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Manresa Restaurant, Los Gatos


bong
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Catherine, as their web coordinator, I asked Manresa if I might help answer your questions. This is what I learned:

OpenTable.com takes reservations no more than one month in advance. Manresa (408-354-4330) takes them no more than two months in advance. In my experience, it is harder to get in on weekends than otherwise, and I myself prefer eating on Sunday nights, when it's been quieter. On Friday nights, starting in May (I think), there is a flamenco guitarist on the terrace, which is quite pleasant.

Given the surge of publicitiy that Manresa is about to receive as a result of its selection as one of the World's 50 Best Restaurants, they recommend securing your spot "sooner than later." The actual awards ceremony in April is when the official announcements are made, ranking the restaurants. (In my tiny opinion, simply being selected for this list is honor enough, but I imagine there will be great celebrating in the house that is selected Top Restaurant in the World.)

Alexhills points out that he dined well without any special status. When you make reservations, you can request the "Grand Tasting Menu"--this is best done with advance notice to the kitchen. If you wish, you can do wine pairings at Manresa. Another option is to bring your own special wines; if you want to do this, you can e-mail your wine list to Michael Kean, the General Manager beforehand, as Alex did.

Michael Kean can be contacted via this link. I hope that helps you, and that your birthday celebration is everything you are hoping for.

EDITED to remove a redundant word.

Edited by tanabutler (log)
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This article in the Metro Silicon Valley just hit the stands. It's a free local paper (arts/entertainment/etcetera) serving the San Jose area.

It doesn't show online, but the caption for the cover shot is "Is David Kinch going to be the next celebrity chef?" The answer might be contained in this excerpt:

And Kinch's passion for food, premium-quality ingredients and making people happy permeates the restaurant. Quaint as it might sound, cooking to make people happy is what drives him. That and pleasing himself.

"I do it because I still like to," he says. "I don't want to work in hotels. I don't want three restaurants. I don't want to do 500 covers a night. I don't want to be on TV. None of this interests me. Call me anti-success...but I just want to cook in my restaurant with my crew in my beautiful kitchen and make people happy."

It's a very clear, straightforward piece. There was a definite surge in reservations today as a result.

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This article in the Metro Silicon Valley just hit the stands. It's a free local paper (arts/entertainment/etcetera) serving the San Jose area.

It doesn't show online, but the caption for the cover shot is "Is David Kinch going to be the next celebrity chef?" The answer might be contained in this excerpt:

And Kinch's passion for food, premium-quality ingredients and making people happy permeates the restaurant. Quaint as it might sound, cooking to make people happy is what drives him. That and pleasing himself.

"I do it because I still like to," he says. "I don't want to work in hotels. I don't want three restaurants. I don't want to do 500 covers a night. I don't want to be on TV. None of this interests me. Call me anti-success...but I just want to cook in my restaurant with my crew in my beautiful kitchen and make people happy."

It's a very clear, straightforward piece. There was a definite surge in reservations today as a result.

I just emailed and grabbed reservations for April 9th and for april 21st. Taking mom and hubby for dinner on the first date and getting together with group of friends on the latter date.

I figure I better get in there while I still can!

Stephanie Kay

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Congratulations to David Kinch, Michael Kean and everyone at Manresa for being the only restaurant in the South Bay to make The Chronicle Top 100 list!

Here is the link.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Had a marvellous meal there at the end of January. Fantastic twenty-some-odd-course tasting menu that was stellar all the way through.

Previous reports have done the play by play of the meal I had, so I'll spare you the details... but go for the full tasting menu when you're there. You'll not regret it!

And do report back if there are any remarkable new dishes that haven been covered upthread.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Mom, Brother, Hubby and I had the tasting menu last night. I'm only going to briefly mention dishes we had that I haven't heard mentioned upthread and apologies to readers and to Manresa if some of the details are missing - I don't take notes while eating and my memory is sometimes incomplete and faulty - or if some dishes might be out of order or missing a crucial detail.

So, we opened with a Grapefruit (?) Granita with a Ginger Gelee with Carrot Juice

poured over it at table. At first I thought "Carrot juice?" but then I thought: "Carrot Tsimmes! Carrots, ginger and citrus - why not?" It was delicious.

Next, Potato and Salt Cod Fritters - light, delicate and delicious.

The Arpege Egg - exhaustively covered above (and Tana is right - when will Bauer stop calling it scrambled? It's really soft boiled.)

Perfect oyster with the cutest sweetest uni in it. I have only liked uni at Manresa and I don't know why.

Fluke Sashimi with Yuzu Zest - been talked about.

