10 Best Meals of 2008 – Meal #1

Cyrus 29 North Street, Healdsburg, CA, USA Phone 707.433.3311 Two Michelin Stars Cyrus, the Michelin 2-star in California’s Russian River wine country, was filled with patrons celebrating special life events – and we were no exception. It was our 10th anniversary. The level of service and quality of the food made for a truly memorable night, from the tiered presentation of tiny starter bites from each taste dimension (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami/savory) to the elegantly boxed brownies presented as a take-home goodie. We opted for the tasting menu, with an added course to sample chef Douglas Keane’s seared foie gras with peaches I got the feeling that whatever we requested would materialize, but after noting a few ingredients we preferred to avoid, we put ourselves in the hands of Keane and pastry chef Annie Clemmons. They orchestrated nine spectacular courses that drifted from spot prawns to tagliarini …to tairagai (like the lovechild of abalone and scallops) to duck breast to Wagyu beef, plus a cheese cart and two (thankfully) airy desserts, all followed by a candy cart full of winsome treats. Somewhere toward the end of it all, the waiter brought out warm chocolate chip cookies under a dome, which was attached to an inflated balloon… With the flick of a valve, the balloon deflated, sending fluffy bits of chocolate swirling in the dome like a chocoholic’s snow globe fantasy. An evening of pure pleasure that was worthy of our ten-year celebration on every level. See all the nine courses (plus 4 bonus courses) here.
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