Syrah closing

Chef Josh Silvers is looking toward a new chapter for his restaurant business

Chef Josh Silvers will close Petite Syrah (formerly known as Syrah) for good this fall. And at least part of the decision is based on Silvers’ own recent 40 pound weight loss.

” I decided Petite Syrah had run its course and it was time for a complete change.  I used to love cooking and eating foie gras and pork belly and very rich foods, but I put on a lot of weight and I got high blood pressure,” said Silvers. He’s among a number of local chefs who’ve lost a significant amount of weight recently (Mark Stark and Sondra Bernstein among them) in order to improve their health.

“Last year, I started working out and eating healthier food; granted I still indulge in rich food but with a lot more moderation.  My whole lifestyle changed and is more balanced.  I am very happy and much healthier.  High end food takes a lot of time and is expensive.  I eat much healthier now, and I want to share with the public how much better we all can feel by eating better and spending less,” said Silvers.

Silvers opened Syrah in Railroad Square 1999, becoming the go-to for Wine Country classics like foie gras, Liberty Duck and Dungeness Crab Cakes. Two years ago, after opening nearby Jackson’s (a more casual eatery focused on pizzas, burgers and cocktails), Silvers re-invented the restaurant as Petite Syrah. The tweezer-perfect small plates that included 63 degree eggs, pork belly and spec ravioli garnered critical approval, but failed to gain the kind of widespread audience of Syrah.

After several changes, Silvers has decided to close the Syrah chapter. But isn’t done with the location.

“At this time and in this country, I think our health and our budgets are extremely important to us.   I want to open a place where I can take my family and have everyday delicious comfort food.  My lifestyle has changed radically this last year, and I want to reflect that in my restaurant.  I have a family and I think Santa Rosa could use a restaurant where you can take your family and have everyday delicious comfort food with some options for special occasions (what I call my “cheat days),” said Silvers.

He’s mum on exactly what the new concept will entail or when it will open, but knowing Silvers, something’s definitely in the works. Until the closure, he’ll be featuring a number of “best of” menus. The final winemaker dinner, with J Winery, happens Aug. 2.