Wednesday, October 10, 2007

finger limes and other surprises

Had a foursome diner at the famous Manresa restaurant in the pretty town of Los Gatos. A special meal was what we had in mind.We chose the tasing menu ( creative and seasonal) no meat but fish o.k for three of us, paired with the appropriate wines. After a warm welcome into the cosy (if lacking in a unified esthetics) dining room, we had the honor of the chef's visit ( my friend knew him),where he threw a bowl on the table and asked us to indentify its content:" chilis,litttle longish padrons???? We were stomped.The chef exulted in showing us the latest in fruit discovery: finger limes.The taste is citrusy, the pulp has the texture of little bursting caviar eggs of lime juice, it looks like a dark green index, curved to beckon.In foodie world,it was definitively a coup.Already we were wowed.Then started a symphony of essences, where the unexpected drew gasps and raves.Amuse bouche: black olive madeleines with a gummy ball of roasted red peppers.a winning, divine pairing of texture and the squeezed soul of each ingredients.I will miss some dishes but I remember well the pumpkin soup poured with a japanese teapot over a cream sorbet
with slivers of limes,the soft boiled farm egg stuffed with a sweet foam and maple syrup, the vegetable garden where each vegetal note where played to its highest level of cellular goodness, the caramelized cube of brioche with roasted plum and sorbet. It was pure gustatory pleasure in discovery.The one off note was the bread: big chunks of forgettable levain style, which did not paired well with all the minute, exquisitely presented dishes.But, otherwise a wonderful, exquisite experience.
My only photo unfortunately doesn't do any justice to the meal, but I wanted to show the quasi religious reverence to the food: a barely cooked tomato soup ( the concentrated perfume of summer) served in a wine glass topped precisely by a wafer of parmegiano.superb !

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