Black Cod with Salmon Roe - ditto

Scallop with Fava Bean Pesto, Peas and Polenta - tied for favorite with the Fluke. The scallop was perfect in every respect, the peas sweet and fresh and the polenta creamy. I took extra care to get a bit of each flavor in every bite. Outstanding.

Veal Cheek with Sweetbreads with Milk Foam - I liked this - the cheek was meltingly tender, the sweetbread flavorful. I could not taste the milk foat, but it made a very pretty appearance.

Veal Wrapped around Bluefin Tuna with Asparagus with Proscuitto - for me this was the least successful of the dishes we were served. I love tuna and I love veal, but neither really seemed to shine in this dish. My mother thought it was just seared tuna - she didn't even get that there was veal there and I understand why. The veal sort of disappeared. Bear in mind, however, I ate every smidgen.

Sorbets in Cones - Apple and Strawberry-Rhubarb

Bittersweet Chocolate Souffle with Vanilla Ice Cream

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Strawberries - this was fantastic! I have to say that it is the dessert I've enjoyed the most at Manresa. I'm not much of a chocolate fanatic but any custard-y dessert just floats my boat. This was smooth, silky and delicious - so very simple, so very rich, so very good.

The restaurant was more crowded than I've ever seen it. We threw a bit of challenge at the kitchen because my brother is allergic to nuts, asparagus & bananas. I'm allergic to mangos. So they had to customize my brother's plates and did a great job of doing so.

It may well be that I missed some details from our servers because of the noise level. It wasn't "noisy" but I have a bit of trouble in a crowded room with background noise.

Our experience was wonderful. I'm planning on going back as soon as I can. Although I've now done the tasting menu 3 times (!) and the Fireplace menu once I've never just ordered off the regular menu and it is time.

Stephanie Kay

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Very much looking forward to welcoming David and his brigade to David Hawksworth's West Restaurant in Vancouver tomorrow evening.

Do tell how it went! I had dinner at Manresa last evening with a dozen or so people and Chef Kinch's sous chef did an absolutely outstanding job - he has certainly trained his staff well and the entire evening could not have gone better.

Briefly (sans pictures), our meal:

- Red Beet & Olive Madeleine

- Citrus Salad in Jasmin Tea Gelée

- Salt Cod Fritter with Truffled Honey

- Strawberry Gazpacho with Almond Yogurt, Marconi Almonds, and Olive Oil

- Oyster on the Half Shell with Uni scented with Yuzu

- Sashimi of Fluke with Olive Oil, Chives, and dried, smoked Fish Flakes (a fav!)

- Torchon of Foie Gras with Asparagus spears, Asparagus purée, and Asian Pear Crisp

- Black Cod cooked on the plank with Crab and cured Salmon Roe

- Shredded Veal Cheeks with Sunchoke Ravioli topped with a Veal Sweetbread and Parsnip Milk Foam

- Roast Farm Chicken with Roast Vegetables (outstanding)

- Roast Leg of Spring Lamb with Chickpea Frittes and house-made Marguez Sausage

- Honey Tuile with a selection of Banana, Mango, and Lychee Sorbet

- Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp with Bergamot Creme

- Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

- Blood Orange Pate de Fruit with Chocolate Madeleines

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I have two upcoming Manresa reservations, one for my birthday (August, plan to do the Grand Tasting menu) and another May 21st.

In May, I don't think we're going to do the Grand Tasting, so my question is whether or not anyone has any recommendations on what to order from the a la carte menu? I haven't seen much about that on this thread.

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Chef Kinch changes the menu based on what's freshest and what's available, so any recommendatoins made now probably wouldn't hold until May.

He usually does have a rabbit dish, which has never disappointed...seafood, such as bream, john dorry, perhaps a lamb preparation and pork.

I truly don't think you'll be disappointed in the way any dish is prepared; you simply need to decide on what sort of meat, fish or fowl you'd prefer. I'd recommend the 4 course for your a la carte choice; it lets you have an appetizer, mid-course, entree and dessert.

You could always call the restaurant 1-2 days prior to dining and ask what the chef is featuring.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Catherine, the à la carte menu is updated seasonally. My guess would be that it will have changed twice by the time you are dining there in August. I expect to post a new menu soon, and will try to be mindful of mentioning it here when I do so. I'm eager to eat there right now because the menu is between winter and spring. We're going soon, with birthdays coming up.

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Ok. So, this is a little crazy but I've just made a reservation for Wednesday of next week at Manresa.

There is a little catch though, and it is that I live in Portland.

So, plan is to drive down on Tuesday, sleep at a hostel in San Francisco, hang out in the city Wednesday morning, go to Manresa at 6pm, and drive back up Thursday morning.

If by some chance any other egullet members are going to be in the restaurant at that time, come by my table and say hello!

