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Fancy Takeout

Journey at Home Day 53

Manresa in Los Gatos is a 3 Michelin Star restaurant that I have refused to patronize due to the $295 tasting menu price, without wine. Adding the wine is about another $200. To survive, Manresa has become a take-out restaurant. Same chef. Their complete meals (salad, sides, main, dessert) run from $39 to $59 with an occasional higher price for special aged beef ($89 to $129). Add-ons include the sommelier’s bottle of wine for the day and the cocktail du jour. At these prices, takeout is a great way to sample the cuisine of a pricey restaurant.

Manresa publishes a menu at 8:00 AM on the day prior to making it available. They tend to sell out fast. I was able to reserve the BBQ chicken meal for two, which we ate last night. It was fabulous.

  • BBS chicken with ramp “ranch” dipping sauce. One large breast and a thigh-leg per person. Basically enough for two meals.

  • Buffalo style cauliflower, meaning spiced like buffalo chicken wings—hot and very tender. I enjoyed it and ate it all.

  • Orzo pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes and arugula. Very yummy, but enough for two nights. 

  • Biscuits with honey butter. One each, and we finished them. 

  • Blueberry and pistachio financier. I’ve never had one and found the name quite strange as it has nothing to do with finances! It's a French almond-based pastry.

I opted for the sommelier’s recommendation: Brovia Ciabot del Fi, 2017, Barbera D’Alba. The wine went well with the meal. Earthy aroma, lightly fruity, very smooth. I enjoyed it. Glen opted for the cocktail of the day, which was a barrel-aged Manhattan. The bartender included hermetically sealed ice cubes and cherries to make assembly at home quite easy.

You get a printed menu with the meal. Not shown here, but printed lower on the menu, are instructions for exactly how to reheat the food should your journey home be longer than a few minutes. Each item has its own time for reheating. The instructions are quite easy to follow.

I hope Manresa continues to offer take-out even after they resume in-person seating. The social distancing rules will make it so they can’t fill up the restaurant. I think take-out will given them an additional revenue stream.

I know that the take-out experience is not like the tasting menu experience, as that has more exotic and fussy preparations, smaller portions, more courses, and lots of pampering.  But takeout is a great way to sample the service, the chef, the sommelier, and not overburden the wallet.

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