Fare: New American
Food Quality: Exceptional, committed to using organic, locally sourced produce, dairy, grains, poultry, and meats.
Service: Unpretentious, friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive
Ambiance: Modern, light, and airy with floor to ceiling windows. The centerpiece is the open Kitchen.
Overall Rating: 3 1/2 Stars. One of the Best Restaurants in Central Jersey - Classified as Chef-Inspired Casual Dining (* Note - See below restaurant classification for details)
Note: Four star Rating System from 1/2 Star = poor to Four stars = Best in Class
Noise Level: Moderate-loud (background music can be loud)
Recommended For: Diners who love to cook, and love to eat at a restaurant with an acclaimed chef committed to using organic, locally sourced produce, dairy, grains, poultry, and meats.
Not Recommended For: Budget conscious diners with taste preferences for a traditional menu with heavy sauces, served in huge portions.
Recommended dishes: When available, The Venison with cappuccino polenta, hazelnuts, malt, and juniper jus: The Scallops with miso honey sunchoke purée, mushroom jam, peanuts, pears, and Shiso pesto: and The Celery Root Gnocchi with rabbit Bolognese, chicories, and black truffle.
Liquor: BYOB. Bottled Wines also available from their retail showroom for Domenico Winery, a winery located in San Carlos, California specializing in Italian varietals.
Tucked away in a small strip mall, Heirloom Kitchen is a multi-faceted culinary experience for who diners who love to cook and love to eat at a restaurant with an acclaimed chef committed to using organic, locally sourced produce, dairy, grains, poultry, and meats.
Heirloom Kitchen is a culinary school that opens the kitchen and dining area for patrons four evenings a week.
Heirloom Kitchen originally opened 2013 as a cooking school and retail boutique kitchenware store by Neilly Robinson and her mother Judy Rosenblum. This successful venture in 2016 received an award as one of the "Best Cooking Classes Around the World," by Food & Wine Magazine.
Also in 2016, Neilly took on a partner, acclaimed Chef David Viana and expanding Heirloom kitchen to include a Weekend Restaurant. Chef Viana honed his culinary skills with several famed chefs notably Bobby Flay, Anthony Bucco, and Michael White, and at the highly rated restaurant kitchens Eleven Madison Park in NYC, and Two Star Michelin restaurant Villa Joya in Portugal. Chef Viana also served as executive chef at The Kitchen at Grove Station, and chef de cuisine at Ryan DePersio's Battello, both in Jersey City. and as chef de cuisine at Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick under Zod Arifai.
In 2018, Chef Viana was nominated for the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Neilly Robinson's cooking specialty is focused on naturally leavened breads, using non-chemical leavening agents to make the bread rise. Neilly bakes Heirloom's bread in-house daily. However, there is a small charge for their home made tasty, crusted bread with cultured butter
The restaurant at Heirloom Kitchen is open Thursday through Sunday with chef's table seating around their kitchen island where diners are given an up-close look at Chef Viana and his staff as they prepare well executed, creatively, seasonal New American menu with weekly twists.
Chef Viana is a masterful chef and is personable and willing to share his tricks and tips with diners.
Additional seating is available in the dining room at basic farmhouse type tables with smaller sized wooden chairs (note: can be uncomfortable for tall diners) and at their communal seating farm table reserved for larger parties.
Heirloom Kitchen is committed to using organic, locally sourced produce, dairy, grains, poultry, and meats from high end, quality sources.
Except for the locally sourced primary ingredients, everything else is made on site, including the bread and butter, mustard, ketchup, etc.
Diners who favor Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten free dishes are often accommodated just by letting your server know.
The interior is modern, light, and airy with floor to ceiling windows. The centerpiece is the open Kitchen.
Service is unpretentious, friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive.
The hands-on cooking classes include pasta-making, healthy cooking, ethnic cooking, basic skills, and more.
*Description of Restaurant Classification - Chef-Inspired Casual Dining:
The current trend of upscale, high quality food focused restaurants.
Chef driven by chefs with impressive credentials including formal culinary education and skills honed at award winning restaurants.
Serves an approachable, more casual menu with creative food preparation.
Uses higher quality food ingredients such as imported items not available in the supermarket, with emphasis on local seasonal farm-to-table produce, wild caught seafood, & meats without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Chic, trendy ambiance with a casual atmosphere and a casual dress code.
The wait staff is professional, knowledgeable, and attentive.
Can be BYOB or have an alcohol menu with a variety of wines, specialty cocktails, and beers.
Patrons are of all generations with medium to high incomes.
The most popular upscale restaurants in New Jersey, classified into three categories: Chef-Inspired Fine Dining, Chef-Inspired Casual Dining, and Contemporary Casual.
Learn more about casual upscale restaurants and how reviews are created.
(updated: November 2021)