Friday, October 9, 2009

Wine Country - Cyrus, Healdsburg

After a late afternoon swim and a shower, they felt refreshed and headed back out to downtown Healdsburg to have their third Michelin starred dinner in as many days. It was almost dusk and most of the shops were closed with not a huge amount human traffic. A woman went past and somehow they got into a quick chat with her. As soon as, she realized that they were going to have dinner in Cyrus, she started raving about the place. The Healdsburg locals are probably quite proud of their famous restaurant.

Cyrus is located inside Le Mars Hotel right at the heart of Healdsburg downtown and you can read all the rave reviews on its own web site. While not as fiendishly difficult to reserve a table as the French Laundry, it was full house the night they dined there. The dress code was not as strict either, but most of the diners dressed up for the occasion. The decor was a bit aloof but the staff were mostly approachable and very knowledgeable as they found out during dinner.

It's difficult not to make comparison between the two restaurants as they were dining there almost back to back. Perhaps, it was the season, some of the theme dishes, ingredients and even the style were quite similar between the two. You might care to compare the two attached menus. Of course, most foodies would not line up their restaurants visit in such a way.

Overall, all the dishes were delicious and perfectly cooked. The desserts were particularly good and so was the bread selection (but then Robuchon in Macau is still the one to beat in this category). The cheese trolley offered a mesmerized array of choices made easy only the "cheese sommelier". The "rare and fine" wine pairing was definitely a worthy education process and experience.

People debate if these expensive restaurants are worth visiting. If they know the number of ingredients that go into each dish and the number of steps in the production of each, their question might turn into, "How do these restaurants turn a profit?" Especially if you have tried making some of these concoctions at home.

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