had an occassion to celebrate and decided to have dinner at manresa saturday night. Have only been once previously, about two years ago. had the tasting menu, and well, it was one of the best meals I've ever eaten. so my expectations were high, though this time we were only having three courses.
1st amuse bouche - strawberry gazpacho, with a little olive oil and marcona almond. predominant spice was tarragon (I think). very refreshing. but I am a pushover for that savory/strawberry combo.
2nd amuse bouche - "the egg"... well, I had "the egg" as part of my tasting menu last trip. and thought it was fantastic... and I hate runny egg yolk. but this time, I must say.. it was overcooked! the yolk instead of being just sort of creamy and warmed through, was overly firm. it was still runny, but had started congealing around the sides. when I inquired about the dish, I was told that is the way "the chef prepares it". so I was a little put off.. by the response and the texture... frankly, the texture ruined what is normally a lovely amuse.
for my first course, I started with heirloom tomatoe salad (as did my DH) with white corn puree with basil leaves. it was as expected.. good tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chilled.. sitting in a pool or corn puree. it wasn't earth shattering, but the tomaotes were excellent as was the puree... a light and fresh start.
for my 2nd course I had another appetizer, made in to a large entree. it was dungeness crab with a yogurt sauce and "exotic" indian spices... with a cool cucumber and citrus slices as a base. well, the "exotic" spices was a curry. a very lovely curry, but a curry all the same. what was added to the dish to make it a bit heavier was a lightly battered soft shell crab, which was just delicious. the curry was very creamy and frothy. I enjoyed the dish very much. My DH, had a basil rissotto with snails and a couple chicken wings thrown on top. it was a little strange, but the risotto was tasty, bright green and alive with a fresh basil taste. the snails, were chewy and tasted a lot like garlic and basil... (i have never seen the point of snails). and the wings were tender and good. just a little incongruous with the rest of the dish. oh yes, and there was a fennel foam on top. went well with the chicken, not as much with the rissotto.
DH had a main course instead of dessert.. suckling pig with boudin noir & leeks. the suckling pig was incredibly tender. boudin noir is not my favorite, so I can't comment on whether this was a particularly good one.
for dessert, we split the "buttermilk beignets with stone fruite preserves and tyme ice cream". well, the beignets were very good, if you thought of them more like plain cake doughnuts rather than beignets. and the stone fruit preserves... well, it tasted like apricot & peach jam to me. but very good, jam at that. I remember fondly some earl grey tea ice cream from last time here, so I had high hopes for the tyme. but it was a little disappointing. the tyme came across more like an aroma at the back of the palate. it was very subtle. if you had a hint of a cold, you might mistake it for just really good vanilla ice cream. but all together the effect was nice.
not sure if my expectations were too high from previous meal, but it was still a lovely evenign out with my DH. the ambient noise was louder than I remember... but not intolerable. still a nice experience, but I am now wondering if perhaps they've been reading a bit too much of their own press? *sigh* but perhaps the food really shines in the tasting menu? too bad I don't have an excuse to try that again.