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Chez TJ or Manresa?

d
doublehelping Jan 5, 2008 05:40 PM

We have a friend coming to town for a visit. He is a major foodie, and we want to take him to a great restaurant in the area. He already has reservations at the French Laundry. We have narrowed the choices down to Manresa and Chez TJ. Which one should we pick? BTW, he is also a big wine connoisseur and is bringing a couple bottles of wine for dinner so corkage fee is a consideration as well.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

  1. m
    ML8000 Jan 5, 2008 06:07 PM

    Both received two Michelin stars, if that matters, so neither are lacking. Manresa is probably the hotter ticket right now. I've been to TJ and TFL but not Manresa. Manresa and TFL in the same trip would be pretty hard to beat if you ask me and I'm not saying this because I haven't been to Manresa.

    1. kivarita Jan 5, 2008 06:58 PM

      I'd definitely say Manresa. We were just there in Sept. for our anniversary and it was easily the best meal we've had in the Bay Area in the last 3 years (we haven't had the opp to the TFL).

      Chez TJ also just lost Chef Christopher Kostow to Meadowood up in Napa, so it's hard to say what food will be like.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kivarita
        a
        al88 Jan 7, 2008 04:40 PM

        I thought that Kostow was staying on until mid-February. If so, I think the OP should try Chez TJ before he leaves. Save Manresa for the next visit.

        I just had the tasting menu 2 weeks ago at Chez TJ and thought it was wonderful. On par with my Manresa tasting menu experiences...and better than my non-tasting menu Manresa experiences.

        1. re: al88
          kivarita Jan 8, 2008 07:23 PM

          you're absolutely right, al88 - looks like he's there til next month.

      2. Porthos Jan 7, 2008 04:07 PM

        I think your friend would really appreciate Manresa and TFL on the same trip. Make sure you get the tasting at Manresa and do your own comparison. A small group of us feel that Manresa's flavors and cuisine are more exciting than TFL. Service and wine list go to TFL easily but the food at Manresa is much more exciting IMO.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Porthos
          m
          ML8000 Jan 7, 2008 04:26 PM

          That's why I'm really interested in trying Manresa. From all reports it sounds exciting and interesting and a relative bargain compared to TFL. I'm also prefer a more casual (relative term) so appeals to me as well.

          1. re: ML8000
            Porthos Jan 7, 2008 05:20 PM

            Manresa is perfect for you. Go with the wine pairing but also go/go again during spring or summer when Kinch's garden kicks in.

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