The Black Cypress: the coveted date spot

KYLE TUCKER | The Daily Evergreen
The Black Cypress is a popular date spot in Pullman.

LAUREN ELLENBECKER, Mint reporter

When walking through downtown Pullman, placed among several charming brick buildings lies The Black Cypress – a bistro that serves a variety of food with hints of French and Mediterranean cuisine. The Black Cypress offers an inviting atmosphere with warm tones, rustic furniture and a passionate staff.

Passion for exceeding expectations is portrayed in the restaurant’s name: The Black Cypress. The owner of this bistro, Nick Pitsilionis, described how cypress trees are symbols of ascension and point toward the sky, therefore casting souls up into heaven.

In some mythology, these trees may have a dark and negative connotation because of their association of being in graveyards. However, this perspective changes depending on each individual’s interpretation of the folklore. In Pitsilionis’s case, he sees cypress trees as a positive symbol.

“I decided to interpret this as a reason to go forward and face the storm – that’s why I named the restaurant after this specific tree,” Pitsilionis said.

The restaurant offers a menu with a variety of elements from Mediterranean, Italian and French cuisine, among others. Pitsilionis said the main goal of The Black Cypress is to provide the Palouse with wholesome food. And this doesn’t go unnoticed, especially around this time of the year.

In mid-January, The Black Cypress starts accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day. Dinner reservations usually fill up in one week.

The eagerness to reserve a spot for a Valentine’s dinner is not uncommon, thanks to Pitsilionis’s unique approach regarding the guests’ experience at his restaurant.

KYLE TUCKER | The Daily Evergreen
The Black Cypress is a popular date spot in Pullman.

On Valentine’s Day, rather than having an à la carte spread, The Black Cypress offers a set menu. This is a complete meal that gives unique opportunities, as opposed to just ordering random items, because of its ability to tell a story through cuisine, Pitsilionis said.

He explained that a set menu can follow a theme or “suggestion,” therefore creating a narrative throughout the meal. By implementing this themed flavor profile, a story can be created to make a person’s dining experience more enchanting and memorable.

“Doing this allows us to be more artistic and engaging in some ways,” Pitsilionis said.

For example, by beginning with a flavor profile, a person’s dining experience can be full of surprises with flavors appearing in the beginning of a meal and also reemerging later on – possibly for the dessert portion of the course, Pitsilionis said.

With Valentine’s being a celebration of love, this theme is certain to makes its way into the set menu. And because those elements are fun to play with, the chefs can be over the top when creating a narration through a set menu, Pitsilionis said.

“We like to focus on the guests and their special day,” he said. “They can enjoy themselves and focus on the food – it’s more fun and exciting.”