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Oct 17, 2009 10:56 AM

Cyrus review (Healdsburg CA)

My husband Tom and I drove out to Healdsburg after a day of wine tasting (I did most of the tasting, Tom did all of the driving). We got there early so that we could enjoy a pre-dinner beverage at one of our favorite breweries, Bear Republic. But the main attraction was our dinner at Cyrus, one that I was looking forward to quite a lot- it had had been enthusiastically recommended both here and by other acquaintances.

I ordered the 8-course tasting menu with the wine pairings; my husband got the 5-course vegetarian tasting menu. He's not a vegetarian, but he enjoys the vegetarian tastings, especially for a multi course meals that can get a little intense after a while.

We started with the chef's amuse bouche, which had a bite for each of the five tastes.

Sweet: butternut squash tarts
Sour: Gravenstein apple bubble
Bitter: Grapefruit Campari
Salty: Zucchini kimchee
Umami: mushroom/asian broth

We also had bread, butter, and salt. Two butters were lightly salted cow's milk and unsalted goat's milk. Two salts were Hawaiian red salt and Malden sea salt. I have never enjoyed butter and salt so much. They had many different types of bread that they brought around two or three times, as well.

My menu:

First Course: Seared Hamachi with Tomatoes, Melon, and Cucumber; Sesame-Balsamic.
Paired with Junmai Daiginjo Sake, Shimizu-No-Mai "Pure Dusk". Akita Japan

Second Course: Seared Fois Gras with Asian Pear Coulis and Lentils; Vanilla Bean Gastrique.
Paired with Riesling, Mt. Horrocks "Cordon Cut". Claire Valley, Australia 2008.

Third Course: Medai (Japanese Butterfish) with Corn and Scallions, Ginger-Shisho Dashi
Paired with Chablis, Daniel-Etienne Defaix "Ier Cru Les Lys" France 2000

Fourth Course: Duck Breast with Rosti Potatoes and Peppers, Sherry Jus
Paired with Pinot Noir, Lutea, Russian River Valley 2007

Fifth Course: Wagyu Strip Loin with Matsutake and Ponzu
Paired with Barbaresco, Ceretto "Asij" Piedmont Italy 2005

Sixth Course: Cheese! 6 cheeses: Pig's Leap Pave, goat's milk cheese from CA; Mt. Erebro, goat's milk cheese from Spain; Bohemian Dairy, Bo Peep, sheep's milk cheese from CA; Ossau Iraty, sheep's milk cheese from the French Pyranees; Cowgirl Creamery, Red Hawk, cow's milk cheese from CA; Fiscalini Brothers, Cheddar, cow's milk cheese from CA.
Paired with Eric Bordelet, Poire "Granit", Normandy, France, 2008

Seventh Course: Meyer Lemon Bar and "Cappuccino" (I don't remember why the cappuccino would have been in quotes, though.)
Paired with Moscato D'Asti, Saracco, Piedmont, Italy, 2007

Eighth Course: Polenta with Figs and Pears
Paired with Maury, Mas Amiel, Roussillion, France, 1990

Tom's vegetable tasting- he got 5 courses, as opposed to my 8.

First Course: Chilled Ratatouille Soup with Stuffed Squash Blossom and Pickled Ramps

Second Course: Silken Tofu with Tomatoes and Tsukemono, Cucumber-Shiso “Mojito”

Third Course: Kinoko Mushi (Mushrooms with Japanese broth- lots of delicious seasonal mushrooms)

Fourth Course: Chanterelle Tagliarini with Mustard Greens and Steamed Bantam Yolk

Fifth Course: Warm Gianduja Doughnuts with Caramelized Banana and Avocado

After dessert:

Chocolates/Mignardises. We ended up taking them home with us along with our take home treat, a chocolate walnut brownie.

According to my notes, there was a strawberry lemon ice served- I don't recall if it was mid meal or toward the end with the mignardises.

Honestly, the entire evening (9 days later) is just a blur of delicious food, wonderful service, and warm wonderful feelings. The interior is lit warmly and intimately, the service was cosseting and attentive. The food was amazing, the wine pairings were spot on and interesting. Although I don't have a lot of specific memories of the meal, it is because I was too immersed in enjoying it and the entire experience.

I do remember being really impressed by the 5 Taste Amuse, though- not only were they different taste profiles, but also very different textures.

We were both very, very happy at the end of the night. The atmosphere was a touch on the formal side for my husband's tastes, but he still enjoyed it immensely. (He gets a little uncomfortable with displays of wealth.)

Highly recommended.

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  1. I'm really enjoying your reports!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Thanks! I worry that I'm running off at the mouth too much, so thanks for the positive feedback. :-)

    2. Please continue to "run off at the mouth". I'm drooling vicariously. Loved your report on The French Laundry. adam

      1 Reply
      1. It sounds as if you've had wonderful experiences on your trip out here! I'm sure the food was wonderful but I'm sure your attitude helped make this culinary adventure the best it could be. Coming back soon?

        1. curious if you could expand a bit on what you might recall on the wine pairings.

          just returned from cyrus and i'm mulling over the experience. my meal was very similar but i opted for a truncated version of the grand wine pairing selection and was severely disappointed. i found the pairings to be poor and the wines on offer too young to properly show (2007's across the board except for the port). i will hopefully get an extended report out soon.

          1 Reply
          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Honestly, I'm such a n00b with wines and wine pairings, I can't really speak intelligently to that point. I had no issues with the wines or the pairings.

          2. Great review. I wish I could give you a list of places to go just to read your reports! Speaking of which, where are you going next?

            2 Replies
            1. re: dhoffman1421

              Thanks! Actually, we are going to be in New Orleans in December for Christmas, and I hope to have a few good meals while there. I have a reservation at August for Christmas night and also for Sunday brunch at Commander's Palace. Other than that I'm going to see what's what with the Reveillon menus.

              1. re: noradeirdre

                we have plans to dine at Cyrus next june and loved reading your review. since you've mentioned new orleans, look at Bayona as well -- one of my favorites!

                My Favorite Cafe
                2110 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121