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Cyrus in Healdsburg


nedhoey
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We have heard positive things and seen a few strongly positive reviews. We will be checking it out for ourselves in 2 weeks. I thought I would see if anyone could offer any tips or suggestions

or relate personal experiences that might prepare us and others to get the most from the visit. :smile:

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Did I do something wrong? Breach forum ettiquette in some way? Not one response!

Hey folks, should I take that to mean NO ONE has been to Cyrus? It's certainly reputed to be

a top new place in Sonoma Co. I guess I'll report what I find.

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Probably no ones been there. Out of the way unless your staying up there. 1.5 hours from the town of Sonoma, where I live and it's outta my price range I think. Sorry I can't help.

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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Bruce is right. We want to try it, but it means staying overnight in Healdsburg, because it's too far to come back to Yountville, especially after a big meal with a few glasses of wine. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I thought SOMEONE on this board had tried it and would answer you.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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We had dinner at Cyrus last night. Overall it was a very positive experience - the tasting menu is a well-thought-out progression of flavors and textures, and the wine pairings in general work very well with the dishes. As far as it being the best restaurant in Sonoma, if judged purely on the best dish of the night compared to the best dish at other Sonoma restaurants – it quite likely is the best in Sonoma.

There are a few things that in my mind put the Farmhouse Inn a step above Cyrus in the Sonoma restaurant scene. At the Farmhouse Inn you feel immediately relaxed and at home, the well-appointed space is warm and relaxing, and the staff is the polar opposite of pretension. The experience at Cyrus begins by finding street parking, walking up to a glass wall with tables against it and entering through a glass door that seems more like an emergency exit than it does an entrance to a restaurant of this caliber. Once inside after you provide your reservation details and walk past the large bar and wine storage you are led into a large formal dining room where a phone call is made to the kitchen to inform them that you have arrived and what table you are being seated at – a bit dramatic for my taste.

Once at your table a champagne and caviar cart arrives with an assortment of grower champagnes and a couple of better-known producers all available by the glass. I’m not a fan of restaurants hard-selling anything, and we would have been more likely to order a few glasses had we been asked rather than having ‘the cart’ brought out.

The restaurant has been open for five months; the usual leeway given to new establishments is no longer applicable here. The food in general is very good, and all of the dishes we were served were above average in both concept and execution. Service at our table was very professional, though it was clear that other tables in the room were experiencing some service issues. Twice food was brought to two-tops when one of the customers was away from the table. The door to the kitchen is a double glass door that slides open with an electric eye, which is a great way to keep the kitchen separated from the room while avoiding the traditional double-hinged door. Unfortunately there are cabinets on both sides of the door and a large service table in front of it so the staff queues at the door in both directions - not exactly poetry in motion.

The wine list is quite impressive. Jason Alexander, a Gary Danko alum, has managed to cover all the bases with the impressive list he’s assembled – label drinkers will be happy drinking their Opus One or current release first growths while others have the opportunity to pick from a wide range of new and old world producers at reasonable prices. The white wines are particularly impressive with a good cross-section of Germany, Alsace, and the Loire along with the usual suspects from Italy, Bordeaux, and Burgundy. Sonoma County is also well represented on the list.

Our menu was as follows:

Canapes

Amuse bouche

Blue fin tuna with cherry tomatoes and avocado, soy truffle vinaigrette

Seared foie gras with huckleberries, pecans and shallots

Pompano with tomato concasse, corn, sherry vinaigrette

Rabbit ravioli with hen of the woods mushrooms and goat cheese, cognac verjus

Veal loin with potato puree, morels and haricot verts

Artisanal and farmhouse cheese with complimenting breads and fruits

Ricotta and summer berry testing / Baked chocolate mousse, santa rosa plums, two meringues

Mignardises

Seasonality plays a strange role on the menu: the amuse was a smoky corn and cumin soup that couldn’t possibly be more seasonally appropriate, and corn with perfectly ripe tomatoes appeared throughout the meal, but I could have done without the spongy out of season morel mushrooms and the truffles which were either preserved winter truffles or bland summer truffles – either way they lent a hearty winter note to an otherwise summery menu. The highlights of the meal were the pompano and the rabbit. The pompano was perfectly cooked, and worked well with the sauce. The rabbit was outstanding, yet more proof that the cuter an animal is the more delicious it will taste – seared rabbit loin served on top of an open ravioli stuffed with braised rabbit with cracklings tossed in for good measure, really a top-notch dish.

