205 5th St., Santa Rosa (at Davis St.) in Railroad Square
Dinner: 7 nights per week, starting at 5:30
Lunch: Tuesday – Saturday 11:30am – 2pm
Reservations: strongly recommended
Price: About $50 for one dinner with one glass of wine. (Obviously, prices vary depending on what and how much you order. But, you can use this as a ballpark figure and compare it to the average prices for other restaurants on this site.)
Menu changes each month
Chef / Owner: Josh Silvers
Ambiance / Décor: artsy, urban
Outdoor Seating? Sort of…there are a few tables set outside of the restaurant yet still inside of the main mulit-use building of which the restaurant is a part. Sounds odd, but it’s cute.
Parking: Private lot in back.
Dress: The attire here is more stylish than at most Santa Rosa restaurants.
Kids?: The restaurant has an adult feel to it and I wouldn’t bring my kids. But, I have seen children here and the staff is very cordial and accommodating to them.
Since the menu changes so often (each month) it’s tough to give concrete recommendations for what to order. Here are a few ideas:
- For dinner, you can sample a four or seven-course chef’s tasting.
- Josh Silvers is known for his love of, and expertise with, foie gras, and there’s almost always some variation of the delicacy on the menu.
- The crab cakes are incredible.
- The restaurant is known for its cheese course which features three California artisan cheeses along with pepper, membrillo (a paste made out of quince), and local honey.
- Jerry Shriver of USA Today chose a dish from Syrah as one of the Top 20 he had in 2003: Pan-seared duck breast with crispy polenta cake, figs stuffed with duck liver mousse, and braised greens.
- Jeff Cox of the Press Democrat raves about the Lamb Shank.
- As you’d guess, a number of California Syrah’s are featured in the wine list.
- The restaurant owners also have the small wine shop next door, which they, very appropriately, named Petit Syrah.
- Silvers was the former sous chef at the popular Mustards Grill in Napa Valley.
- Syrah opened in 1999. But, lately, I’ve heard several people refer to it as the “new” restaurant. The only explanation I can come up with is that word-of-mouth about Syrah has finally reached the tipping point and now everybody is talking about it. And perhaps all this talk is giving some folks the impression that it’s new and hot. It’s not new. But, it is hot.
Syrah is Santa Rosa’s “It” restaurant. This is the place to go to see and be seen. But, it’s not just some trendy hangout. Syrah provides an excellent dining experience.
Of all the Santa Rosa restaurants, this is the main one that conjures up an urban sophistication. It’s artsy and stylish. Plus Syrah is located in the only hip-industrial section of the county. It’s on the eastern edge of Railroad Square, half a block away from the freeway. And if you stare in the right direction and squint, it almost looks like you’re in a city.
The chef / owner Josh Silvers is known as having a knack for blending together different—and seemingly incongruous —tastes and textures to form an altogether new mouthwatering experience, in which the sum is greater than its parts. One of the more common raves you’ll hear about the food goes along the lines of “I would have never thought that those ingredients would go together, but the dish was amazing / awesome / incredible …”
In a nutshell, the food is excellent, the ambiance is wonderful, the service is great. There’s really nothing more to say.