclaimed wood.
Heirloom is a BYOB and is conveniently located next door to a wine and spirits store. After seating us, we were greeted by the general manager and soon after, our waiter.
It was a common theme throughout our night that the staff was attuned to their guests’ needs from checking to see if our wine was chilled, to answering our questions regarding the menu, and making sure we had enough bread.
Speaking of which, the bread was a good hint of what other delicious things were to come. Made in-house, the bread offered was a very light and delicate cracked peppercorn corn popover and an equally light biscuit topped with fleur de sel.
We started with appetizers and that took a bit of time. My companion decided upon Seared Diver Scallop on Berkshire Pork Belly. The scallop was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of seasoning. Joining the scallop and pork belly was a nice complement of arugula, pistachio vinaigrette, and candied squash.
I chose the playfully named Duck Duck Gooseberry appetizer. I was served a duck leg and a side of potted duck, with a bit of cherry-gooseberry jam to eat with points of toasted egg bread. I savored every bit of butter-soft duck leg and, in turn, took my time enjoying every bit of flavor and deliciousness of the potted duck and jam on the bread.
That was just the beginning of the culinary skill we were about to enjoy that night. The timing between the courses was nicely done. There is a nice padding of time where my guest and I could sit back and ponder the creativity of the course and chat.
Our next course proved to be as inventive as the first. I chose the Roast Berkshire Pork Tenderloin. It’s clear that Heirloom uses simple and fresh ingredients as a poet uses words. The peppercorn encrusted over the tenderloin gave the meal a nice bite. The meat again was tender, juicy, and well seasoned by a talented hand.
As for my companion’s choice of the Applewood Smoked Amish Chicken paired with a honey-cider reduction and apple-bacon jam that after the first bite you anticipate it to melt in your mouth, the entrée made your brain find new words for mouth watering.
Between the two of us, we split a side of brussel sprouts. This dish was enveloped with a maple sauce that was very light and held the right amount of sweetness. With an added touch, the dish included sautéed grapes and crisp lardoons of bacon.
Impressively, both the bread and desserts are made in-house. Perusing the dessert options, we opted for the Tuxedo Cake. This creation was a layer of custard-like white chocolate above a layer of chocolate and they both sat upon a sweet nutty crust. Although we preferred the chocolate layer more so than the white chocolate layer (it was a little too firm), it is impressive to see a chef master the ability to open and close a meal.
Word is getting out quickly about the magical cuisine Heirloom has to offer. There is no corking fee at this BYOB and you don’t have to travel far to find the perfect spirit to accompany your meal. Whether you are looking for a nice spot to get together with friends or just date night with your significant other, you will find a delightful dining experience at this restaurant.