Saturday, June 25, 2011

Manresa: Six Degrees of Inspiration

Some pictures from my latest dinner at Manresa: my most recent, this week. There is a grace and lightness to David Kinch, a love of the garden and an elegance. The meals sometimes substantial in length are never heavy. The star of this line of dishes was the Spring Lamb, Pickled Tongue, Smoked Date with Cumin Seed, Roasted Carrots, and Braised Letter. Also a wonderful Black Bass and Octopus with Clam Juice perfumed with Coriander and Leek. It is hard to classify David Kinch who brings together all of the streams that influence contemporary cuisine: modern French (a la Michel Bras), Catalan, Japanese, Garden to Table, and Tail to Snout. But the dishes never seem forced, but inspired. And, best of all, every time I have eaten at Manresa, Chef David Kinch has been in the kitchen cooking. Let us hope that Las Vegas never comes calling.

Manresa has expanded its dining room, and in the process have become more distinctive and architecturally interesting. Even my photos look better. They have a most creative cocktail menu.

An amuse from Manresa's Love Apple Farm:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 Vegetable Beignet

Manresa's iconic elemental poached oyster: all of the flavor, none of the slime:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Elemental (Poached) Oyster

A reprise of the Abalone and Raw Milk Panna Cotta from an early meal:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Abalone Panna Cotta

A vegetarian dish of spring: Pea and Strawberry medley:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Medley of Peas and Strawberries

The late spring version of "Into the Vegetable Garden," now with nasturtium. Sweeter than the winter version:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Inter the vegetable garden: June version

A splendid and elegant aquatic dish: Black bass with octopus, clam juice, perfumed with coriander and leek and young squash shoots:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Black Bass with Octopus, Clam Juice Perfumed with Coriander and Leek, Young Squash Shoots

The best dish of the evening was spring lamb, its pickled tongue, smoked date with cumin seed, roasted carrots, and braised lettuce. One of Chef Kinch's most creative creations. An inspiring composition:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Spring Lamb, Pickled tongue, Smoked date with cumin seed, roasted carrots, braised lettuce, nasturiums

Our intermezzo was Acai granita, Lemon Cream Soup, and Yogurt sorbet. Cool and sweet:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Intermezzo - Acai granita, Lemon cream soup, Yogurt sorbet and Berries

Finally dessert, a continuation of the intermezzo: Yogurt mousse and passion fruit curd, poached rhubarb with strawberry sorbet:

Manresa - Los Gatos, CA - June 2011 - Yogurt Mousse and Passion Fruit Curd, Poached Rhubarb with Strawberry Sorbet

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