Friday, December 09, 2005

Manresa: That's absolutely true

It was after reading Manresa... All of it is True on the Gastronomie blog that I decided to make a reservation at Manresa . I had previously read several great reviews of Manresa, including Manresa Restaurant: a fascinating ride and Notes From the Vinography "Drink Small" Wine Dinner, but for some reason, this one made me pick up the phone and call the restaurant.

So last week, my husband and I drove to Los Gatos for a 6:30pm dinner, and as predicted, the experience was memorable. Just reading the menu was mouth watering. The wine list was small but the wines were well chosen. I was only disappointed by the small selection of wines by the glass. I could not find anything inspiring that could go with our first dish, a foie gras terrine. Fortunately, the problem got resolved thanks to the Sommelier, a friendly and helpful person, who recommended a glass of Prinz von Hessen Riesling Spätlese 2000 that was not in the list. To go with our four course menu, we ordered a bottle of Volnay Premier Cru Champans 1999, also recommended by the Sommelier.

After a couple of appetizers — a mango smoothie and a parmesan churro, the waiter brought us the famous Arpège Egg, a hot-cold soft boiled egg with maple syrup, sherry vinegar and cream. The dish certainly deserved its reputation. The combination of hot and cold ingredients and sweet and sour flavors was amazing.

We started our menu sharing a Terrine of Duck Foie Gras and Pig’s Trotter. This was an inventive creation that combined the rustic flavors of the pig feet with the delicate and silky taste of the foie gras. The 2000 Prinz von Hessen Riesling Spätlese was excellent and a perfect accompaniment to the terrine. The wine had a lot of purity and finess, a smooth texture, a complex finish, and the right amount of sweetness to go well with the foie gras.

I absolutely loved my second dish, the Sea Urchin and Dungeness Crab in Lightly Spiced Coconut Milk. For me, this was the most inventive dish of the menu. I loved its airy texture, its intense flavors combining the salty, iodized flavors of the urchin with the sweet and rich taste of the coconut milk.

My third dish was the Breast of Duck with Braised Red Cabbage and Prunes Poached in Black Tea. This was a more classic dish, yet rich and tasty. It worked very well with the 1999 Volnay Premier Cru Les Champans Domaine Marquis d'Angerville, a concentrated and spicy wine that started very firm and became smooth and unctuous towards the end of the meal.

My last dish, a Warm Date Cake with Caramel Pears and Ice Cream, was a real treat, a comfort food in its most refined form.

Feeling hungry? Call now. The number is 408-354-4330.

Technorati tags:

1 comment:

Fatemeh said...

I'm so glad you went, and that you loved it!

Personally, I can't WAIT to go again, though it will be a couple of months!