Taking pride in discovering top ingredients and sourcing from American small-batch purveyors are priorities for Rich Perez and Alissa Svorka, co-owners of the 72-seat Modern American restaurant Heritage 147, which debuted in early February.
Says Svorka, “We don’t plan our menu by starting with the dish and then buying the ingredients to make it; instead, we find top ingredients and then think, What dish can we make from them?”
Those special ingredients are sourced from purveyors such as Norwich Meadows Farms, in Norwich, NY (certified Valley Meat Co., in Brooklyn (grass-fed beef via small PA farmers); Sfoglini, in Coxsackie, NY (organic grain pasta); The Kneaded Bread, in Port Chester (artisan breads); microroaster NEAT Coffee, in Darien; J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, in Charlestown, WV (finishing salt); and La Boite Spices, in Manhattan (custom-blended, hand-ground spices). Cheese and charcuterie boards feature singular selections sourced from New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
Grass-fed Angus steak, marinated in Kentuckyaki sauce (Kentucky-style teriyaki sauce) and served with sweet-and-sour tatsoi (an Asian green similar to bok choy), as well as Wild Gulf shrimp in a deeply flavored garlic-chili sauce, are standouts. Aside from showcasing top-notch ingredients, these dishes on the relatively short menu of 10 appetizers, three salads, and nine entrées exhibit another credo of the restaurant: underscoring different cultural influences. “With all the turmoil the country has been through,” says Svorka, “we wanted to celebrate people’s heritages. We are drawn to ingredients from many food cultures.” Indeed, a perusal of the menu reveals various dishes using aji amarillo, chorizo, dashi, apple chutney, and chicharrón. “Larchmont is a beautiful, cultured town despite the small size,” Svorka adds, “so we think our menu will be appreciated.”
A major catalyst for the duo opening Heritage 147 was to return to their roots as hands-on chefs. Previously, both Perez and Svorka were at Little Beet Table in Greenwich, as executive chef and sous chef, respectively, overseeing four locations. “It was very corporate,” says Mamaroneck resident Perez. “It was less creative, and there was little contact with vendors and customers.”
Much of the cooking at the dinner-only (brunch-planned) Heritage is inspired by the pair’s many — and notable — culinary work experiences. Perez worked both front- and back-of-house at many a Manhattan restaurant, with Picholine, Aureole, March, and Felidia among them. He also co-owned Tequila Sunrise next door, as well as Espana Wine & Tapas Bar, which was formerly in Heritage’s space (Polpettina occupied it more recently). Svorka, a Greenwich resident who trained at the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Institute), has worked at Manhattan’s Delmonico’s and David Burke Townhouse, plus Terrain Cafe, in Westport.
The beverage program is as thoughtful as the food: an all-organic wine list, plus eight craft beers, two wines, and a sake on tap, plus New York liquors as much as is feasible. Aside from Brooklyn’s Blue Marble ice cream, desserts — including lemon poppy cheesecake with huckleberry jam — are done in-house.
Perez is excited to be back in Larchmont but knows the dining public has grown more sophisticated than when he operated village restaurants in years past.
“Everyone sees a lot of stuff because of the Food Network, food documentaries on streaming services, and the internet. They know more, so they want and expect more.”
147 Larchmont Ave