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What to order at Manresa?

SF Chowhounds:

I will be dining at Manresa next week and I would like some opinions about what to order. I have read many posts which recommend the tasting menu, but I, unfortunately, do not have the time to do that. I am open to eating anything (except mussels which I am allergic to) and I really enjoy dishes with a complex combination of flavors. I have looked at the menu online, but brief descriptions do not often convey the full effect of the dish. I would love to know of any can't miss dishes that regularly appear on the menu (which I realize changes often). Thank you very much for any assistance.

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  1. Suggested items.
    Foie Gras croquettes
    Chanterelle mushrooms in bonito butter
    Arpege Farm Egg with Maple and Vinegar
    Into the Vegetable Garden
    Fleur de sel caramels

    7 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      I had the chanterelle mushrooms in bonito butter as part of the tasting menu in October 2009 and while everything we ate was great, this is the dish I'm still thinking about. I loved it.

      1. re: wolfe

        The Arpege Egg and Into The Vegetable Garden are the two dishes everyone mentions in the next breath.

        1. re: wolfe

          Thank you for these suggestions. Most of my memorable dishes have involved meat, fish, pasta or dessert. I don't think I would have ordered something that features vegetables or eggs, but I probably will now. Are there any suggestions about main courses?

          1. re: ChemWork

            Check uhockey's blog for a plate by plate rundown.
            http://uhockey.blogspot.com/2009/04/m...
            Remember "u" sets the pole extraordinarlly high.

            1. re: wolfe

              wolfe:

              I avidly follow uhockey's posts and have found them very informative and useful for my trips to Chicago and NYC.

              1. re: wolfe

                Bar high, pole is what you use to jump/vault.

              2. re: ChemWork

                Into the Vegetable Garden is indeed Manresa's signature dish. That's the only dish on the menu that I would call a can't-miss. The arpege egg nearly always is served as an amuse, so it's not something that you order. Similarly for the caramels, which are served as you go out the door.

                Other than that, I think it's pretty hard to go wrong. Order what you feel like having, and ask questions to learn more about the combinations. Enjoy!

                Michael

                -----
                Manresa Restaurant
                320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

            2. I thought the seafood was outstanding (although everything worked), in particular something called The Tidal Pool, that had Abalone, foie gras, sea urchin in a tidal pool with dashi, matsutake mushrooms and oyster water. It was a very unusual mix and tasted like the sea.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/491377

              1 Reply
              1. re: ML8000

                The Tidal Pool is excellent. Although the menu listed uni as an ingredient, they didn't have any that day and forgot to update the menu. They substituted in octopus, which worked so well, I didn't miss the uni. (Though I still pointed it out and got comped a cheese course for my troubles!)

              2. There's always a version of "Into the vegetable garden… their natural juices" and that's a must.

                If I had the egg, and I probably did, it was not one of the memorable items from the 20-odd course tasting menu:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/548333

                1. Here was my post from their Citrus dinner
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/684668
                  The dish that haunts months later was the mushroom/sprout/pasta, which I wouldn't have ordered if on a regular menu. The "pasta" was perfectly sliced and cooked Daikon, so you didn't know until you bit it wasn't pasta. Their idea of a leetle joke.