Cyrus: A Symphony of Flavors
When my friend Kavita first suggested we go to Cyrus,being from the other end of the world,I had no idea about the gastronomic journey that was in store for me.Cyrus has been named the best new restaurant of the decade by Zagat,has two Michelin stars and several awards to its credit.It's a classy,sophisticated but not stuffy (as Brendan puts it)! It serves luxury contemporary cuisine and is the brainchild of master chef Douglas Keane and Maitre d' Nick Peyton who met at the restaurant Gary Danko.Set in the idyllic surroundings of three valleys,it is the perfect place for fine dining in Healdsburg,Sonoma Wine Country with the Napa Valley not far away.
Here Douglas Keane comes forth as a painter and magician and Nick Peyton as the conductor of a magnificent orchestra and together they produce an unforgettable experience! We were guided into the restaurant by Nick himself,past the bar into the elegant dining area.
Then began the journey.The service was impeccable.The stewards and stewardesses came in one after another so we knew everyone eventually.They were warm,well-informed and courteous.Andrew guided us through our choices and we all choose the 5 course menu instead of 8 ....good thing cos there were so full at the end of the 5 course itself! My hosts Kavita and Brendan have been here before and love the place.A change from the previous menu is that they now have a separate vegetarian menu too.They also asked about any special allergies.
The handsome and pleasant sommelier Chase Du Bay discussed wine pairing with us and recommended some wonderful wines.They have them from all over the world apparently.
They placed two types of butter: (the usual cow milk and the goat milk) and two types of salt at the table: conventional and red Hawaiian.The freshly baked bread basket arrived with brioche which was soft.Brendan loved the bacon and cheddar bread which exploded with flavor with every bite and Kavita liked the olive and feta bread.
The canapes and amuse bouche arrived.Amuse bouche are single hors d'oeuvres which the chef chooses for you.They had separate ones for Kavita cos she was vegetarian.We had some delectable clams,strawberries,sashimi and a vegetable trio.Great start.....
Andrew showed us a box containing a huge black Australian truffle.Shavings can be added to meals for those that too but it comes at a price...an expensive one...These are fruits of fungi or something like underground mushrooms.They are dug up by pigs or dogs.The latter are preferred as pigs tend to eat the truffles whereas dogs don't.
We started with the first course.Douglas Keane,you are a genius!
The Thai Lobster with Nam Pla was juicy,tender and had the right amount of salt.There was an avocado mousse and a mint sauce to complement it.For me,that was the best dish of the evening.
For the next course I chose Scallop with Rice Noodles and Pickled Green Papaya and Coconut Milk froth.Yes,they use molecular gastronomy and how.Molecular Gastronomy is the study of physics and chemistry of a dish so that the chef can experiment with various techniques,flavors and textures and produce new combinations to surprise and satisfy his guests.This was the only time that I have liked scallop as it was perfectly cooked and the flavor had infused till its core.
Brendan liked his Foie Gras Torchon with Cherry and Pistachio and Buttermilk biscuit.The rich, fatty flavor was complemented by the sweetness of the cherry and saltiness and tartness of the pistachio and biscuit.Kavita opted for Sugar Snap Peas,Radish Kimchee and Lychees.She too loved it.Though portions look small,in the end you realise that it all adds up to a lot...slowly but surely!
The menu was wellplanned.No ingredient was repeated.
Brendan and I had the Turbot next which is a flatfish found in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.It was delicately flavored and melted in my mouth....hmmmnnn.....It was served with sweet corn and scallions and lemon verbena.
Kavita had the sweet corn and black truffle risotto.
We were given mandarin sorbet lollipops to cleanse our palate.
We then had the Sirloin of Beef in Ginger-Tomato Broth flavored with Wasabi.I asked for mine to be well done though usually they serve it medium-rare.Loved it.Keene uses Asian flavors in many dishes which is why acidic wines are paired with them.
Kavita used the tongs to draw out the Agedashi Tofu with Summer Squash and Sea Beans.It was flavorful.
We were so full by then that we had no idea how we would ever have the dessert but when it arrived there was no stopping us.I had the Tiramisu which means pick-me-up....I quickly did...it was perfect.....teamed with express gelato and toffee crunch,both my favorites
Kavita had the same and was so happy.
Kavita had the same and was so happy.
We also tried Brendan's Red Velvet Cake....seen around the time of 4th of July because of its color.Years ago beet was used but now food color suffices.It was delicious,not dry and went well with the accompanying sauce.
It didn't stop there.Andrew arrived with the chocolate trolley with coconut jujubes,guava sweets and what not.
Finally he gave us the mignardises which in this case were brownies with macadamia nuts.....but he was considerate....it read "tomorrow" on the box!! :)
Thanks to Brendan and Kavita,I had a wonderful and unforgettable experience.Every dish was a work of art into which they had poured their heart.We could taste each ingredient distinctly!Eating here was a complete sensual experience!
Douglas and Nick,take a bow! Just one suggestion......you need to expand.....your clientele is sure to increase by leaps and bounds!!!
CYRUS,North St,Healdsburg,CA 95448,USA