Heritage: rocking a solid menu in Northern Liberties


With a modern-rustic décor, locally sourced menu, urban garden and stage for live music (usually low-key, roots-oriented, jazzy, bluesy outfits), it gets no hipper or hipster when it comes to Northern Liberties eateries than this. And it has as much talent in the kitchen as it does onstage.

Heritage puts together a fine presentation of dishes, starting with the small plates. The rabbit meatballs ($15) were lean and tasty, bathed in sofrito and crème fraîche. The smoked bluefish pâté ($14) was wonderfully complex in flavor, topped with a nice remoulade and fried capers. Its only flaw was that the house-fried potato chips it came with were too thin and delicate to be effective as a vehicle to scoop up the pâté. A much thicker cut or something more substantial like pita points would have made the dish perfect.

The side dishes at Heritage were strong but threw some curves in the process. The crispy potatoes ($7) were rustic-fried perfection, piping hot and crispy outside and fluffy inside. They could have used some stronger seasoning but a nice cheese sauce and ketchup were on hand to take up the slack. The jerked broccolini ($8) were a pleasantly confusing mind-trick of a dish. The strong and tantalizing aroma of the jerk sauce and bacon butter radiating off the dish set off carnivore fireworks in my head. Alas, it’s not a steaming pile of chicken or pork waiting for you on the plate, but a colorful presentation of broccolini awash in the tasty sauce and dusted with bright-herb breadcrumbs that give everything an interesting texture, to placate the somewhat-miffed part of your psyche that was promised meat by your olfactory senses.

There was one particular dish that offered the ideal refuge from the frigid weather that gripped the city on the night we visited, and that was the seafood stew ($26), a steamy bowl of cod, mussels, shrimp, pork belly and peppers that was bright, hearty and hit all the right spots without feeling too heavy. Thankfully, you get plenty of grilled bread on dishes like this to soak up all the goodness.

If you are looking for a laid-back but still-stylish and comfortable place to entertain your ears as much as your palette, Heritage is the place to visit.