Manresa (Los Gatos, CA) – Let there be Vegetables

May 17th – One doesn’t need much of an excuse to make a trip to Manresa. The farmer’s market had exploded with bounty the previous weekend and that bode well for the visit. When compared to previous visits, you can see Kinch has begun incorporating more and more vegetables into the dishes. Looking at the pictures, it might be easy to say they merely perform an aesthetic function, but Kinch is too deliberate and careful to haphazardly add ingredients to a dish – the vegetables are becoming the centerpiece for the summer’s meals.

This meal was as good as the last – every dish very good to excellent. The peas with scallops and vegetables with burrata cheese and vegetable juices dishes are hints of the cuisine to be. The copper river salmon dish was my favorite of the night – proof that fish and shellfish will continue to play an important role. The simple roast spring lamb at the end was a perfect touchdown – satisfying and delicious without being overbearing. The desserts too merit special mention – they are getting more accomplished. The sweet pea ice cream walked the perfect line between sweet and savory.

I didn’t take notes on this trip so I will let the photographs speak for the dishes. Most of the photos turned out well; those that did not were omitted. Until I can convince every restaurant to consider 1-2 tables with improved lighting…

Vegetables from the garden

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Vegetables from the garden

Spring croquettes

Oyster in urchin jelly, nori croustillant

Garden veloute w/ mustard

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Garden veloute w/ mustard

Arpege farm egg

Wood grilled foie gras w/ radish, ficoide glaciale

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Wood grilled foie gras w/ radish, ficoide glaciale

Spring sea breem, sashimi style, caviar & lime

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Spring sea breem, sashimi style, caviar & lime

Peas w/ Scallops

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Peas w/ Scallops

Vegetables from the garden and burrata cheese, vegetable juices

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Vegetables from the garden and burrata cheese, vegetable juices

Roasted turnips farci, poularde jelly w/ riesling

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Roasted turnips farci, poularde jelly w/ riesling

Salt cod “tripe” and shellfish pil-pil, arugula

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Salt cod 'tripe' and shellfish pil-pil, arugula

Courgette and abalone salad, seaweed pistou

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Courgette and abalone salad, seaweed pistou

Copper river salmon & smoked roe, roast tuna juice, & red pepper

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Copper river salmon & smoked roe, roast tuna juice, & red pepper

Wild turbot w/ oyster & sorrel

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Wild turbot w/ oyster & sorrel

Roast lamb in exotic spice, yam w/ coconut

7 year old Parmigiano Reggiano “Guffanti”, 25 year old balsamico

Manresa (Los Gatos) - 7 year old Parmigiano Reggiano 'Guffanti', 25 year old balsamico

Sweet pea & pistachio cones

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Sweet pea & pistachio cones

Buttermilk panna cotta, rhubard w/ rosewater

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Buttermilk panna cotta, rhubard w/ rosewater

Chocolate mousse w/ olive oil ice cream

Manresa (Los Gatos) - Chocolate mousse w/ olive oil ice cream

Summertime is here – there will be many more Manresa posts on this blog.

- chuck

  • junglegirl

    Ahhh….thank you…Not being able to go there my self right now, I am so grateful to you for sharing these meals. This food is so perfect looking; it is totally Tolkein elven food, looking so earthy and ethereal. I think Manresa is my favorite restaurant right now, even though based solely upon the photos; there is definitely some kind of special alchemy going on there. ….this is Love… : )

  • http://QuintessentialCuisine.Blogspot.com/ QUINTESSENTIAL C U I S I N E©

    …Hay! There’s a bunch out of focus again — WE WANT TO SEE THEM ALL & CLEARLY.

    No more out-of-focus

    Wilbur

  • ChuckEats

    junglegirl, “alchemy” is an apt description…

  • http://providencela.com staggerlee

    i recently ate at maresa as well. the menu i had was nearly identical. it was among the best meal i have ever had. the pace of the meal, perfect ingredients coupled with perfect technique and the carefully considered service and wine pairings made for an evening i will never forget. thanks david!

  • Paul

    Garden Veloute with mustard ice cream, i wonder where he AQUIRED that idea from Lol, joking aside the food at Manresa, IMO is the prettiest and best presented food, at any high end restaurant that i have seen pictures of in America

  • TJ

    Perhaps I am not cut out to eat food such as this?
    I went with a group of friends, did the the 3 course dinner with paired wines….

    Perhaps it was an off day. The wines left much to be desired, being from Australia and Chile. Nothing wrong with Australia or Chile, but it left us fighting over the one taste of
    California red wine that was clearly superior. I really wondered what they could have been thinking. Were they cutting corners on us at $125 a plate?

    The food was OK, but afterward we were all quite hungry and went out to another restaurant to get some sustainence.

    Overall I was not impressed, but as I said perhaps I’m not appreciating the art as food…it was my Birthday and I wanted a great meal. What we got was a small snack, with cheap wine for $500.
    The pics here are very beautiful. I suppose each dish is supposed to tickle the taste buds in a way that could perhaps not be obtained elsewhere. But the Bay Area is filled with wonderful restaurants I am thrilled to attend at less than 1/2 the cost. Though perhaps not so shi-shi.
    I’ve had meals in Napa Valley that blew this off the map, and included an entire bottles (plural) of excellent wine (Maryvale Profile!) and still walked away with a smaller bill.
    Ask around to the locals in St. Helena if you are there, and take their advise.

    I suppose maybe we’re talking different styles? I like to eat my food not look at it.

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