Manresa was absolutely spectacular Wednesday night. There was not one misstep and my general feeling was who needs to go to France for a 3 star meal. One of the joys of dining with Chef Kinch over the years is to revel in his evolution as a chef. Not that he wasn’t terrific years ago, but the subtly, the layering of flavors, the seemingly simple that I know is complex is just wondrous now. There were sublime elements Wednesday night and it just reinforces my feeling that he is a great chef.

I apologize in advance for some very blurry photos. Blurry, though they are, sometimes I will just let the pictures tell the story as words seem unnecessary – how many ways can you say extraordinary?

Dana – an extraordinary server with our BYO Champagne

Chef David Kinch

Petit Fours “red pepper-black olive”

Chef Kinch had just returned from a trip to Kyoto at the invitation of the Japanese Culinary Academy. A little souvenir  from the trip – a box from Japan

Garden Beignets (beignet filled with vegetables), Kale leaf, Vinegar Powder

Pear sorbet with Avocado Mousse, Nasturtium leaf, Yeast Crumble –  this almost functioned as a palate cleanser or a precursor of things to come

Seaweed  tartine, house-cured lardo, walnut infused honey, seaweed, marjoram garnish – what an extraordinary blend of flavors

Fork Crushed Fingerling Potatoes with Purple Cabbage from the Garden, Dill Ice Cream – a simple sounding dish that elevated each element to a wondrous blend of flavors

Persimmon, Apple, Green Tomato, Garden herbs and flowers, urchins in seawater

The sea water added  was actually made from three types of seaweed.  Uni – I love it!

Pim’s hand-churned butter

BYO White Wine

Assorted Shellfish in tuna broth gelee, toasted seeds – the shellfish included crab, octopus, littlenecks, mirugai – how many ways can I say this was unbelievable

Nantucket Bay Scallops in brown butter, Pomegranate seeds, sliced Persimmon, Yellow Foot Mushrooms, Salsify – too many chefs overcook scallops and that is why my husband has an aversion to them.  However, in Chef Kinch’s hands the scallops are meltingly tender

Scallop dish deconstructed by me

John doesn’t like scallops so Chef Kinch substituted a mushroom dish.

Raw and cooked mushrooms (Yellow foot)  bonito butter with toasted Furikake seeds from Japan, Black trumpet tapenade, Yellow Foot Mushroom Tempura – John wouldn’t share one bite – he loved it.

Into the Vegetable Garden – Mizuna, arugula, mustard leaves, bordeaux spinach, white carrot, amareth, fingerling potato, red pepper puree, “dirt”, peonies – this really is like walking through the garden; I really can imagine myself wandering through Cynthia’s Sandberg’s Love Apple Farm in the Santa cruz mountains, stooping to nibble on all the “goodies.”

BYO Red Wine

Black Cod, Cippolini onions, chervil cream

Sweet onion broth with beef bone marrow added tableside to the black cod – I can honestly say that few chefs handle fish as well as Chef Kinch plus the addition of the bone marrow to the broth gives new meaning to surf and turf – what a depth of flavor.

Crispy Chicken Confit, Slow Egg (one hour), Crispy Garden greens – fennel, purple mustard, celery and chicken broth to finish – I kept thinking what comes first the chicken or the egg – in this case both!

Duck Roasted in Chestnut leaves and salt

Duck plated with Black Trumpet Mushroom Tapenade, jus – I will just let the photo tell  the story

Gouda from Switzerland – “five years”

Gouda plated

Lemon Meringue, Lemon Curd, Meringue Ice Cream, Hazelnut Crumble – lousy photo, but  delicious

What a spectacular meal.


8 Responses to “Manresa”

  1. 1 sygyzy December 15, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Spectacular looking meal. Ironically, my trip to Manresa was good but not great. Thought service was lacking and some minor misses with the food.

    • 2 lizziee December 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm

      David, this was a stupendous meal and Dana is a truly wonderful server – I ask for every ingredient, write as fast as I can and she is just so patient. Have 2 French laundry meals to write up, plus Redd and Etoile (Domaine Chandon) plus Bouchon and Don Giovanni so stay tuned!!!!


  2. 3 sygyzy December 16, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Ironically Dana was our server and 3 words into my notes for the amuse, I was asked to stop writing.

  3. 4 lizziee December 16, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    David, my guess is Dana said you don’t have to write because Chef Kinch will be happy to print out a menu for you at the end.

  4. 5 David Haskell December 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Now that looks like a great meal. Dad did a good job wine pairing…I would love to be able to join again at Manresa…seems like Kinch has really come into an elite world… Glad you had fun

  5. 6 lizziee December 17, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    David, I would love to have you join us and yes he is in the elite world and a great chef.

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