By Kelli Carmack, Special to The Laker / Lutz News
Cesar Heyaime and Aliana Metsey are the perfect hosts. Their charismatic personalities, hearts of gold and undeniable passion for cooking makes anyone who walks into their Lutz restaurant feel completely welcome.
The couple opened their new restaurant, Heritage: An American Bistro, three months ago in the Tropical Village shopping center on U.S. 41, across from Walmart. In many ways, their restaurant is a second home to Cesar and Aliana.
Food was always a huge factor in Cesar’s and Aliana’s lives. Aliana learned her love of food by frequently eating out while growing up in Chicago with its diverse food scene. Cesar’s passion for cooking came from watching his mother and grandmother cook for his family. By the time he was 10, Cesar had a 1-inch binder full of recipes he had made, and by age 14 was cooking dinner for his family a few nights a week.
It was food that brought Cesar and Aliana together. They met in culinary school in Miami, graduating in 2015. After graduation, they worked a variety of jobs in the food industry, including catering and meal prepping. They soon realized they wanted their own place, where they could share their passion for cooking with the world.
From authentic Cuban sandwiches, Cajun shrimp pasta, pistachio-crusted salmon to gourmet Brussel sprouts, Cesar and Aliana have created a menu with the flavor profiles of their cultures — Aliana is Mexican and Puerto Rican, and Cesar is Dominican. By combining their cultural heritage, their food offers a unique style.
“Our menu is a lot of the flavors that we love… there’s a lot of us in the menu,” says Aliana.
“We don’t add something to our menu until it is perfected.”
Heritage already has a large fan base, with guests who keep coming back for more.
“It’s so incredible that we love making food, and people are coming in to eat our food… I’m just so grateful,” says Aliana.
When asked what they want customers to take away from their dining experience at Heritage, Cesar says, “We want to craft a space where you can get a good meal and just feel like you’re at home. We want to give you a great plate of food and a place to talk,” said Cesar.
Cesar and Aliana are huge advocates of supporting other local businesses. One project they are currently working on is collaborating with local artists to hang their artwork in their restaurant, with a goal of having a whole wall full of local artwork.
Along with running a full-time business, Cesar and Aliana are parents to two beautiful girls, Analia and August. They want to show their daughters that if you work hard, you can do something you love.
If you’re looking for a restaurant with excellent food that treats you like family, head on over to Heritage: An American Bistro.
1532 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, Lutz, FL 33549 • 813-803-7847