2 Nights in Forestville
I'm staying in Farmhouse Inn for two nights. Night # 2 I plan on biking, wineries, hitting spa, dining at Farmhouse, then getting the greatest sleep of my life.
Night 1 is undecided. Everyone seems to rave about Cyrus--how expensive is it?
Is there a local area place, moderately priced, that serves local favorites? No frills not a problem. In fact , any recs re any place that serves food is appreciated.
I predict you will love Farmhouse Inn. I had a fabulous dinner there a few months ago. I posted on it at the time, so you can probably search for it if you are interested. I haven't been to Cyrus, so can't comment. My husband had dinner at Mosaic, in Forestville, and was very impressed. West of Forestville, there is Applewood Inn in Guerneville. I had the best duck breast of my life there. It's not cheap, but the food is wonderful and the setting is lovely. A little farther west in Monte Rio (where I live) is Cafe Les Jumelles. It's come up a few times on this board lately and I always chime in about it, because I live close by and I really want it to stay open! The chef/owner has experience in some of the high end SF restaurants, but wanted to open his own smaller, quieter place. It's definitely no frills, and so the prices are very reasonable. While it still has a few rough spots, I've been generally very pleased with the food at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mostly simple basic food, but with a little extra something. Also, check out Sophie's Cellar wine store in Monte Rio - get John talking about wine, or David talking about cheese. Both Mosaic and Cafe Les Jumelles (and several other area restaurants) offer free corkage if you buy the wine there.
re: Kathleen M
Another vote for Cafe Les Jumelles - had very tasty sourdough beer battered salmon fish & chips. I was skeptical, as it seemed to be too good to be true - all my favorite things in one food item. But they were great, and I enjoyed the calamari (though I don't think I'm very picky as some in this department) and my dining partner's chicken fried steak as well. Really endeared me to both the restaurant and town, and hope to be back soon. Like Kathleen says, it's the kind of place you hope succeeds. Attached are crummy phone cam pics of the calamari and fish & chips.
Abu .... Cyrus is very expensive , although you can eat the limited bar menu and get a feel for the place that way . However , a better alternative is K & L Bistro in Sebastopol . The place is reasonable , delicious , fair with their corkage , and Michelin has rewarded their efforts with a star . Enjoy .
re: abu applesauce
Yeah, the menu there is great. The specialty is the pork braised in balsamic vinegar which can be a little vinegar-y to people but which is very very tasty.
Farmhouse I'd make the reservations as soon as you know. zazu, a week to get exactly what you want on a weekend...
I've never been to Cyrus, and I'm sure it's great....but it is VERY expensive. If you're over in west county you may want to try Underwood in Graton. It's not a far drive from the Farmhouse. It's delicious food and is a local favorite- especially of the RRV grape grower/winery owners. It has a very cool vibe, great wine list/cocktails and yummy food!
Dined at Mosaic, Zazu and Applewood Inn on a recent trip to Russian River Valley. I'd give the nudge to Mosaic. The young chef not only puts his heart and soul into the food, but also into the building, which he purchased and remodeled himself. It is a small restaurant with big flavors and caring service. After dinner the wait staff even spent considerable time with us advising on which local wineries to hit. We left very happy and certainly wishing that this gem of a place will achieve the success it deserves.
On a recent trip to Guerneville, we went to Mosaic and Zazu for dinner. (I had been to Zazu before). Mosaic is wonderful. Zazu is good too, but we loved Mosaic. My boyfriend had the wild salmon dinner- which I really enjoyed. I had duck with champagne grapes served with lentils and greens. Very good.
Cryus is pretty expensive. Sort of a junior French Laundry. My wife and I made it "affordable" by skimping on alcohol. It is more formal in feel than other Sonoma restaurants, which in general have a laid-back feeling (Zazu being a prime example). But Cyrus is not snooty. The staff are very friendly and cool. None of that your'e-not-worthy vibe. We'd go back in a heartbeat.
That said, we LOVED the Farmhouse Inn. It's a real jewel. The food was divine and not remotely pretentious or trendy. Simply perfect.
Zazu is the kind of place I'd go to once a month if I lived in the area - which alas I do not. It feels like an upscale roadhouse. Cool people and good grub.
re: Cheese Please
"Zazu is the kind of place I'd go to once a month if I lived in the area - which alas I do not. It feels like an upscale roadhouse. Cool people and good grub."
That is a truly great description of it. Perfect, actually.
From what I understand, Mosaic is more upscale (and more expensive) than Zazu. Although, I have heard very good things about the food there from a friend who has gone. My *understanding* is that it is a different type of atmosphere.
I can say, though, just from looking at Mosaic's wine list online, it is vastly inferior to Zazu's. (They probably allow BYO, though, so...) But, despite being a local hangout type place, Zazu's wine list is incredibly well thought out and priced. There are wines on it that require a 7+ year wait to get on to the mailing list, priced less than half of what they go for at auction (single vineyard Kosta Brownes fr well under $100, for example)
Maybe I should mention Carrs Drive-In too. (g
Underwood Bar & Bistro
9113 Graton Rd, Graton, CA 95444
Willow Wood Market Cafe
9020 Graton Rd, Graton, CA 95444
7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436
Applewood Inn & Restaurant
13555 HWY 116, Guerneville, CA 95446
15025 River Rd., Guerneville, CA 95446
3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
29 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
Carr's Drive In
6533 Covey Rd, Forestville, CA 95436
6675 Front Street, Forestville, CA 95436
119 S. Main St., Sebastopol, CA 95472
If you appreciate Michelin starred style restaurants you might be interested in Cyrus. Most guests seem to spend $200 to $500 per person... I've had better meals, at a similar caliber (7 course tasting menu with wine pairing etc., etc.,) for about 1/3 of what we spent there.
If you do go... I would definitely dissuade you from the tasting menu... the local repeat customers that I know all seem to think the 3 course menu is the best value... further the Chef's tasting menus can be erratic. If you look at the menu.. there seems to be 3 distinct styles of food served.... Contemporary Haute with Asian touches, Contemporary European & Modern American (elevated comfortfood)... in our tasting menu the Chef including dishes from all three inspirations... resulting in a confused progression & what I thought were bad wine pairings. Personally, I found the dishes with the Asian touches to be their best offering.. and that is what I would go back... and explore some of their small batch, quality sakes.
Another thing.... its got null ambiance & the dining room borders between boring & ugly... I normally wouldn't bring it up... but with the small fortune you invest at Cyrus its a real dissappointment.