Manresa, Los Gatos, 3/11/16

Exterior
Exterior

This fairly large place is located about an hour out of San Francisco. It was renovated after a fire in July 2014 that destroyed its kitchen. Chef David Kinch was said to have used the opportunity to re-think his menu and that in turn led to the restaurant receiving its third Michelin Star in Oct. of 2015. Even so, you could easily drive past the place which is located in a little shopping area where there was no sign of any garden activity to supply the place with fresh local items.

interior
interior
table set up
table set up
Frankie in the window
Frankie in the window
wine
white wine
IMG_3532
Menu

 

The restaurant offers only a tasting menu which you will be given a copy of after the meal.  One thoughtful gesture about this was the inclusion of some information about the amuse bouche bites which often are not included in the menus given out. We started with petit fours which are repeated at the end of the meal only the beginning ones are savory flavors and the latter sweet. The red pepper jellies were a wow flavor and the olive madeleines had a nice crisp to the exterior. The granola crispy were nice but I’d call the chestnut truffles just okay.  They kicked it up a notch with the orange beignets which had a wonderful onion finish to the taste.

olive madeleine and red pepper gel
olive madeleine and red pepper jelly
granola crisp
granola crisp
Chestnut truffle, brillat savarin
Chestnut truffle, brillat savarin
Savory blood orange beignet
Savory blood orange beignet
bread tray
bread tray
brioche and levened bread
brioche and levened bread
Frankie must have taken a lap of the butter
Frankie must have taken a lap of the butter

 

The seafood assortment was mostly pleasant  but some less than so tastes and overall did not meld together well for me but I did love the color of the bowl giving that ‘deep blue sea’ affect.

winter tidal pool: uni, monkfish liver, sea bream, mushrrom, peas
winter tidal pool: uni, monkfish liver, sea bream, mushrrom, peas

 

The flowers “Into the garden, green and bitter” was pleasant and I did like the custard underneath it all but it was a tad salty on the down side.

flowers and custard
Into the Garden, green and bitter – flowers and custard
inside
inside
interesting utensil
interesting utensil

 

The grilled squid was accented with crispy fried onions and overall the tastes melded together better but there were still too many ingredients in the dish to me.

Avocado, charcoal grilled squid, kiwi, exotic citrus and turnip
Avocado, charcoal grilled squid, kiwi, exotic citrus and turnip
as plated
as plated
Frankie keeps watch for friends
Frankie checked out the wine rack behind the glass

 

The scallop with the cracker had less ingredients and I enjoyed it much more. The abalone was tender but had very little taste and the fishiness of the roe on the plate messed up the tapioca. Overall it turned out okay but felt jumbled.

Scallops, chestnut and black truffle milk
Scallops, chestnut and black truffle milk
another view
another view
Abalone, tapioca with radish and parmesan
Abalone, tapioca with radish and parmesan
as plated
as plated
wine
red wine

 

Moving on to the mushroom and truffle it finally worked. Now that had some wonderful flavors that worked together to make it a real winner.

mushrooms, toasted levain mousseline
mushrooms, toasted levain mousseline
as plated
as plated
Frankie tried to decide it the course is better with red or white wine
Frankie tried to decide it the course is better with red or white wine

 

The duck had been aged 2 weeks and was nicely moist and cooked perfectly but the  yam gratin was dull and I ended up using the lemon sauce to give it flavor. The broth that came with the dish was salty and a tad fishy.

Roast duck, spiced orange confit, yam and chevre pavé
Roast duck, spiced orange confit, yam and chevre pavé
as plated
as plated
consommé with duck
consommé with duck
Frankie warmed herself by the table's candle
Frankie warmed herself by the table’s candle

 

The presentation of the beef was spectacular but a weird assortment of stuff. The beef itself was aged and tasted great but I ended liking the presentation more than the flavors of the vegetables.

beef with five vegetables
beef with five vegetables
as plated
as plated
another view of the vegetables
another view of the vegetables
Frankie wanted some beef
Frankie wanted some beef

 

The Paris brest had a bit of marmalade on the bottom half of the pastry, which was terrific.  The rest of the desserts were fine but not memorable. They also send you home with a couple boxes of granola that was pretty good. The best were the caramels I snagged on the way out the door. Now they were GOOD!

Paris brest, hazelnut praline and kuno wase satsuma
Paris brest, hazelnut praline and kuno wase satsuma
grapefruit and fennel pavalova with graham cracker
grapefruit and fennel pavalova with graham cracker
inside
inside
milk chocolate bavarois, black sesame financier, winged lime
milk chocolate bavarois, black sesame financier, winged lime
as plated
as plated
Macaroons
Macaroons – tamarind, coffee and chamomile
Frankie was excited to see a menu from Benu
Frankie was excited to see a menu from Benu, a decoration in the bathroom
bathroom art
bathroom art
more art
more art
She loves a stack of towels
She loves a stack of towels
Strawberry petit fours
Strawberry petit fours
Frankie thought the box the petit fours came in was just her size
Frankie thought the box the petit fours came in was just her size
Chocolate petit fours
Chocolate petit fours
another angle
another angle
interior
interior
Frankie approved of the gift of granola
Frankie approved of the gift of granola

 

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