Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The 2012 list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants was released recently, which I blogged about previously, and a pleasant surprise was the inclusion of Manresaan exquisite restaurant named after an iconic beach in Northern Californiawhich is practically in my own backyard. I had been to Chef David Kinch’s Manresa before their inclusion on the list (they occupy spot #48) so I was delighted to return for a dinner on my birthday (which I share with the Golden Gate Bridge).

From: http://www.manresarestaurant.com/index.html

We opted for the prix fixe menu, not the seasonal tasting menu, and it was absolutely spectacular. Chef Kinch’s imagination and innovation allow him to create bold pairings and taste contrasts that are stunning and vivacious. Just take a look at the menu (click for a larger version).

I started with one of their signature cocktails, a Shizuka, made from gin and tonic, VEP Green Chartreuse, shiso leaves and cucumber (below). Then we were seated and the magic started. The first dish was sparkling and bright, consisting of a fig infused cream with coriander granita (amazing), topped with a fresh and savory strawberry gazpacho, poured at table (below).

Another highlight in a meal of highlights was the intensity of the foie gras mousse topped with flash fried spring onion and shavings of white truffle (below). OMG, as the kids say.

After more dishes that included a briny seafood soup Chef titled "A tidal pool," some delicious meat courses (the fluke was succulent), and finally our cheese course (below), we were treated to a strawberry champagne jelly topped with an English pea velouté, a hibiscus petal and a sprinkling of lime sugar (below). We had the chocolate mousse that was on the menu, and then for the final course, the signature Kinch macaron, this one flavored with lovage (you can see an actual sprig of lovage peeking up behind the macarons) and filled with an almost fudge-like chocolate (below)!

When we were done, the evening was made complete with a private tour of the kitchen with Manager Bobi Adle, where we were honored to meet the Maestro himself, Chef Kinch.

If you find yourself in or anywhere near Los Gatos, California, by all means, make it a point to eat at Manresa.

(All photos by JEF except top image from www.manresarestaurant.com)


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