For a special occasion while in the Sonoma County wine country, Cyrus is a great choice. With the addition of this establishment to the area, visitors have their choice for high-end restaurants (that also offer a place to stay). While my current recommendation for this type of restaurant in Sonoma County would be the Farmhouse Inn, it would be a shame to miss Cyrus.

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I've never been to Cyrus yet, and look forward to going, but I need to chime in about that Farmhouse Inn meal.

It seems we were at the same table but had vastly different takes on the meal. I remember the settings to be lovely, the service knowledgeable and very well done, and the wine list quite interesting, but the food was rather average. There was nothing that stood out as particularly delicous. What I had was rather vague in my memory, New Zealand lamb or something like that. That it was so vague is probably a bad sign....

What I remember pretty well, on the other hand, was that chicken demi-dueil, chicken stuffed with truffles under the skin and in the sauce, which I found utterly inedible. The quality of the truffle was pretty bad. I understand that it must have been tough to find truffles of good quality for a main course that was about $25 a plate, but if that was the case then it shouldn't have been on the menu in the first place.

The name of the place was the Farmhouse Inn, but I didn't feel that the ingredients they used were particularly pristine or fresh, not that they were bad, but they were certainly not great. It felt more like a mid-level San Francisco restaurant more than anything.

If I happened to be in the area, then I might stop by for lunch or something, but I'm not sure if it was worth the special trip up, not on account of the food alone.

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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John Mariani gives high praise to Cyrus.

The new Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, started earlier this year by restaurateur Nick Peyton and chef-partner Doug Keane, is emblematic of Sonoma's culinary arrival: its kitchen is the equal of Napa's illustrious French Laundry in Yountville.

Link

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=n...id=aLo78Br7M5nU

Robert R

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
Any further news on this place.  I just looked at their menu today and it looks awesome!

I ate there the other night, the night after quite a meal at The French Laundry.

Cyrus was very, very, very good. Is it TFL? No. But Cyrus has absolutely nothing to apologize for. It is an EXCELLENT restaurant by any standard, well deserving of the fawning praise it has received from Esquire and the San Francisco Chronicle. The food is 2 Michelin star quality if you ask me. I was very, very impressed by our pair of separate 7-course tasting menus with wine pairings. Of the 14 courses, there was only one we didn't really like flavor-wise, and the execution of every single dish was perfect. I HIGHLY recommend Cyrus.

Edited by vinobiondo (log)
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Do you still have the menu?  Any truly stand out dishes?

Here's what they gave us:

Canapes

---

Amuse Bouche

---

Ahi Tuna Tartare with Celery Root, Portabellas, Watermelon Radish, Black Perigord Truffles and Soy Vinaigrette

and

Thai Marinated Lobster, Avocado, Mango and Fresh Hearts of Palm

---

Seared Foie Gras with Warm Ginger Bread, Asian Pears and Mulled Cider

and

Tamarind Glazed Duck Confit with Daikon and Dates

---

Japanese Sea Bream wih Shiitakes, Bay Scallops and Pickled Watermelon Rind

and

Snapper with Crab, Pickled Ramps and Nira, Lemongrass-Coconut Milk Broth

---

Truffled Red Wine Risotto, Parmesan Broth with Shaved Black Perigord Truffles

and

Sweetbread and Chanterelle Gnocchi, Madeira Sauce with Shaved Black Perigord Truffles

---

Hoisin Glazed Squab, Black Bean-Rice Cake and Kumquats

and

Roasted Venison Loin with Red Wine Braised Cabbage, Gnocchi

---

Artisanal and Farmhouse Cheeses with Complementing Breads and Fruits

---

Champagne Caramel Custard and Five Citrus Tasting

and

Caramel Soup with Kettle Corn Sorbet and Chocolate Filigree

---

Mignardises

---------------

The squab, the snapper, the foie gras and the sweetbread/chanterelle gnocchi (in that order) were the standouts. The tuna tartare and lobster were in no way original but were quite delicious and well executed. The Japanese sea bream (with sake pairing) was the only real "miss" in the bunch.

