Manresa (Los Gatos, CA) – Round 4
Went to Manresa the other night, had the 21 course affair, and it was the best Manresa meal yet. The chef & i keep in touch so he knows where I’ve been, what I’ve eaten, and what I like; as a result, I think he takes some delight in making dishes I’ll love. It also doesn’t hurt that we seem to have similar tastes.
With this meal, I am declaring Manresa every bit as good as French Laundry for my money. True, Kinch’s cuisine has a focus on fish that I prefer but he’s making great strides. While TFL is a must for any serious foodie, if you can’t get a reservation, do yourself a favor and book yourself a table at Manresa. You won’t be disappointed.
I’ll only review the new dishes (there are quite a few), but everything not mentioned here (the endless amuses & some of the meat dishes) are very good to great as usual.
Sea Urchin and Crab w/ Keiffer Lime
Served in the shell, this could be seafood version of his egg. Warm uni cooked sat in a thai-influenced ‘soup’ that had a rich spiciness & acidity of the lime. Chunks of juicy crab & uni… perfect.
Oysters and Apple w/ Taleggio
The standout here was the taleggio foam – absolutely delicious – and great counterpoint to the oyster & apple.
Warm Steelhead Roe in a Milk Skin Crepe
This was the most interesting dish of the night – the milk skin crepe was very delicate with just enough structure to ‘contain’ the roe – the texture of the whole thing was definitely different… Creamy milk skin followed by the roe bursts.
Abalone & Foie Gras, Bouillon Perfumed w/ Shiso Flowers
A nod to the Japanese – the bouillon was poured table-side and served to cook the abalone & foie gras for 15-20 seconds. Very delicate & nuanced dish.
Playful dish, perfectly executed – as good as they sound.
Striped Jack w/ Crunchy Vegetables, Elderflower-tea vinaigrette
This kind of dish shows that less can be more. I ate at Bar Crudo the night before, and in their hands, this dish would have been busier and less effective. In Kinch’s hands, each ingredient is essential to the whole. good stuff.
Warm Bay Scallops w/ Lemon Balm
4 served in their shell, very tender, sublime.
Jeremy’s Fennel Saucisson Sec
Fennel & salami as an amuse – very good
Foie Gras in a Jar, Picked Pig’s Feet
Good to very good, very oily & rich, although my dining companion loved it
Go. Now. Yum.