HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Need Your Help: Have A Car For One Night To Go To A Special Dinner. Which Restaurant?

  • b
  • benv Mar 26, 2010 03:54 AM
  • 16
  • Share

I need some help with what restaurant to chose for a special and one time only opportunity dinner. Me, my best friend and his sister who is driving up from Santa Barbara for just the weekend of April 10/11 are looking to celebrate a lot of things with a very nice dinner. My friend and I live in SF(done all of the good ones here) and don't own cars, so this is an opportunity to be able to travel outside of SF for a nice dinner.

I am debating a couple of restaurant.*First off, I called French Laundry about a week ago and got on the waiting list for anytime either Saturday or Sunday(I already know that it wont happen) so I thought of others. Here's my question, we now have reservations to Cyrus on Saturday night at 9:30 but I am wondering if that's the real next best choice.
Right now I am still torn between Cyrus and Manresa.

If you had a car to take you to one bay area restaurant what would it be?Any thoughts?

Others I am debating/would you recommend before Cyrus?:
Manresa
Redd
Bouchon

Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. We've eaten at all four of these. Redd and Bouchon are nice, but a level below Manresa and Cyrus. Between Manresa and Cyrus, if you're looking for a special dinner, I would go with Cyrus. I thought the food at Manresa was good, but service was woefully lacking. At Cyrus, they were extremely attentive, and the caviar and cheese carts are very fun (in a special way).

    1. Are you thinking of a trip to Sonoma/Napa with dinner or just dinner & are you planning to drive back same night? Redd was very good but not "drive up to napa for dinner" good.

      1. By the way Cyrus is now open for lunch on Saturdays. Healdsburg is also a lovely place to visit.

        1. My vote would be Cyrus. I have had some really special meals there, and Healdsburg is a great place to walk around. Not all "fancy," just great wine country atmosphere.

          1. I don't own a car either, and one place I've been thinking of trying if I ever had my hands on some wheels is Meadowood with Chef Christopher Kostow.

            http://www.meadowood.com/wine-and-cui...

            1 Reply
            1. re: singleguychef

              That would be my choice as well. But I think Manresa would be the "second-only-to-French-Laundry-if-that" option.

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

            2. I'd go to Manresa. It was on par or better then TFL imo. Might also take a drive down the coast and to Santa Cruz while you're there to maximize the use of the car.

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

              2 Replies
              1. re: ML8000

                It lacks the appeal of being in Napa, but I second Manresa. David Kinch is very creative, and I haven't had problems with the service.

                Although, it is somewhat a matter of personal taste. SInce you mention having tried all of the places in SF, I would say that if you like Coi, you'll probably like Manresa where the cooking has a California local/experimental tidal pool vibe. If you are more of a Dining Room at the Ritz/Gary Danko fan (foie torchon/truffled pasta/seared kobe), Cyrus or Meadowood might be more up your alley.

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

                1. re: sfbing

                  I had the best meal of my life at Cyrus, and we eat at a lot of fancy restaurants.

              2. Thanks for the input so far everyone.

                So this is where i am right now. I have already accepted the fact that I am not going to get called back off the waiting list of The French Laundry. But after doing more research I am not that disappointed after all.

                I have made my choice to pick between Manresa and Cyrus. At the moment I have Saturday night reservations to both but want to make my final choice sooner than later so I may cancel my reservation to one of them to make room for other possible diners that night. Now, what made me currently lean a lot more to Manresa is that not knowing until after I set my reservation is that that night is going to be a special night for Manresa as they are hosting the "Mauro Colagreco Dinners" that weekend.

                Some Info:
                "Celebrated chef Colagreco travels to Los Gatos from his restaurant Mirazur, a modern three-level restaurant set among terraced orchards and gardens in Menton on the Côte d’Azur. He received his first Michelin star in 2006 and was awarded “Chef of the Year” by Gault & Millau—the first non-French chef ever to have received this title."

                "Colagreco first cooked at Manresa in April 2008. Now he returns for an exciting, new collaboration with David Kinch. Both Michelin starred chefs share a common sensibility—ultra fresh cuisine defined by the unique regions, or the terrior of their restaurants."

                Check out all the info on thier website.Dinners are $225 per person, exclusive of wine, tax, and gratuity.

                Is Manresa for that night the for sure win now? Want to make this amazing.

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

                The French Laundry
                6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                5 Replies
                1. re: benv

                  I wrote up my experience on their special Citrus dinner in January, which I considered exceptional. They'll make sure you feel special - meet the chefs, tour the kitchen, etc. Although Cyrus is very good, Manresa on a special dinner night hums with energy. My two companions that night, who had become slightly blase about Manresa's usual menu, thought Citrus was one of the best Manresa meals they had ever had. Or course it's always a risk, who knows who this Colagreco really is, but I'd go for it. Kinch has a lot of reputation and, given the folks who have spun out of his kitchen, an eye for talent.

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

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    Colagreco is a protege of Alain Passard, who is probably David Kinch's single biggest influence.

                    http://manresarestaurant.com/reviews/...
                    http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles...

                  2. re: benv

                    It's always a risk because of personal tastes and expectations. That said, I heard the Alain Passard guest chef week at Manresa was excellent. If like local and surprises, Manresa could be it. All I can say is "pine needle ice cream", a real wtf dish but it worked.

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

                    1. re: benv

                      Here's what I thought of the last Colagreco dinner at Manresa...

                      http://www.sweetandsourspectator.org/...

                      Very very good, but not great. On the other hand, unless you are going to travel to Europe to eat Colagreco's food, this is a once-in-a-long-while chance. I'd go to the Manresa/Colagreco dinner over Cyrus. You can always go to Cyrus your next visit out here.

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

                      1. re: benv

                        Per your post in the other thread, yes, please do tell us about your Manresa meals.
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7012...
                        Twice in one month, yow!

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

                      2. No question I would go to Cyrus. I prefer it to The French Laundry, actually, although Alinea still tops my list (the flight makes it more difficult, though... :) Outstanding food and service (and honestly, a meal that starts with a caviar and champagne cart is hard to fault. :)

                        Manresa is excellent, and slightly more affordable (for a regular dinner, not their special guest chef dinners).

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

                        The French Laundry
                        6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599