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  • 4 weeks later...

vinobiondo.

thanks for that excellent report. did each of you have a different offering at each course? was this ordered? or was this the normal format?

thanks

u.e.

[edited: nevermind, i just looked at their online menu and i see that diners have a choice for each course. sorry.]

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

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  • 1 month later...

A recipe from Cyrus and a quick write-up was featured on the Today show website recently.

Try this truffled poussin for your next dinner

Find out how to make this succulent dish — from chef Douglas Keene of Cyrus Restaurant, in Healdsburg, Calif. — in your home kitchen

Gastronomic Fight Club - Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Foodies of Omaha - Discover the Best of Omaha

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  • 8 months later...

Been lazy and haven't posted this, but here goes...

Had dinner at Cyrus on the 17th. I was supposed to go with my dad who was visiting from SoCal, but he got sick last minute and my aunt happily volunteered to substitute. As a disclaimer, I'm a pastry/baker guy by trade and I have done a single's day stage at Cyrus. Both myself and my aunt are "locals". I live in Napa, she in Windsor.

Reservations were at 6:30, but got there early because I wanted to check out the bar. Had a great bourbon with honest-to-god Kentucky spring water as a back. Auntie had a pinot - both drinks ended up following us to the table. Before arriving I knew we were going to do the chef's menu with wine pairings, because I figured we might as well do it all the way and let them take care of us.

The champagne and caviar cart arrived and we passed on the caviar, but took a half glass of champagne. Don't recall the info on the champagne, but we toasted each other to the oncoming food and enjoyed every sip.

The canapes arrived and were yummy! A goat cheese grugere, some fried ball of something and a bit of smoked fish. Quickly devoured. The amuse was a piece of shrimp ceviche and was juicy and perfect.

They served bread and gave us the requisite Strauss organic butter (which was perfectly tempered - cold butter is a pet peeve of mine), along with Hawaiian Sea Salt and Maldon Salt. The Hawaiian salt was excellent. And needless to say the Della Fattoria bread was top notch.

Blue Fin Tuna with Cauliflower Cream, Uni and Pickled Ramps

Puligny-Montrachet, Paul Pernot, France 2005

This was a delight. Perfectly seared tuna. The cauliflower puree was excellently flavored and seasoned. Was also served with fried scallions.

Foie Gras Prepared Three Ways

Coteaux de Layon-chaume, Chateau de la Roulerie, Loire Valley, France 1996

and Tokaji Aszu, Royal Tokaji Wine Co. "5 Puttonyos", Hungary 2000

My only special request of the evening was the trio of foie and the risotto dish that was to come (have heard raves about both from friends). My aunt had never had foie before! and considering she's a bit of a foodie that was surprising. The first was a piece of torchon served with an apple curry compote. Nice and tasty. The second was seared foie with a gingerbread pudding (my aunt's favorite). And then the famous PB&J - pomegranante jelly, a peanut "butter" for lack of a better term, the foie pate and toasted brioche. That was my fave! I dreamed of a whole sandwich - drool.

As an aside, I was watching other tables and noticed the seared foie. If it was ordered as an individual dish it was spectacular. Your plate was put in front of you and a flaming pot of rum was brought out and poured around the foie. They then took a shaker and sprinkled something into the flame which sparkled a bit like fireworks, the flame was then extinguished with some sort of sauce or broth. Brilliant execution! I asked about it and they said it's something the chef had been thinking about for awhile. Looked beautiful!

