I wasn't planning on leaving Healdsburg without at least a taste of Cyrus. I didn't have a reservation, but I was told the two of us could probably find a place at the bar, and the charming, attentive maitre d' made it happen.
And then things turned.
We were seated at the bar. After a while, the bartender asked us if we would like a drink. We said we would, and that we would be eating there. And then he started talking with some friends a few seats down the bar.
Well, to make a long experience short, we were ignored, condescended to, rushed, and ignored again, all the while forced to overhear the bartender's pretentious (and occasionally incorrect) opinions of wine along with declamations of his own martyred life. (Meanwhile, for all his complaints of being put upon, other servers in the restaurant seemed to be doing twice the work with half the noise.) It was the kind of evening you'd expect at a dive bar. But at least you'd be drinking. (We couldn't seem to get wine until around the third course.)
The food was good, occasionally great, presented with the chef's delicate, colorful plating. My first course, a green garlic and potato soup with a clump of extraordinary goat cheese and a perfect poached egg in the middle, was magnificent. My second course, a coil of pappardelle next to shreds of braised rabbit with little side dollop of cabbage was quite good. The scallops were on some tasty lentils, served with some cacophonous accompanying flavors -- uni, olive and orange. Duck-three-ways scored two out of three.
All in all, some lovely flavors, some worthy but not completely successful experiments, some streaks of brilliance, and a truly awful night.
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