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Jun 12, 2010 09:51 AM

Cyrus or Syrah...

...before stating the expected that Cyrus is better, the questions is more how much better and what is the quality of Syrah?

We have dinner reservations at both next weekend for our 30th b-days. The timing at Syrah is better for our schedule and since we live in Petaluma, we figure whichever we don't go to now, we'll go to later for some other occasion. I guess more so, we'd just like to have a nice memorable meal for our b-day. We've eaten at plenty of wonderful places (FL, Masa, Chez TJ etc.) so our standards for a memorable meal are less about the pomp and circumstance of a fancy dinner and not even a perfectly seared piece of fish (though both are obviously appreciated and even expected for such an occasion) but more someone doing interesting things with food - i.e. creating flavors and food combinations not had before.

With that in mind, can Syrah live up? The menu looks pretty good and I've heard minimal but good things about it. Or does it more make sense to slightly inconvenience ourselves time was and go to Cyrus?

Thanks as always,


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  1. I think you should opt for the slight inconvenience and head to Cyrus. I thought that Syrah was solid (and I also remember thinking that the menu looked fantastic), but just wasn't a truly memorable meal. I thought it failed to separate itself from a handful of SF restaurants in the same genre. I had the seared foie gras and a bone-in ribeye and felt both dishes were a tad uninspired. I do remember that the wine list was fantastic and offered a ton of quirky Sonoma wines at reasonable prices. I actually very much prefer Willi's Wine Bar in Santa Rosa to Syrah. I love everything they're doing at Willi's.

    If you do end up going to Syrah, the one thing you ABSOLUTELY MUST DO is call them beforehand and tell them you want to sit in the main room and NOT in the side dining area. Our table was literally in the walkway in that strip mall looking area attached to the restaurant. Not good. Not good at all.

    Willi's Wine Bar
    4404 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

    Syrah - Now Petite Syrah
    205 Fifth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

    2 Replies
    1. re: PulledPork

      Thanks for the thoughts - I think that's how we're leaning. Agree that Willi's Wine Bar is gem up this way. Sadly not as many great restaurants in Sonoma, compared to Napa or SF...

      1. re: bennyscuba

        "Sadly not as many great restaurants in Sonoma, compared to Napa or SF..."

        Sorry, can't let that one slip by. Especially since I'm not much of the "all bacon, all the time" philosophy at Willi's . . . but my name's not "Pulled Pork". :-P

        Cyrus is your place. Have you considered Saturday lunch instead of dinner to make the drive home easier? Sure, not quite as celebratory at that hour, but you can have a more private celebration at home.

        Special occasion restaurants a tad closer than Healdsburg would be Mirepoix in Windsor or Farmhouse Inn in Forestville. Mirepoix is supposed to have upped its game recently, but i've not been there yet since the change.

        Restaurant Mirepoix
        275 Windsor River Rd, Windsor, CA 95492

        Farmhouse Inn
        7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436

        Cyrus Restaurant
        29 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448