Chorizo Crusted Shrimp with Chorizo and Clam Consomme

Gruner Veltliner, Nigl, Kremstal, Austria 2005

A major, major disappointment. We both sent the dish back. It was a large galapagos shrimp with chorizo on one side and it was coated with some sort of lobster glaze on the plate side. A few manila clams were around the plate and then the broth. It looked absolutely wonderful and I dug in. The shrimp was ridiculously overcooked. After a solid minute of chewing I finally got my inital bite swallowed with a hefty slurp from my water glass. This really changed the mood of the dinner and was something I did not expect - particularly at these prices. If I was working that station I know my chef would have had his foot firmly planted up my ass.... The server was apologetic and the manager came by a few moments later. He offered a slight explanation and offered to replace the course but we passed. It was a let down and we realized just how much food we had left to eat. We decided to shake it off and keep on going.

Truffled Red Wine Risotto, Parmesan Broth

Barolo, Massolino, Piedmont, Italy 2001

I've got a friend who has eaten here several times and has raved about this dish so I had to have it. Being in the industry I nit-pick everything. Taste each individual component and then try it as a whole. I dug into the risotto and was hit by butter. A lot of butter. I instantly thought "oh crap, another let down dish". I love risotto. I love a bit of acidity. I love the butter and creamy and richness. I didn't love this. BUT. Then I tried the dish as a whole with the parm broth and - WOW! Friggin' great.

Striploin of Waygu Beef and Glazed Beef Cheek with Rosti Potatoes, Hedgehog Mushrooms and Persillade, Bordelaise Sauce

Cabernet Sauvignon, Laurel Glen, Sonoma Mountain 2000

This was by far our favorite wine of the night. The beef was excellent. The cheek was just fall apart tender and eaten along with the potatoes and mushrooms? yum! The striploin was striploin. Good but not memorable. Personally, I think all this Waygu/Kobe stuff is waaaay overrated.

Then the cheese cart came by. Both my aunt and I are big cheese freaks, and having been a pastry chef, cheese is definitely in my domain. It also didn't hurt that for nearly two years I worked next to Dean & Deluca and had the chance to try most every cheese I could get my hands on. The cheese was served with pan forte, some spiced nuts and dried fruits. If I can remember correctly we had: Keane's Cheddar, Tomme Brebis, Cowgirl Sir Francis Drake (a new one to me), a Roquefort, a blue that was wrapped in chestnut leaves and soaked in pear brandy, and some other sheep's milk I can't remember. All of them quite tasty.

Blood Orange, Lime and Kumquat Napoleon, Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary Sorbet

Moscato d'Asti, La Spinetta "Bricco Quaglia", Piedmont, Italy 2005

This was my dessert. A total letdown. Basically it was two components - the napoleon and sorbet. The sorbet was good and served over a few segments of blood orange. The napoleon was disappointing. It was layers of phyllo that had thin slices of kumquat baked into them. The bottom layer was a blood orange semi freddo. Simply sucked. I could tell by the chalky taste that they used the exact same puree product I use at my work and that is simply unacceptable at an establishment of this caliber/price. The lime mousse was good. But after my initial few bites, my dessert was left uneaten.

Caramel Soup with Kettle Corn Sorbet and Chocolate Filigree

1991 Colheita Port, Niepoort

This was served to my aunt. They melt the filigree with the caramel soup and it all falls into the bowl. The sorbet was tasty and it was a good dessert.

Then mignardises. A tootsie roll kind of chocolate, a tasty bonbon and can't remember the rest.

All said and done with the drink at the bar, champagne, tasting menu with wine, foie supplement and tip our tab came to $610. It was an amazing experience, but not because of the food. The service was impeccable. Every little aspect was amazing and perfectly handled. And every person we dealt with - and there were a few - were charming and personable. Whomever handles the front of the house should give themselves a huge pat on the back. They really do set the standard for service. The wine was excellently matched and we enjoyed every single one - in particular the Sonoma Cab that kept getting better as we let it sit between sips. I was mildly surprised that most of our paired wines were either whites or sweet wines. Only 2 reds in the 8 poured.

