Some advice is sorely needed:
My family (a party of 7) is planning a trip to Guerneville. While there, we were hoping to finally make it to Cyrus. Most of my relatives haven't ever experienced a French tasting menu, so I thought we'd do it right the first time.
I called for a reservation and was told we had two alternatives: book the private room and be subject to a $2000 minimum, or split up into two completely separate parties. They didn't even have tables available at the same time, only half an hour apart (I think to really drive home the point that we wouldn't be sitting near each other and allowed to cross talk, which I understand).
Seeing as how the tasting menu is $120, a $2000 minimum is slightly unreasonable for us since half of us are non drinkers.
But since this is a family reunion and the first time for a lot of them to have a tasting menu, splitting up a table of 7 also seems like a crying shame.
I'm planning to call and talk to the manager and see if he/she'll make an exception just this once. Their largest table is for a party of 6; but since it's a Thursday night maybe it won't be impossible?
Alternatively, what other places in the area are really worth going to? Ambiance and food are equally important. I kind of need a "wow" restaurant, even if it's not a tasting menu kind of place. It can't just be dinner in the country; it has to wow. TIA!
You'll have to excuse me, but I seriously think a high-end tasting menu is the wrong venue for a tasting menu of that caliber. Folks are going to be into catching up with each other more than what is being served and for a reunion. I would think everyone is going to be concentrating on each other instead of what they are eating.
I'd go with something more traditional that will still wow; General's Daughter in Sonoma is a good choice.
I loved Cyrus but it is unfortunate that they are not willing to accomodate you. I agree with Carrie, but I have a feeling that you know your family better than she does. So if it is this kind of menu, look at Meadowood. It is over the hills in St. Helena but it is almost as good and has a tasting menu. The service I had there was impeccable. I highly recommend it. If you are willing to step down a notch more, try Syrah in Santa Rosa. Very good food with a very laid back atmosphere. I think it's the perfect kind of place for a reunion event.
If you want to stay close to guerneville, have you tried Farmhouse Inn? Look at their menu online. They do not do a tasting menu, but have a very refined menu, fabulous wine list and gorgeous views...
I haven't eaten at Cyrus yet, but wish you luck - I hope to hear that Cyrus could accommodate a party of 7, which doesn't seem unreasonable! But if not, I definitely second ljero's recommendation of Farmhouse Inn. I've eaten there several times, and it has always been a real "wow" restaurant for me. It is lovely and charming in every way.