noradeirdre | Oct 17, 200910:56 AM     10

My husband Tom and I drove out to Healdsburg after a day of wine tasting (I did most of the tasting, Tom did all of the driving). We got there early so that we could enjoy a pre-dinner beverage at one of our favorite breweries, Bear Republic. But the main attraction was our dinner at Cyrus, one that I was looking forward to quite a lot- it had had been enthusiastically recommended both here and by other acquaintances.

I ordered the 8-course tasting menu with the wine pairings; my husband got the 5-course vegetarian tasting menu. He's not a vegetarian, but he enjoys the vegetarian tastings, especially for a multi course meals that can get a little intense after a while.

We started with the chef's amuse bouche, which had a bite for each of the five tastes.

Sweet: butternut squash tarts
Sour: Gravenstein apple bubble
Bitter: Grapefruit Campari
Salty: Zucchini kimchee
Umami: mushroom/asian broth

We also had bread, butter, and salt. Two butters were lightly salted cow's milk and unsalted goat's milk. Two salts were Hawaiian red salt and Malden sea salt. I have never enjoyed butter and salt so much. They had many different types of bread that they brought around two or three times, as well.

My menu:

First Course: Seared Hamachi with Tomatoes, Melon, and Cucumber; Sesame-Balsamic.
Paired with Junmai Daiginjo Sake, Shimizu-No-Mai "Pure Dusk". Akita Japan

Second Course: Seared Fois Gras with Asian Pear Coulis and Lentils; Vanilla Bean Gastrique.
Paired with Riesling, Mt. Horrocks "Cordon Cut". Claire Valley, Australia 2008.

Third Course: Medai (Japanese Butterfish) with Corn and Scallions, Ginger-Shisho Dashi
Paired with Chablis, Daniel-Etienne Defaix "Ier Cru Les Lys" France 2000

Fourth Course: Duck Breast with Rosti Potatoes and Peppers, Sherry Jus
Paired with Pinot Noir, Lutea, Russian River Valley 2007

Fifth Course: Wagyu Strip Loin with Matsutake and Ponzu
Paired with Barbaresco, Ceretto "Asij" Piedmont Italy 2005

Sixth Course: Cheese! 6 cheeses: Pig's Leap Pave, goat's milk cheese from CA; Mt. Erebro, goat's milk cheese from Spain; Bohemian Dairy, Bo Peep, sheep's milk cheese from CA; Ossau Iraty, sheep's milk cheese from the French Pyranees; Cowgirl Creamery, Red Hawk, cow's milk cheese from CA; Fiscalini Brothers, Cheddar, cow's milk cheese from CA.
Paired with Eric Bordelet, Poire "Granit", Normandy, France, 2008

Seventh Course: Meyer Lemon Bar and "Cappuccino" (I don't remember why the cappuccino would have been in quotes, though.)
Paired with Moscato D'Asti, Saracco, Piedmont, Italy, 2007

Eighth Course: Polenta with Figs and Pears
Paired with Maury, Mas Amiel, Roussillion, France, 1990

Tom's vegetable tasting- he got 5 courses, as opposed to my 8.

First Course: Chilled Ratatouille Soup with Stuffed Squash Blossom and Pickled Ramps

Second Course: Silken Tofu with Tomatoes and Tsukemono, Cucumber-Shiso “Mojito”

Third Course: Kinoko Mushi (Mushrooms with Japanese broth- lots of delicious seasonal mushrooms)

Fourth Course: Chanterelle Tagliarini with Mustard Greens and Steamed Bantam Yolk

Fifth Course: Warm Gianduja Doughnuts with Caramelized Banana and Avocado

After dessert:

Chocolates/Mignardises. We ended up taking them home with us along with our take home treat, a chocolate walnut brownie.

According to my notes, there was a strawberry lemon ice served- I don't recall if it was mid meal or toward the end with the mignardises.

Honestly, the entire evening (9 days later) is just a blur of delicious food, wonderful service, and warm wonderful feelings. The interior is lit warmly and intimately, the service was cosseting and attentive. The food was amazing, the wine pairings were spot on and interesting. Although I don't have a lot of specific memories of the meal, it is because I was too immersed in enjoying it and the entire experience.

I do remember being really impressed by the 5 Taste Amuse, though- not only were they different taste profiles, but also very different textures.

We were both very, very happy at the end of the night. The atmosphere was a touch on the formal side for my husband's tastes, but he still enjoyed it immensely. (He gets a little uncomfortable with displays of wealth.)

Highly recommended.

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