How Sweet It Is

Cyrano's is back -- dessert lovers everywhere, rejoice!

Cyrano's mission seems to be to cover as many bases as possible, and the restaurant's wine list is broader than one might expect from a restaurant that specializes in desserts. About sixteen wines are offered, all of them available by the glass ($4 to $8) or bottle ($18 to $40). For those who like to drink their dessert, five dessert wines are listed ($7 to $13 per glass, or half bottles, priced from $28 to $49), including three from Australia, a gewürztraminer from Washington state and a superb 1981 Hopler Noble Reserve Welschriesling from Austria. Finally, there are four ports and eight sparkling wines -- though none of the bubblies are offered by the glass; one, a Codorníu Brut, is available in a 187-milliliter bottle for $5). And I haven't even gotten to the (fair trade) coffee, cocoa and cider drink menu.

But you came for the dessert.

And not for the assortment of comparatively pedestrian-sounding sundaes and sorbets. You're here for the signature creations of Cyrano's gone by: cherries jubilee, bananas Cyrano, strawberries Cyrano -- all prepared tableside, for two ($18.95). Or for the Cleopatra, a mound of vanilla ice cream with sliced fresh strawberries and bananas tossed in, then covered with a hard shell of dark chocolate and more whipped cream than a human being should be permitted to consume ($8.95). Or the World's Fair Eclair, a split éclair in a preparation similar to the Cleopatra, minus the fruit (also $8.95).

A nose for success: Cyrano's woos diners with an extended menu and decadent desserts
Jennifer Silverberg
A nose for success: Cyrano's woos diners with an extended menu and decadent desserts

Location Info

Map

Cyrano's

603 E. Lockwood Ave.
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Webster Groves

Details

Clam chowder $3 (cup), $4 (bowl)
Bruschetta trio $6.95
Rare seared tuna $7.25
Herb-roasted chicken $9.95
World's Fair Eclair $8.95

314-963-3232. Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu.; 7 a.m.-midnight Fri. & Sat.

603 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves

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My tastes, however, gravitated toward the menu's "continental pastries." Carolyn Downs, the head pastry chef, employs somewhat of a Harvest-like seasonal approach, as evidenced by a pumpkin crème brûlée and a pecan pie with spiced cream. My favorites were an apple tarte tatin and the blackberry financier. The apple dish was a fine example of the French classic, essentially an upside-down apple pie, with dots of caramel and chocolate contributing flavor and visual appeal. The blackberry dessert consisted of a small round of rich butter cake surrounded by whole fresh blackberries sitting in a small pool of blackberry reduction -- the financier. These are luscious, flavorful endings indeed.

Resurrecting a St. Louis institution as highly regarded and richly remembered as Cyrano's is a big undertaking. Trying to offer as many choices as Cyrano's does with equal attention is risky as well. The Downses, along with an experienced management staff, have gotten started on the right foot, balancing price, quality, selection and atmosphere in order to accommodate patrons' memories while meeting new expectations.

As for those who believe in eating dessert first: I dare you.

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