320 Village Ln.
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Executive Chef / Proprietor: David Kinch
I owe complete credit to Pim (http://chezpim.typepad.com/) for introducing me to Manresa. Knowing it is always better to go to a restaurant as a newbie with someone who is known is definitely the way to go. My claim to fame is that I am no longer a newbie and just wish I could be a weekly regular. This is a great restaurant with a great chef. The dedication, the commitment, the quality, the execution – what more could one ask for and at Manresa you don’t have to ask because it delivers.
Chef Kinch warned me to come hungry and that was an easy order to obey. This was an extravaganza – an over-the-top experience.
I apologize in advance for the lack of photographic skill because the pictures unfortunately detract rather than enhance. I also apologize if I mistakenly identify some of the ingredients improperly. I tried to take extensive notes, but sometimes it was hard to write fast enough and now after some time has passed, it has grown more difficult to read these notes.
Chef Kinch is aware of our food preferences – my love of Japanese food, fish, local ingredients, purity, “less is more”, so I am inclined to think that this menu was orientated in that direction. Unfortunately, I was eating with wimps and we had to cut some courses. As always, we begin with a generous offering of Amuses:
Red Pepper / Black Olive
Sea Urchin (UNI) Shooter
Warm Indian Creek Oyster, Apple, Leek, Coulommier Cheese
Fatty Blue-Fin Tuna Belly, Perilla Flower, Kaffir Lime, Shiso
Tartine of Prawn Roe, Salted Butter, Toasted Brioche
Whiting (Kisu), Pancetta, Shiso
The Classic Arpege Egg
Spot-Prawn Carpaccio, Just-Pressed Local Olive Oil
Marinated Mackerel, Oscetra Caviar
Amadai Cured In Dried Seaweed, Aged Ponzu
Sashimi Big-Fin Squid, Kin Medai, Geoduck, Kenomi Fern, Shiso, Shirashi
Assorted Spring Fish, Enoki Mushrooms, Delicate Sardine Broth
Mesquite-Grilled Foie Gras, Wild Mint, Calamondin Caramel
Spot-Prawn, Asparagus, Miner’s Lettuce Salad
Sea Urchin, Crab, Lightly-Spiced Coconut Milk
Scallops, Scallop Tripe, Black Truffles
Black Bass, Fava Leaves and Beans
Salt Cod Confit, Razor Clam Rice and Saffron
Roast Squab, Wild Onions, Homemade Vinegar
Suet-Roasted Wagyu Beef, Porcini, Morel, Black Truffles, Beef Marrow Bordelaise
Strawberry Consommé, Vanilla-Bergamot
Belgian Waffle, Banana Caramel, White Coffee Ice Cream
Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet Cones
Chocolate / Strawberry Petit Fours
Do the final petit fours look familiar? A fun way to end a meal, but with deep meaning. A meal at Manresa comes around full-circle. From a lovely beginning, to a satisfying completion. A complete and total experience that I feel lucky to have been a part of it.
What more can I say about a Manresa experience? Great, extraordinary, sublime? Take your pick. Delicious, intellectual dining from a dedicated chef with a talent you rarely come across is the best I can do. Bravo, and thank you, Chef Kinch.