The Heritage Forest Park has been taking the local food scene by storm since its September 1 opening on Madison Street in Forest Park. The restaurant is the team concept of owners Mischa and Jacob DeHart, Chefs Sieger Bayer and Michael Spiewak, General Manager Jeff Wilson and drinks specialist Nick Kokonas. The stakeholders bring serious foodie pedigrees to the western suburbs. Bayer and Spiewak combine experience at Chicago restaurants Nellcote, Leghorn, Formento, Lula and Old Town Social. Wilson and Kokonas join them from stints at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Longman and Eagle.

When the DeHarts developed the space, they turned to friend Bayer to help create a dining concept that would augment Forest Park’s already robust dining scene. With The Heritage’s focus on seasonal, American cuisine, Bayer notes, “We wanted to create a real neighborhood restaurant where you can get a great glass of wine, a hot appetizer and piece of fish or steak and feel really great about what the kitchen is turning out.”

The intimate restaurant seats forty-six at tables and eight at the bar and is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, with a recently added brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. While sourcing ingredients based on the season, the two chefs also consider the kinds of food they would like to eat when forming the menu. For their New Year’s Eve menu, the duo came up with a prix fixe menu that offers plenty of choices for the discerning palate.

A choice of four starters includes an avocado and citrus salad, featuring baby kale and grapefruit. Bayer says the California-inspired dish is great for a vegetarian, and its fresh flavor profiles also appeals to someone who plans to order the short rib entrée for a second course.

Spiewak says the oyster appetizer is a New Year’s Eve riff on a favorite menu item. “We tweaked one of the favorites from the regular menu and paired the oyster with compound champagne butter and charred scallions. It’s fully cooked, topped with awesome caviar, and served on the half shell.”

Of the four entrees available New Year’s Eve, Bayer says the short ribs with bone marrow potato puree is the kind of dish he would enjoy when celebrating with bubbly champagne. Bayer and Spiewak enjoy making their own pasta and bring their kitchen favorite to the vegetarian tagliatelle. The hand-made pasta is taken to the next level with chestnut and truffle butter and Grana Padano.

The Heritage is offering three seatings for New Year’s Eve: a 6-6:30 seating, an 8- 8:30 seating and a 10 to 10:30 seating. The prix fixe menu for the first two seatings is $45 and the late seating, which includes a champagne toast at midnight, is $55. There will also be three levels of sparkling wine and champagne available to complement the three course meal.

The Heritage is located at 7403 Madison Street in Forest Park. Reservations for New Year’s Eve can be made online at, by phone 708.435.4937 or emailing