Not a critic, not a VIP, not a writer...just a regular diner's experience:
DH and I celebrated our anniversary at Manresa tonight. Reservation through Opentable.com three weeks in advance was a breeze (I even checked today and there were reservations available). Parking required just some time to find.
We were greeted by a smiling and friendly host in suit and seated quickly. (Don't know his name, maybe we should've asked, but none of the servers introduced themselves like ones in the other restaurants do. Not a complaint, just an observation.) The main dining room was about 90% full. The ambiance and lighting were relaxing. Service was quick and friendly, although our main (woman) server seemed amused that we didn't know that "sweetbreads" were not bread really (I've never had it before...), but didn't offer to explain what it was (other diners gave some clarification).
We opted for the tasting menu; here's what we had (some names I've forgotten):
1-Black olive madeleines and red pepper gumdrops
2-Citrus salad in oolong tea gelée with fresh mint
5-Broccoli soup with foie gras
6-? clams, red peppers
7-fried ? fish, wild rice, topped with squid
8-Black cod with crab and salmon roe
10-duck, potato waffle
11-lamb, shepherd's pie
13-pineapple fried ball with passionfruit sauce
14-Chocolate marquis with condensed milk ice cream -came with a candle to wish us happy anniv.
15-Chocolate madeleines with strawberry gumdrops
This was the right amount of food and they were mostly very delicious. The fish were all wonderful. Maybe our tastebuds were used to lighter food, but we both felt that the courses were a bit salty.
I also wondered if everyone who ordered the tasting menu can get different items, because a nearby table got an extra dish that we didn't get, while they had different desserts from ours.
About the "egg": I don't get "it". It was only okay-good for me. Am I missing something? It was different in a good way but I can't say that I would rave about it. Does everyone LOVE the egg but me??
Having read many blogs and reviews for Manresa, I was a teeeeeeeeny tiny bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, the courses were all great in presentation, taste and flavor, but I just couldn't help thinking: where are the parmesan churros (I was so looking forward to this), the oyster with uni (may be out of season), the strawberry gazpacho, the chocolate souffle, the sashimi fluke, the kobe beef.....I guess we have to go back again for other courses! However, I think when we go back, the 4-course will be a better choice.
We each had a glass of Veuve Cliquot champagne ($18/glass). Our 3 hour dinner bill with tax and tips came to $300. Expensive? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes, for the experience. But it'll be a few months before we go back again.
(A non-food related restaurant pet peeve: with the decor, the food, and the service being so top-notch, the TP can be softer.....)