Quite awhile back I was talking with my good friend BLT(the Beltless Tiger) about all the meals we had intended to write posts about but never got around to. We both had a good number we were too
lazy busy to put up promptly and by the time motivation struck it seemed to be too late or irrelevant and he (jokingly I think) made a suggestion that we start doing Throwback Thursday posts. It seemed like a good enough idea and I thought for months that I would get going on it any day now. At last the moment has come. Manresa for a few years now has been my favorite restaurant in the US. Until an accident thwarted my planned 2014 trip, the Los Gatos restaurant was the only place I had made an effort to dine at each year since 2009. My nights there are consistently among the best dining experiences of my life. As I’m sitting in my Wall Street apartment looking forward to my next meal at the hands of David Kinch and team in mere weeks, and even more so feeling thrilled at the announcement that Michelin has finally awarded them a third star, I am getting around to posting about my dinner with Rocky from roughly two years ago.
At my preferred table, ready to rock.
Petit fours “red pepper-black olive” Kinch’s signature opener of red pepper pate de fruits and black olive madeleines. Good vegetal balance in the PDF and lightly sweet, nicely dense madeleine.
Garden beignets and leaves Light savory beignets with crispy kale leaves.
25 tomatoes, coriander A beautiful expression of the fruit in the height of the season.
Almond tofu, berries and verbena, melon snow Not really sweet, but almost dessert-like. Tart dried fruit and expressive almond flavors.
Abalone and local milk panna cotta Monterey Bay abalone, braised and in gelée, with breakfast radish and panna cotta.
Summer beans with octopus, horseradish Ever slightly charred Moroccan octopus with summer beans and lychee tomato. The acid-starch balance was kickin.
Without rice, fava bean risotto, sheep’s milk cheese With summer truffle and mushrooms. Mind-blowing legume treatment combined with mushroom earth and an enchanting, almost hypnotizing truffle and cheese perfume. Rocky put this in heavy contention for dish of the trip.
Into the vegetable garden… A consistently stunning homage to Le Gargouillou by Michel Bras. A flawless journey of pea leaves, lambs quarters, nasturtium, beet, malabar spinach, ice plant, arugula, wild dandelion, and many other vegetables, leaves, and flowers.
Albacore “puttanesca,” lightly smoked, crispy cassava The acid and brine in the puttanesca was great support to smoked meaty fish.
Summer clams and beans in a pine mushroom broth Various clams with seabream in a dashi broth accompanied by matsutake mushrooms, seaweed, beans, and peas. Badass savory layers.
Duck, confit of figs and wild fennel, milk and honey An outstandingly great roasted aged duck breast with leek, fennel, and turnip and a touch of sweetness from figs and honey.
Lamb with dates and olives, onion fondue Straight forward and damn delicious.
A selection of cheese from the cart. Varying styles from California, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York.
Andy’s plums with butterscotch, buckwheat, black walnut Smoothly rich butterscotch with perfect plums, crisply buckwheat, and popcorn. Perfect.
Strawberries and white chocolate, malted milk pebbles, crispy yuba Fresh strawberries, strawberry ice, and strawberry mousse in a white chocolate shell over crunchy malt crumbles with small bursts of mint.
Raspberries, chocolate-coffee parfait, golden raspberry sorbet, almond
Mint bonbon and coffee macaron
Petit fours “strawberry-chocolate” The signature closer of strawberry pate de fruits and chocolate madeleines.
And a treat for breakfast. An outrageously superb meal.
Date of visit: September 7, 2013
Manresa. 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 408 354 4330 www.manresarestaurant.com