Elevate Your Holiday Meal from Heritage
By Amy Lively Jensen
Have you been scratching your head to come up with an idea to make this year’s isolation holiday special? I discovered one restaurant that has designed a stunning take-out dinner for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. How about foie gras and mushroom-stuffed Beef Wellington? Caviar anyone?
Guy Meikle, owner and chef at Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar is hoping to help people entertain their immediate family gatherings by having an inspiring meal. “We want to bring light to the darkness that’s been this year,” said Guy.
This unassuming and amusing chef has been in the restaurant industry for 26 years. Starting as a sous chef, Guy saw how a restaurant should be run seamlessly and it began with making everything from scratch. After working at several noteworthy Chicago restaurants, he launched a catering company and later consulted with major national corporations. Guy admitted “I did flavor and product development and then decided that I wanted to do this for myself.” Three years ago, Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar opened and was a resounding success. They received amazing Czech-Irish reviews and were featured on a Food Network show. In 2019, Heritage received the Michelin Plate Award, a highly recognized symbol of good food.
“I’m Czech-Irish and my partner is Korean so we mesh these cuisines. These flavors weave the story of the immigrants who built our city. We use the Eastern European influence and add interesting ingredients to take it to the next level,” remarked this talented chef. Why would Heritage add a caviar bar? “Many people think of caviar as a decadent ingredient, but actually in the 19th century, low-priced Beluga caviar became a staple on the bar of Chicago saloons. It was a salty gimmick to encourage drink sales. It fits perfectly with our cuisine and we give our diners the special feeling you get when you eat caviar, but without the snobbishness,” he explained. They offer 14 types of roe and caviar, with some priced at just $10. To keep costs down, they cultivated relationships directly with caviar farms. Many choices are from Uruguay as well as California and the Great Lakes.
With most people not traveling during the holidays, a good way to elevate your dining experience is to bring Heritage’s exceptional Christmas Classic menu package to your home. There are eight unique dishes such as wood-smoked prime rib with horseradish cream and bourbon au jus, whipped potatoes with truffle and Boursin cheese and his grandmother’s dumplings with special gravy. “I get excited about the profiteroles for dessert which you don’t make at home. We include an amazing bourbon cocktail with smoked cherries and blood orange that gives a unique twist. The wine we offer with the package is a Cabernet Sauvignon from France. It’s big and spicy with mild acidity to stand up to strong flavors in the meal. It’s the perfect wine for Christmas,” Guy added. There is also an option of ordering ala carte from their main menu.
“We have a family tradition of seafood for New Year’s Eve, so that’s what you can enjoy in the NYE Entertainer package from Heritage,” he explained. In addition to a super classy presentation of Beef Wellington, there are 36 oysters, escargot stuffed mushrooms in a lobster cream sauce, and Polanco caviar on the menu. Included is a magnum of Laurent Perrier Brut cuveée and a cognac and grand marnier cocktail that is “addictive and instant happiness,” he quipped.
Their New Year’s Day Brunch carry out is equally special. You’ll taste two types of caviar, Togarashi hot smoked salmon with white wine, Korean chilies and mustard seed plus other tempting dishes.
As always, you can feel good about helping your local restaurants survive the Covid restrictions and shutdowns by ordering carry out. As Guy proclaimed: “It is the hardest year to be in business, but the best year to be in business because our support has been phenomenal.” Whether you carry out or cook in, spend your holidays safely and enjoyably.