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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Ramps & Romance

Posted June 28, 2007 9:11 a.m. EDT
Updated June 28, 2007 9:17 a.m. EDT

Have you ever eaten a ramp? Do you know what a ramp is?

Well, last night during a special dinner at the new Herons Restaurant in Cary I cautiously ordered a ramp-flavored dish for the first time. I was cautious because of my memories of the late Thad Eure, Sr. The former NC Secretary of State served for years as grand marshal of the annual ramp festival in western North Carolina.

Ramps are wild and extremely pungent onions that grow in the mountains. Every year Thad Eure would pride himself in eating ramps raw despite the rancid breath they would create.

Well with last night's romantic dinner (anniversary) I was afraid I might lose out on a goodnight kiss.

The entree at Herons looked delicious on paper: dry-aged prime sirloin with sauteed ramps, potato puree, local shiitake and red wine glaze.

Well, I ordered it and the flavor was nothing short of sensational. I was also delighted with the lobster and she crab bisque. The service at Herons is exceptional.   I love the effort to weave so many North Carolina products into the menu.

And yes I did get that kiss.