Around the BLOCK

Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA

Written By: Mary Bloch - Sep• 13•12

Cyrus is closing its doors at the end of October. The Le Mars Hotel in which it is housed bought out Douglas Keane’s longterm lease so it can replace Cyrus with a full-service hotel restaurant that offers room service. SO, I consider myself extremely lucky to have been in Healdsburg before the last meal.

We were in Sonoma celebrating a big anniversary with close friends who share the same anniversary year, and Cyrus fit the bill beautifully. It was an over-the-top experience, one which did justice to the special occasion we were toasting. But at $105 for a five course tasting menu or $135 for 8 courses, it was relatively reasonable compared to what is offered at restaurants like the French Laundry in Napa or Eleven Madison Park in New York City. Considering it was only $27 more for an additional 3 courses, we fell for the marketing ploy and went for the 8 courses. And because the cheese course is typically offered a la carte at $17, it seemed like the way to go. Great fun, but way too much food in the end. 

The wine pairing was $135 per person, so we opted for a bottle of wine instead, though it was not easy to find a reasonable price on the ridiculously extensive wine list. Given the size of the list, it was especially impressive that the sommelier didn’t miss a beat in eloquently describing every bottle about which we inquired.

The service throughout the evening was exemplary and not at all stuffy. Most of the servers were young, especially the sommelier who couldn’t have been thirty, and they were all, not surprisingly, superbly trained. But they were also helpful and engaging, which most definitely enhanced our enjoyment.

Before we had even ordered a drink, a server presented us with a spectacular tiered display of bites which represented each of the five tastes–sweet, bitter, salty, sour and umami. Then another server rolled a cart of champagne and caviar over to our table. It was an additional charge, so we didn’t partake of the caviar, but considering we were celebrating one of those milestone occasions, champagne was definitely in order.

We were then given an amuse bouche with tiny pearls that reminded us of dippin dots!

Since this post will soon be obsolete, I’ll let the photos do most of the talking.

Here’s the 8 course tasting menu, which doesn’t include the very impressive array of beautiful housemade breads.

Tasting Menu
“Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato”
or
Shima Aji Sashimi with Plums and Myoga, Ginger Shiso Dashi Gelée

Thai Lobster with Avocado and Melon
or
Chorizo Crusted Scallop with Sweet Corn and Lobster Froth
King Salmon with Chanterelles, Radish and Snap Peas, Tomato-Konbu Broth

Slow Cooked Egg with Miso and Morel Fondue, Buckwheat Pasta

Crispy Chicken Thigh with Potato Puree, Black Eyed Peas, Truffle Vinaigrette
or
Australian Wagyu Beef with Mung Sprouts, Kumquats and Fermented Black Beans

Artisanal and Farmhouse Cheeses Presented Tableside

Goat Milk Panna Cotta with Rhubarb, Parsley-Lime Ice

Yuzu Crémeux, Bergamot Meringue and Cream Cheese Ice Cream
or
Milk Chocolate and Macadamia Bar with Compressed Peaches, Rice Sherbet

We picked off some of the dishes below as well and substituted them for a few that are on the “basic” tasting menu, just so we could experience the widest possible range of tastes.

Vegetarian Tasting Menu
Chilled Yellow Pepper and Basil Soup with Zucchini and Almonds

Compressed and Pickled Watermelon with Ume Budo and Sea Beans

Tofu with Tomato Ginger Compote, Walnuts and Cilantro

Steamed Eggplant Dumpling with Tat Soi, Smoked Shiitake Broth

Sweet Corn and Truffle Risotto, Taleggio

Artisanal and Farmhouse Cheeses Presented Tableside

Goat Milk Panna Cotta with Rhubarb, Parsley-Lime Ice

Yuzu Crémeux, Bergamot Meringue and Cream Cheese Ice Cream
or
Milk Chocolate and Macadamia Bar with Compressed Peaches

The lobster and risotto dishes were my favorites, with intense and stunning flavors.

But we weren’t done. For our anniversary, a server brought us “milk and cookies”–homemade chocolate cookies with an old-fashioned chocolate soda. AND hot glazed donut bites. AND a cart of chocolates and other final bites.

Phew. A very memorable evening all the way around, capped off by a very long walk.

Cyrus on Urbanspoon

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