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Manresa citrus dinner, Jan 31 2010

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Manresa citrus dinner, Jan 31 2010

bbulkow | Jan 31, 2010 08:58 PM

Menu

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Blood orange soda with almond lassi
Chicken liver and pain d'epice with wikiwa tangelo marmalade

Light marinade of Dungeness crab and scallop, a tapenade of toasted seaweed and citrus "snows", farmhouse honey with rosemary

Chanterelle mushroom, roasted with brussel sprouts, a pasta with keiffer lime and horseradish

Steelhead trout and its roe, fennel, both raw and braised, miyagawa wade and owari satsumas

Duck foie gras, gently roasted whole, buddha's hand citron confit ficoide glaciale

Roast porcelet with Thomasville citrangequat
A red miso caramel with slow roasted calamondin

Yuzu and vanilla "creamsicle", bergamot madeleines

Exotic citrus with spices, fennel fronds, and a meringue ice cream

Dobashi beni Satsuma, nature...
Temple tangor chocolate truffles

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Notes

The scent of the almond tangled with the blood orange, and added power and sweetness. A great pairing, deserving of "classic" stature.

The chicken liver amuse was excellent, but overshadowed by the rest of the meal.

The crab/scallop was likely the most complex dish of the night. Between the toast, the scallop, the citrus "snow", it was the honey that made it all happen for me, similar to adding the almond to the blood orange. My favorite dish of the night. The dish worked, although the scallop could have been higher quality (long trip from Nantucket).

Chanterelle - the chanterelles were barely cooked, our guess was sous vide. The "pasta" was strips of diakon, not wheat - the lime on the diakon and horseradish made the dish, but the Chanterelles were unique. Usually mushrooms are cooked *in* something, or at least with some salt - this was pure mushroom, and an eye opener. The brussel sprouts weren't obvious - a form of puree in the bottom of the dish, perhaps. This dish was the favorite of the table.

Trout. Astonishing. Possibly also sous vide in there was no external taste in the cooking, simply fish. The roe sparkled and added in a way that roe usually doesn't. The fennel could have done more for the dish, where the satsumas were a good addition but weren't a standout. What fish, though.

Duck foie gras. The fois gras was exceptional, one of the most delicate preparations. More like mousse in delicacy. The budda's hand was a small ribbon which beautifully accented the dish, although it was impossible to eat (the ribbon took some force to cut, the fois gras melted at the slightest touch). A great dish. The "garnish" was some kind of Ice Plant that Kinch has been trying to revive. Another favorite of the table.

Roast porcelet - this was one hunk of rather normal pork, and one of pure rind. The pork itself was simply good. The red miso caramel was exceptional, but there were only two small dots. When the pork was added to the caramel and citrus, the combo was exceptional, but that was only two or three bites. I felt there was another way to do this dish better.

"Creamsicle". Served in a martini glass. I exclaimed at the first taste. The texture of the creamicle was some form of previously unknown substance both rich and light, molten and solid, sweet and tart. Although clearly from the ice cream family, it didn't seem to melt in the mouth - it kept going, and must have eventually melted. The madalenes, given that Manresa is known for them, had no hint of bergamot, a disappointment.

Satsumas. Almost a gimmick, the satsumas sat in the middle of the table the entire meal. We had been warned from eating them early - they were perfection. The server mentioned of all the citrus Kinch had to work from, these satusmas were the most perfect, thus he was unwilling to cook, and could only let them be in their natural state. After all the fireworks, the simple presence was satisfying and gratifying - it's all about the citrus, and there it was.

Truffles. Yea, truffles. As good as exist anywhere.

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