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David Kinch visited us in Vancouver last week to cook with David Hawksworth at his West restaurant. Last month Hawksworth had travelled to California for the Masters of Food + Wine. Hawksworth, who recently won both the Chef of the Year and Best Restaurant Awards at the 15th Annual Vancouver Magazine Awards (an event that attracts some 900 industry folks and has 27 media judges) also cooked at Manresa. Their styles proved highly complementary, the paired wines, including several Brtish Columbians, were well-matched.

The three stand-out dishes are indicated by asterisk: Japanese Fluke (Kinch), guinea fowl with fresh Coquihalla porcini (foraged at roadside by Hawksworth), and Rhonda Viani’s exquisite dessert, where she deployed avocado ice cream over pineapple tatin. Hawksworth’s foie gras and quail terrine and Kinch’s onion-brioche soup (a rustic potage) were also worthy stalwarts, and in fact would have combined, with a good heel of bread, for a husky meal on their own.

A very happy occasion with some stellar cooking: cleansing ales followed well into the night.

David²

Monday April 11th, 2005

David Hawksworth, West Restaurant, Vancouver

And

David Kinch, Manresa Restaurant, Los Gatos, California

Amuse Bouche

Mumm's Champagne

First

TERRINE OF FOIE GRAS & QUAIL,

GOLDEN APPLE JELLY

David Hawksworth

Max Ferd Richter Reisling “Saint Hippolyte” ’99, Alsace

Second

JAPANESE FLUKE, SASHIMI STYLE *

OLIVE OIL AND CHIVES

David Kinch

Third

SLOW COOKED EGG

WITH ONION-BRIOCHE SOUP, MANCHEGO CHEESE

David Kinch

Mission Hill Sauvignon Blanc/Semillion “SLC” ‘03

Fourth

WILD STRIPED BASS ROASTED ON THE BONE

MUSHROOMS WITH RED WINE

David Kinch

Fifth

VEAL AND TUNA ROLL WITH SCALLION & ASPARAGUS

David Kinch

Lincourt Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, ‘01

Sixth

MILK FED GUINEA FOWL WITH FRESH PORCINI *

HAND ROLLED PASTA

David Hawksworth

Dessert

PINEAPPLE TATIN WITH AVOCADO ICE CREAM *

LIME BROWN SUGAR SAUCE, HONEYDEW MELON

Rhonda Viani

De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon “Noble One”, Australia, ‘01

Petits Fours

Selection of Cleansing Ales

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is that David Kinch in The New York Times?

Check it out: Santa Cruz Surfing Foodies in The New York Times

Online version may require registration.

Newsstand edition out May 1, 2005.

Living Spring 2005 of T Style Magazine

The Originals: A portfolio of men and women who know that food is a metaphor for life.

Photographs by Robert Maxwell.

Visit Casa Gregorio :: C A S A G R E G O R I O

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  • 4 weeks later...

So I SWORE that I would not post about my meal at Manresa (last Saturday night). After all, so many people have done so, and done so well, and it's all you read about on many of the food blogs. I just figured that at this point, whatever I would say would just be treading old ground.

But after that dinner, I had to write about it. It was incredible, amazing, ecstasy-producing food. If anyone here is looking for yet another rapturous blow-by-blow account of our meal (alas, without photos, I can't enjoy the food and have fun when I'm pulling out my camera every 10 minutes) let me point you to http://foodmusings.typepad.com/food_musing...05/manresa.html

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  • 1 month later...

I believe the first time I heard of chef David Kinch was in the June 1996 Gourmet. In my opinion this was the first review were Gourmet did not just give a middle of the road description of a restaurant,but actually a review in the sense of the word. The first truly negative review they gave a restaurant was Atlas in NY,if I recall correctly. So this review of Sent Sovi sparked my interest in chef Kinch's work,and I recall calling the restaurant requesting a menu to review. Imagine my surprise when a few days later I found a whole press kit in my mailbox.

This was almost ten years ago,and I have been reading all I can on the success of chef Kinch sense. So when I had the opportunity to visit the Napa Valley last weekend, I just had to fit in a visit to Manresa.

The hours before our reservation were really kind of comical and for awhile seemed it was straight out of a sitcom. The ride down from Yountville went well as I never have seen a seven lane highway before. Something the east coast should consider. But we arrived a few hours early with some time to kill and dressed in shorts. And not knowing what kind of dress code Manresa had we were debating were we could change. Luckily we found a secluded parking lot at the edge of town were we attempted to change. Kind of gave the wife a wink and made a comment about being twenty years younger. We still had some time to waste so we walked around town a little bit. And I mentioned to my wife there seems something out of place here that I could not put my finger on. Like out of a Twilight Zone episode. After awhile I stopped in my tracks,looked at her and said I got it. There are no fat people here. All I saw was muscles and boobs! So I pulled in my gut and headed to the restaurant.

