Tuesday, November 06, 2007

no photos this time

A horrible thing happened last weekend. I finally made it out to Manresa, and I even remembered my camera, but I forgot my memory card. Argh!

Here's a description of the meal as well as I can remember it:

We ordered a 2004 Rhone Valley red, which the waitress said had some Syrah and some other grapes. I enjoyed it very much; it wasn't too dry or too peppery.

There were three amuse bouches. The first was a mango lassi with a tiny black olive madeleine. The lassi was fine but unremarkable. I liked the salty-sweet flavor of the madeleine, but it was quite small. The second was a couple of German-style veggie "ravioli" which were really bead-sized spheres of veggies encrusted in an almost pastry-like crust. They were served perfectly hot, and were really yummy. The last one I didn't enjoy as much, because it involved a partially cooked egg served in its shell with some kind of foam on top. I'm not a big fan of eggs, and especially not of gooey eggs.

The amuses were followed by a green olive bread and a sourdough bread, and then our appetizers. I had ordered amberjack, sashimi-style, with olive oil and chives. It was quite good although perhaps a little bit oily for my taste, since I'm used to my raw fish plain. Very fresh, though.

Next was a round of wheat bread followed by entrees. My suckling pig dish was really well presented, with broken potatoes, cubes of caramelized apple, tiny leafy greens, and the pork itself fanned out over the sauce. It almost looked like my food had exploded over the plate, but in an artistic way. The apples, potatoes, and pork were all delicious.

I followed the entree with a cheese plate before dessert. The cheese guy came with a cart and described all eight cheeses to me, and asked which ones I would like. Of course, I asked if I could have all of them, and he graciously served me generous portions of each. My favorite was a thrice-creamed sheep's milk cheese whose name escapes me, but they were all good except one which was a very mild cheese crusted with herbs. I felt that the herbs overpowered the cheese. The accompaniments were figs, sweetened prunes, nuts, honeycomb, apple, and toasted cranberry nut bread.

For dessert, I had a gateau basque with caramelized pears, black licorice ice cream and sassafras sauce. I was skeptical at first but the waitress highly recommended it, and she was right; the combination of flavors was amazing, and I ate it all even though I was already stuffed.

Finally, we had the petit fours, which consisted of a chocolate mousse tart (ok), a strawberry gelee (ok), a square of something caramel-y with nuts (yummy) and a dab of lemon curd wrapped in caramelized sugar (super yummy!).

Overall, I would say the two dishes that I enjoyed the most were the suckling pig and the gateau basque, although I quite liked the "ravioli" as well.

Afterwards, I was thinking about whether I would go back anytime soon, with a memory card next time. I decided that although the food was delicious and the service was superb, there are lots of other interesting restaurants in the Bay Area that I haven't had a chance to try yet, and I'd rather visit those instead of returning to Manresa in the near future. It was definitely worth the drive, though!

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