Cyril’s

In the beginning, the wine gods created wineries. Then they created wineries with built-in wine bars, and then when they were good and jolly-tipsy, they created wineries with built-in wine bars with cheese counters curated by former Murray’s Cheese affineurs/American Cheese Society board members who write books with titles like The Guide to West Coast Cheese and The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice in their spare time. And at that point, everyone was like, hey, who needs light?!

The secret, sunny back patio paired with a bottle of something summery might cause you to accidentally spend an entire Saturday afternoon sipping rosé and eating goat gouda.

Well, nobody at this sexy little inner Southeast winery-wine bar-fromagerie, where low-slung chandeliers and votives emit just enough of a glow to allow you to choose from the 20 glass pours and admire your slate plate of Vendéen Bichonné and Abbaye de Belloc. Where the secret, sunny back patio paired with a bottle of something summery might cause you to accidentally spend an entire Saturday afternoon sipping rosé and eating goat gouda. Where a small, succinct cheese case peddles wheels of washed rinds, sticks of charcuterie, and small, perfect bundles of burrata, next to a tightly-curated collection of cheese-friendly snacks like Beecher’s crackers and Jacobsen salt and Chunky Pig caramel corn. And where Clay Pigeon Winery winemaker Michael Claypool and author/former affineur Sasha Davies preside deliciously over their respective passions, uniting them on a well-rounded menu that besides fine wine (obviously), highlights simple, satisfying foods like plump, still-warm blue cheese gougeres, rich Monger’s mac ‘n cheese, feta-studded farro and lentil salads, and summer vegetable tarts with feathery butter crusts.

Even if you don’t happen to be in the mood for wine and cheese (I don’t even know you), Cyril’s is nothing if not versatile—try the pickle plate, tender flank steak roll-up stuffed with harissa, capers, boiled egg and breadcrumbs, and homey desserts like homemade orange cardamom upside down cake, roasted nectarine tart, and drippy ice cream sandwiches made with baked-to-order dark chocolate walnut cookies and toasted coconut ice cream. Wine lovers who paired up with beer lovers can pacify them with the four local beers on tap, and wine and beer lovers who have friends who are teetotalers can buy them a pint of locally-brewed Salt, Fire and Time kombucha, also on tap. And people who have vowed never to let anything fermented touch their lips can get hopped up on Steven Smith tea.

For those philanthropic types who want to get more involved in meaningful causes, especially ones that involve them getting a chunk of Spring Brook Farm’s Reading Raclette when all is said and done, there’s even a monthly cheese CSC (Community Supported Cheese) club–Davies finds a wheel of something particularly divine, puts shares up for grabs on Kickstarter, and Portland cheese lovers unite to reach the prescribed price, then pick up their share of the spoils at the corresponding cheese party, which presumably, involves wine. And low light. And maybe cake. And the wine gods saw that all of the above was good.

Details

Cuisine: New American

Owner: Michael Claypool and Sasha Davies

Atmosphere: Very relaxed, cozy, rustic-chic space on a nondescript inner Southeast corner, that has the feel and smell of a wine cellar, but with plenty of windows, a cheese bar, and a mini-specialty market within

Outdoor seating: A beautiful, sail-shaded secret patio out back, with long communal tables and a handful of bistro tables

Best Seat: In poor weather, at the front window bar overlooking the SW hills; In fair weather, out on the secret patio

Noise Level: Quiet to Normal

Dress Code: Casual

Bring the Kids: No

Bathrooms: In the back of the dining room, past the cheese counter, by the door to the patio

Parking: Street parking is free and easy to find

Cocktails: No

Beer: Four Oregon beers, and a hard cider on tap ($3.50-$5)

Wine: 20 wines by the glass ($7-$15) or bottle ($27-$62)

Sake: No

Teetotalers: Salt, Fire & Time kombucha on tap, Mexican Coca Cola, iced tea

Coffee: No

Tea: Steven Smith, PG Tips

Ideal Meal: Cheese board, meat board, gougeres, farro salad, chickpea carrot salad, garlicky greens, stuffed flank steak, made-to-order ice cream sandwiches

Vegetarian Friendly: Yes

Good for the following occasions: Leisurely Lunch, Date Night, Dinner With Friends, Dining Solo, Wine & Cheese Break, Dining Alfresco

Group/Private Party Details: A variety of options depending on your group size and the style of event, call or email for more info

Catering: You can order platters of cheese, cured meats, olives, and nuts, plus savory tarts and sweet cakes, with 24 hours notice and a deposit

Reservations: No, but rarely is the dining room full, it's generally easy to walk in and get a table immediately

Take-Out: Yes, and there's a very well-curated little specialty market within for your cheese, charcuterie, wine, honey, crackers, salt, mustard and Chunky Pig caramel corn needs

Delivery: No

Catering: You can order platters of cheese, cured meats, olives, and nuts, plus savory tarts and sweet cakes, with 24 hours notice and a deposit