The end of Cyrus. Any fond memories? [Healdsburg]
I went to Cyrus in the last couple weeks. My thoughts:
- Cyrus is cheaper than Atelier Crenn or Benu by some, but still comes close to double the cost of the mid-tier restaurants where I like to eat ($135 for the full eight-course meal).
- I loved the extras. I thought the amuse bouche concept of a taste for each of the senses was well executed, I appreciated their well-done bread choices and the delightful mignardises cart that came around at the end.
- The food, for a tasting menu in this caliber, is very enjoyable but not particularly memorable. Conventional ingredients, with conventional tastes and conventional plating (chorizo + scallops, lobster w/ thai dipping sauce etc.). If there was a taste that tied the meal together, I would say it was "unami" lots of savory and salty combinations. At the $75 pp price range/experience, it would have been a lovely meal, but for a Michelin two star tasting menu for $135, seemed a little lacking in creativity. I felt full at the end - despite feeling ravenously hungry from not having a proper lunch.
- The service was friendly and competent, and we appreciated the descriptions that came with ordering the wine paring. There was, however, a service hiccup at the beginning due to an emphasis on the caviar add-on.
From when we sat down, until when we ordered the tasting menu there was a 20 minute or more delay. When we sat down there was no greeting by our waiter, no menus were brought nor water served for a noticeable length in time. When he did appear, he brought the caviar tasting add-on option - not the full menu - and left. In about a minute, we realized we did not want the caviar, but had to wait to inform him of this - upon which he gave us the regular tasting menu and then disappeared for another almost 10 minutes. During that time, we had received water etc. so it wasn't a big deal, but seemed a rather big service gap, plus a somewhat pushy emphasis on the caviar add-on, for a Michelin two star.
- It's tragic they are closing as despite my criticisms, I believe Cyrus is a quality restaurant that rounded out the dinning scene in Healdsburg. If you are in the area, it is worth a visit before it closes. So far, however, Benu still tops my tasting menu experiences of this year.
We had a very similar experience to yours a couple of weeks ago. The service confused us. No real greeting from a captain or equivalent, so we could never figure out who to flag down (and we wanted to order a drink after that same caviar push at the start). The sommelier service was frankly bizarre. Both of them did some kind of stand and deliver sililoquy, which would have been great for Shakespeare, but didn't encourage any kind of dialogue about the wine (that said, there were some inspired pairings). The servers twice tried to remove our plates before we were done, even the dessert plates. Nick Peyton wordlessly removed a glass from our table without inquiring about our meal. Not at all what I expected. The food was fine but safe, and a couple of weeks later, I don't really remember it except that it did include more sour flavors than I expected. I wonder if their impending departure is proving to be a distraction already? I don't have another Cyrus experience to compare it to, but maybe others do.
Oh, the bread was exceptional (and I don't love bread).