The food? My aunt is perfectly happy to eat at Ravenous before she comes back to Cyrus. As for myself, with the one exception of the shrimp and the lackluster dessert it was executed perfectly - but uninspired. There weren't any components of any of the dishes that seemed uniquely original or something I couldn't find at any handful of any other "wine country" restaurants and at a considerably lesser price. I'm very glad we did the chef's menu. It was an education. I look forward to the next time I can eat at Cyrus, but would never do the tasting menu again. Now that I have an idea I know that my next experience will be much more informed. I'd happily stick to the 3 or 5 course and probably come out with a much better perception of this restaurant's abilities. Was it a grand and wonderful meal? Absolutely. We left feeling flush and fat and enjoyed our little walk down to and around the square. A great evening. But I won't gush over the place - just not yet.

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The food? My aunt is perfectly happy to eat at Ravenous before she comes back to Cyrus. As for myself, with the one exception of the shrimp and the lackluster dessert it was executed perfectly - but uninspired. There weren't any components of any of the dishes that seemed uniquely original or something I couldn't find at any handful of any other "wine country" restaurants and at a considerably lesser price. I'm very glad we did the chef's menu. It was an education. I look forward to the next time I can eat at Cyrus, but would never do the tasting menu again. Now that I have an idea I know that my next experience will be much more informed. I'd happily stick to the 3 or 5 course and probably come out with a much better perception of this restaurant's abilities. Was it a grand and wonderful meal? Absolutely. We left feeling flush and fat and enjoyed our little walk down to and around the square. A great evening. But I won't gush over the place - just not yet.

I am continually surprised that this place is getting the rave reviews (see Food & Wine magazine and many of the wine chat boards. Your review is considerably on par with most of the people I have spoken to about Cyrus: Uninspired.

Devin, thanks for taking one for the team on this one! I'll spend my money elsewhere, thanks.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

We ate at Cyrus about a month ago and it was an incredible meal. By far the best service we've ever experienced. We didn't get quite the "sales pitch" that some have mentioned (aside from the initial champagne and caviar cart drag-out). For the most part, the food was amazing and the wine pairings they selected were spot-on.

We both had the Lobster (w/ mango and hearts of palm) which was perfectly paired with a nice Alsatian Riesling. This seems like a bit of signature dish for Cyrus and for good reason. I hear that you can get basically the same thing at Chef Keane's other restaurant Market, but something tells me it's not the same.

I had the seared foie gras with the "pineapple baba au rhum", which as a previous poster has mentioned was like a mini fireworks show on your plate. They brought out the plate with the foie, pineapple and mini baba cake. Next they pour the rum sauce onto the plate and do a flambe on the plate. Finally they take a shaker with some sort of spice (maybe cinnamon?) in it and shake the spice over the flambe, which causes the spice to spark up. Pretty cool. This was paired with a (I'm thinking late-harvest) chenin blanc. Absolutely amazing pairing. My wife had the Truffled Red Wine Risotto with Parmesan Foam. This was paired with a Barolo and again a great pairing. I've tried a couple times to replicate that parmesan froth to no avail.

Everything after this was a little bit of a let down given how amazing the first two courses were. I had the duck with tamarind glazed baby parnsips and daikon with pinot. She had the crispy poussin with the same pinot that I was drinking (I forget what winery it was - I know it was a Sonoma Pinot). The duck was too sinewy for a restaurant of this caliber, in my opinion. Her poussin was pretty good, but seemed to "slow down" the meal from the previous two courses.

My final course was the rack of lamb with a merguez involtini, riso venere, and blood orange-caper sauce. I had this paired with a glass of ramey claret. This definitely picked up the meal nicely. The flavors on the plate were amazing, especially the merguez involtini. I could have eaten a million of those. The lamb was cooked PERFECTLY as well. My wife had the bacon wrapped pork loin with polenta and morels paired with another pinot. Good not great - in fact, a little dissapointing.

We both shared the dessert. We had the "Three Custards", which included the "Mousse of creme brulee", tarragon cheescake and some sort of rice pudding. The dessert was kinda "ehh" - not the greatest. The 1971 Spanish Port that we had with dessert made up for it.

All of this is nit-picking as this was an amazing meal and the best we've had in our young lives. Our server was the ideal of what a great server should be: professional, polite, affable, efficient and knowledgable. I can't wait to go back and try the tasting menu.

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