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Jun 23, 2011 07:46 PM

Cyrus or Meadowood

Will be in Napa Valley over my birthday and cannot choose between these two. Have been to Cyrus before and really liked it. Thought we would like to go again because last time I was not feeling good when we ate there and it tarnished it a little.
Would also like to visit Meadowood. Very interested in the cuisine there. But, am a little turned off by the price of it's tasting menu. It's costing roughly the same or more than French Laundry. And I am hearing it is not quite as good as TFL. We will be eating at TFL so I am leaning away from Meadowood somewhat.

It is a "must go"? How does Meadowood compare to Cyrus?

The other thought is to do neither and see what else is suggested. Maybe something nice but lower-key, like Redd.

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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    1. re: pauliface

      Yeah, I read that. I guess I take that as a vote for Cyrus huh? ;)

    2. We just celebrated an special occasion at Meadowood and had a beyond fabulous experience. From the food to the wines to the service to the room. Truly fantastic. I would go into detail, but it would be exhaustive as we had seemingly everything. Much more interesting than the French Laundry or Cyrus, in my opinon

      The French Laundry
      6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

      1 Reply
      1. re: frontzNskrontz

        I'm glad someone had a different kind of experience than we did. Perhaps they're just not consistent.

        Can you at least describe a couple of the highlights, food-wise?
        I'd like to know a little about what's it's like when they're on their game.

      2. I gave an enthusiastic thumbs up for Meadowood on the Chowhound thread linked to above. Felt the meal was excellent, almost on par with French Laundry meal we had the night before, excellent food but service and scale were slightly less. Of the 20-25 or so courses total we had at the two restaurants the two most memorable were the two from Meadowood I described on that post (steamed langoustine wrapped in scallop carpaccio wrapped in tapioca rice paper; cool canape I won't describe again, read the post if interested). I would not have thought we'd remember Meadowood courses before FL courses but that's the way it worked out.

        Haven't dined at Cyrus, we looked into it but the drive was over an hour from our hotel so we decided to wait for another trip. Two people I know who dined there said it was excellent, so I assume it's of similar caliber.

        If you want to cast a wider net for info and opinions rather than just the few Chowhounds who have responded I'd suggest checking the Opentable reviews. These have the advantages of offering a much wider sample size (over 300 for these 3 restos), and also all reviews are for the past 6 months as old ones roll off, so you are getting somewhat recent info.

        For grins (we are considering another trip to Napa and/or Sonoma this fall) I just checked the OT numbers as of today (they can be slightly different tomorrow as old reviews drop off and new ones are added). Here's a summary, plus the Gayot number (since it's on the OT page already).

        Meadowood 17/20 gayot

        Opentable 4.6/5.0
        81% 'excellent' (5*) 89/110 reviews
        10% 'average or lower' ie, 1-3* (11/110)

        Cyrus 18/20 gayot

        Opentable 4.7/5.0
        78% 'excellent' (5*) 163/210 reviews
        10% 'average or lower' ie, 1-3* (16/163)

        French Laundry 19/20 gayot

        Opentable 4.8/5.0
        79% 'excellent' (5*) 50/63 reviews
        2% 'average' ie, 1-3* (1/63)

        So basically Michelin likes French Laundry and then Meadowood best (3*), then Cyrus (2*). Gayot ranks them FL, then Cyrus, then Meadowood (19/20, 18/20, 17/20), and the overall Opentable scores also rank them in the same order, from 4.8 - 4.6.

        The Opentable rankings for 'excellent' are real close, all 3 are 78-80% with a slight edge to Meadowood above even FL, which is a bit of a surprise.

        One impression I had of Meadowood is that the chef is not afraid to take chances, more so than Tim at French Laundry. If successful then you get some really interesting dishes but I can see that if he misses even a little bit that a course could fall flat. When we dined there last winter (I think Jan, maybe Feb) there were no misses that night. Looking forward to trying it again this fall.

        The French Laundry
        6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

        1 Reply
        1. re: willyum

          Cyrus. NIck Peyton is an institution. His presence keeps the meal feeling like you're dining as a guest in someone's home - until the bill arrives, of course. Terrible loss. I'm making reservations now.