Manresa – Los Gatos

How many ways can I say fabulous and wonderful? There are so many chefs who talk about farm to table cuisine, but Chef David Kinch actually delivers on this promise. You feel an affinity to the land and the sea after a meal at Manresa. Chef Kinch is of the school that less is more and he lets the ingredients speak for themselves. They not only speak, they sing!

I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos. John took the pictures without flash and some are very blurry and just don’t do justice to the food. I almost didn’t post the photos as they are very “iffy.”

BYO Krug Champagne

Petit Fours “red pepper-black olive”

Lavender Lemonade, Mint Granita – light refreshing and perfect for a summer evening

Garden Beignets (beignet filled with vegetables), Baked Kale, Ground Cherries – terrible photo but a delicious bite

Foie Gras in Cumin Seed Caramel, Ice Plant – this was just an OH MY dish – luscious, extravagant, luxurious with a perfect “mouth feel”

Sweet corn cromesquis – insert cromesquis in your mouth and in one bite the liquid summer corn is an explosion of sweet corn essence.

BYO White wine: Dageneau ’03 Pur Sang

More absolutely lousy photos with perfect cuisine – huge apologies to the chef

Fig leaf and Coriander Ice, Marcona Almond – I didn’t get a full description of this dish so I know I am missing a lot of elements.

Strawberry Gazpacho is then poured on top – the strawberry gazpacho was absolutely as fresh as a summer’s day

This is no longer the Arpege egg – it is now the Manresa egg with plum and miso, spices and  a low temperature cooked runny egg yolk. I want this recipe – I want to make it now!

Pim’s butter or better known as “mixed cow” butter from Daisy Cow and Geselle Cow from Watsonville – John loved it so much, he had a second serving.

Manresa’s Rolls – all made-in-house

Monterey Bay Abalone in its own bouillon, Cucumber noodles, Squash Shoots, Octopus a la plancha, Tempura Squash blossom, Bonito Butter- the Bonito butter is just a perfect foil for the tender abalone and the octopus.

Into the Vegetable Garden – Squash, New Potatoes, Radish, Sorrel Leaves, Courgettes, Cucumber, Bronze Fennel, Tomato, Ficoide Glaciale, Green Shallots, Pansy, Green Beans, Mizuna, Arugula,  “edible dirt” – 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

John Dory a la plancha, Crispy Mussels, Tomatillos, Vichy of Seabeans, Watercress – Chefs should take lessons from Chef Kinch on how to cook fish and the mussels reminded me of the crispy oysters from New Orleans

Roast Porcelet, Boudin Noir, Anchovy Puree, Toasted Barley Emulsion – I am a huge fan of boudin noir and most chefs tend to treat it like a tough sausage – this was melt in your mouth goodness plus the porecelet was bursting with flavor and tenderness.

Rack of Napa Valley Lamb, Nasturtium Leaves Pesto, Shallots, Pinenut Pudding – I didn’t do justice to this dish as I was getting very full.

BYO Dessert Wine

Summer Berries, House-made Granola, Fromage Blanc Soup – another dish of summer goodness.

Petit fours “strawberry-chocolate”

Manresa is the perfect restaurant for me – everything I feel about cuisine is exemplified by Chef Kinch’s cooking – seemingly simple, anything but.  Execution is exquisite and ingredient quality off the charts perfect.


3 Responses to “Manresa – Los Gatos”

  1. 1 Tom Gutting August 10, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    I’m glad you had a better Manresa experience than I did. Last spring, they were off their game when I went. Service was abysmal until warming up about halfway through the meal. There were three small ants in the (otherwise exceptional) salad course. And the meal suffered from profound textural difficulties. Raw oyster followed by poached egg followed by geoduck clam — too much ooze. Then skip a course and then came sadly soft sweetbreads. But overall it was a solid meal with interesting flavors, although I can’t say I’d be tempted to return anytime soon.

    • 2 lizziee August 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      I have NEVER had a bad/poor/mediocre or less than experience at Manresa. I think Manresa is one of the best restaurants in the country. I also disagree with your textural contrasts – raw oyster is briny, salty and depending on the oyster can vary in texture, poached egg is smooth and silky and mirugai, depending on the prep can be slightly chewy, but never a tough mouthfeel. Let’s just say we disagree and I would return again and again in a heartbeat.

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