Manresa is a fine-dining restaurant here in Los Gatos, CA, owned by one of the board of directors of our school and alum, Chef David Kinch. They use the best of ingredients grown using biodynamic practices by a nearby farm called Love Apple Farms in Santa Cruz, CA. They don’t have an ala carte menu, only a prix-fixe menu and a tasting menu. I got the prix-fixe menu with classic wine pairing (for homework and to train my palate) and my god, it was so worth it.
I managed to get here because it was the only fine dining restaurant I could get to without needing a car of my own.
I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get but I was open. I didn’t know that his cuisine was also molecular gastronomy so I was pretty surprised.
I got to the restaurant early even though my reservation was still at 6:30pm. I didn’t want to be late and lose my table as I found out later that day that it was my roommate’s graduation that day. Had I known, I would have pushed my reservation back to a less busy day.
They seated me immediately and got a nice, corner table. The server asked me if it was my first time there.
I said, “Yes” and that I was a wine student at FCI. Ten minutes later, as I was busy taking photos and checking in Foursquare, Chef David Kinch came out to my table and chatted with me!
I almost fell out of my chair. I didn’t expect him to come out, or to come out so fast at all! He interviewed me a little bit and told me to enjoy the meal and went back to the kitchen. Soon after, my roommate arrived with his family and he waved to me.
My food started arriving so I started clicking away.
Amuse-Bouche – Strawberry Gazpacho and coriander ice
Toasted Buckwheat and duck foie gras, etrog citron
These were paired with N.V. Roederer Estate Brut Rose Anderson Valley.
They then brought me this amazing house-churned butter made from Normandy cow’s milk. It was the richest butter I had ever eaten. I wanted to eat it all. This combined with their brioche was just like velvet in the mouth. I could have eaten 10 brioches and the whole butter, but I still had a lot of courses to go.
My next wine was 2010 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Loire Valley. I’m a big Sauvignon blanc fan, and this tasted like it was from New Zealand, although it was obviously from the New World and had chalky, mineral qualities not found in the New World.
This was paired with my salad called Into the vegetable garden, their juices…roots, raw, leaves, flowers.
…and then my most amazing dish for the week arrived…..
This was called A Spring Tidal Pool, shellfish and mushrooms. It was a dashi based broth with abalone, foie gras, and sea urchin. It was an freaking fantastic combination of umami, sweet and salty. The foie gras was thinly sliced and cooked in the broth as well as the sea urchin. Both retained its very tender and melt in your mouth qualities. The UNI even tasted like it was fresh sashimi. It was THAT AMAZING.
This was paired with Fitapreta Branca Alentejano Portugal. This was the first time I had a Portuguese wine of this grape.
I really wanted another portion. I finished it so fast, it was unbelievable.
The next course was Fluke, Vegetable and bone marrow bouillon, porcini mushroom paired with Sean Thackery Pleiades XX Bolinas a Petite Sirah from California. 2009
Finally, my lamb came paired with 2010 Kloof Street Rouge Swartland South Africa.
Mmmm, morels so earthy, lamb so pink and tender, *Droolfest*
Dessert came in the form of Roasted Parsnip pudding and demerara crumble, lime and yogurt sorbet.
They gave me a 5 Year Bual Madeira to enjoy with this course as well as my last course Jivra Chocolate Mousse with praline, meyer lemon and fueilletine ice cream.
They gave me a macaroon to go and some butter cookies to take home.
Thank you Chef David Kinch for taking care of your students and making them happy!!!!!
All were amazing courses! I just don’t have time to expound cause I have to study.
I spent all day yesterday in Napa but that’s another entry all together.