I went in knowing I was going to enjoy this meal but after the first few courses I knew my expectations were exceeded. Chef Kinch's cuisine is bold and in your face, and makes you stop to take notice.

I just love the dining room with it's well spaced tables and comfortable chairs.

If there was one down fall in the evening it was we were pushed for time as we had to catch the Redeye out of SF airport. As each course was sat down,we likely finished it within minutes. And as I watched the dining room fill up I could not help but have a vision of chef Kinch yelling fire the next three courses for that S.O.B!!

Maybe if I didn't work in kitchens all my life this would not have bothered me but I tend to work myself up as I know the efffort that must have been taken to keep the courses coming as smoothly as they did on a busy Saturday night.

This is the menu we had:

Amuses

Petits fours red pepper-black olive

Radis au beurre

Santa rosa plum with hibiscus and strawberry

Corn cromesquis

Cioppino jelly

Broccoli and foie gras royale

Marinated fluke, local olive oil

Strawberry gazpacho

Crenshaw melon soup, almond tofu

Dirty girl salad

Rouget, anchovy and tomato sofrigit, lemon basil

Abalone with pigs feet

Cepes en papillote, slow egg

Cranberry bean bouillon, foie gras, old rioja vinegar

Sweetbreads, braised lettuce with corn pudding

Roast farm poularde, delta crawfish

Prime beef roasted in its own fat, foie gras

Strawberries, raw cream, 30 year old balsamico

Pain perdu, roast apricots and corn ice cream

Chocolate marquis, condensed milk ice cream

Petits fours chocolate-strawberry

Again we had a wine pairing and again I failed to take notes. We started with a lovely champagne that my wife and I both felt was the best we tasted on our trip.

Regarding the menu,there was not one dud in the entire dinner and I would be hard pressed to pick my favorites. But if I had to chose the roll back your eyes courses, it would have to be the Santa rose plum with hibiscus and strawberry. Hands down the best amuse I ever had. A burst of flavor that just wakes up the palate. I looked at my wife and said I guess I never had plums before. They were also in the Dirty girl salad. Just wonderful!!

The Rouget surrounded the table with a wonderful aroma the moment it was sat on the table. A terrific dish. The abalone with pigs feet was rich and succulent,and I was tempted to tell my wife halfway threw what it was and hope she would give me hers. The pain perdu was a wonderful dessert course.

In closing, I wish I lived closer to this restaurant,as I know I would visit it regularly. I wish the best for chef Kinch and I truly think that if he was in the Napa Valley and not in a town with muscles and boobs it would have a two month waiting list. I met chef Kinch at the end of the meal and had a brief kitchen tour and conversation. And walking away I not only got the impression that he is immensely talented but also a down to earth great guy. The type of person that you are glad they stepped into your life and entered your world even if only for a short time.

Robert R

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Robert,

Your early summer menu sounds delicious- I must find a way to get back before we return to Colorado.

Boobs and muscles, LOL. :laugh::laugh: Los Gatos does have its share of beautiful people. I think most of the homeowners are 50+, though they tend to be well preserved. :smile:

I only live a few miles away but it might as well be hours away having a toddler and a food-as-fuel husband. Hmm, I sense a solo dinner coming up. :wub:

Edited by kellycolorado (log)
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Robert,

Your early summer menu sounds delicious- I must find a way to get back before we return to Colorado.

Boobs and muscles, LOL.  :laugh:  :laugh:  Los Gatos does have its share of beautiful people.  I think most of the homeowners are 50+, though they tend to be well preserved.  :smile:

I only live a few miles away but it might as well be hours away having a toddler and a food-as-fuel husband.  Hmm, I sense a solo dinner coming up.  :wub:

All jokes aside as I truely thought Los Gatos was a beautiful town. Now on the other hand a few days later I spent July 4th in Pittsburgh watching the fireworks and now were talking about a town with a few burgers under it's belt. :raz:

Robert R

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Robert,

I had the pleasure of eating at Manresa (the word "eating" just doesn't do it justice, though) a few weeks ago and I'm still talking about it to anyone who will listen. What a phenomenal experience. The little corn croquettes were amazing, weren't they? I would chew off my own arm to find out how he makes those. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I have to say that Manresa served up the best meal of my life, and possibly the best I will ever have. Glad to hear you had a similarly enjoyable experience!

Lori

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will be at manresa tomorrow for dinner.  Will post some pictures afterwards.  Any thoughts about sitting on the patio vs the dining room?  We will be a large group.  Thanks.

if it's a large large party, they have a private dingin room

Isaac Bentley

Without the culinary arts, the crudeness of the world would be unbearable. - Kate & Leopold

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