by Sarah on October 26, 2010

It’s day 2 of Fine Dining Week at UC and I just spent an entire hour of my life searching for a video or photograph of Chef Douglas Keane on Iron Chef America. I was SURE that he had been a contestant and had won. There is no evidence of this anywhere on the interwebs. I have imagined the whole thing.  I think I’ve lost my mind.  Like this is any surprise to any of you.

Speaking of, I took an “Autism Spectrum Test” on Facebook tonight.  Average for women is 16, with 35 possibly being Aspberger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism.  I’m a 29.  Gaaaah!  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Anyway, 10/10/10 was my birthday!  And my friend Melanie’s birthday!  If you will recall, we tried our darndest to get into the French Laundry but were unsuccessful.  We chose instead, to go to this dude’s restaurant.

~Chef Douglas Keane~

His is a little joint called Cyrus.  He’s only got 2 Michelin stars, but we decided that we could make do, if just for one night.

~The dining room at Cyrus~

To begin, we got this tower of canapes.  The top involves delicious clams, the center had little spring rolls and a ball(!) made with dextrose or something and was liquid in the center.  The bottom, with the little cups, held a savory broth of some mushroom.  Wow.  Oh, and the silver plates had little indents for the spoons to rest so they wouldn’t fall over.

Ball, close up!

This is the “amuse bouche”.  It was tuna (yellowfin?), and it was sitting on some gelee of some sort.

Here’s where our actual courses started.  Those others didn’t count.  So no calories, right?  Wrong?  Huh?

This is titled ‘Thai Lobster 2.0′.  I have no idea why.  So, from left.  Compressed cantaloupe (cantaloupe squished in a seal-a-meal so all the air is sucked out of it–yes, I asked) sitting atop avocado puree; Thai lobster with hearts of palm; cilantro dipping sauce; compressed cantaloupe.  Dear me, this was fantastic.  I’d like a serving right now.

Ridiculous richness.  Titled ‘Foie Gras Torchon with Fig and Pistachio, Buttermilk Biscuit’.  From left:  Foie gras log, fig brushed on the plate, a sliced fig piece, a jammy jello-y figgy thing, then the biscuit.

~Not pictured, Melanie’s ‘Abalone with Matsutake, Kinoko-Mushi Broth’.  I heard it was good.~

Here is the dueling corn course.  Alongside the regular tasting menu is a vegetarian tasting menu.  You could choose from either menu, but they recommend course-for-course because they try to keep the ingredients similar.

So:  ‘Sweet Corn and Black Truffle Risotto’.  Served with a foam.  You’re supposed to get a bit of each with each bite.  It was quite good–creamy, rich…kinda like mac ‘n cheese.  But with black truffles.

The meat version:  ‘Medai with Sweet Corn and Scallions, Lemon Verbena’.  The fish was light and delicate and practically exploded at the touch of my fork.  Underneath was creamed corn!  Not the stuff from the school cafeteria, either.  Sweet.  My course was lighter, so maybe better considering 10 courses but I think if I only got one I would’ve gone with the risotto.

Oh, hello there!  ‘Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly with Black Eyed Peas, Red Chard and Apples’.  Where have you been all my life?

Just look at it.  From bottom left:  Apple, bourbon glaze, cylinder of red chard, pork belly on top of fresh black eyed peas.  Chopped apple on top.

I wish I could’ve had two of them, so I could savor one and the other I could just shove in my mouth and eat all at once.  I’m a bit of a pig.

And fresh black eyed peas!  Never had ‘em before.  Nice texture, firm, not unlike edamame.

We’re back to the dueling entree.  There were two choices for the meat course.  Duck and cow.  She got duck.

‘Roasted Duck Breast with Spiced Confit Bun, Garlic Chive and Asian Pear’.  I got a bite of that confit bun…Melanie almost didn’t get it back. 

Ok.  Last savory course.  I’m beginning to hit a wall–seriously.

‘Striploin of Beef with Daikon, Ginger-Tomato Consomme’.  Those little green dots were wasabi oil.  Nice little bite once in a while.  The tiny pumpkin looking thing is a carrot.

And just when you thought you were about to explode…. the cheese cart!

And I’m sorry, I don’t remember what we got.

But between the 2 of us, we got 6 samples.  I couldn’t eat it all.  I kind of wanted to shove it in my purse, but the purse I brought was not washable.  It would’ve been quite pungent later.

Our birthday treat?  NY Egg Creams with warm chocolate chip cookies.

The cookies were served under a glass dome with a blown-up gold balloon attached to it.  Before serving, they deflated the balloon and the air was forced into the dome, where it blew powdered sugar and cocoa all over the cookies.   It was kind of surreal.

So that was dessert #1.

Dessert #2:  Passion Fruit Gelato, Miso Custard and Sesame Sable.  I’m going to admit that perhaps this wasn’t as successful as envisioned.

Dessert #3:  ‘Red Velvet Cake’.  Deconstructed, of course.  This dessert didn’t really do much for me either, I’m afraid.  I pretty much left it on the plate.  I didn’t really care very much because I was so dang full by then.




Salted caramel, handmade lollipops, jellies, shortbread.  No appetite.

Waiter dude saves the day, though.  Cyrus sends you home with a cute little gold box with packaged brownie inside….Dude puts all my candies inside the little box so I got to eat them one by one each evening and think fondly of my 10/10/10 dinner all week long.


PHONE 707.433.3311

Sadly, Cyrus is now closed.

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