LIFE IS SWEET
Plumed Horse’s tasting menu includes desserts such as the Valrhona chocolate ganache.
BEYOND THE BEACH
Tidal Pool, a signature dish at Manresa, reflects chef David Kinch’s affinity for surfing.
Photo: From Manresa, An Edible Reflection (Ten Speed Press)
Since the seasonal eight-course tasting menu here is ever-changing, there’s no set price—it all depends on the price of premium ingredients such as golden osetra caviar, lobster, turbot and squab. You can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per person to indulge in chef Bruno Chemel’s French cuisine moderne; his molecular gastronomy has earned the restaurant two Michelin stars. (The wine pairing is an additional $150 to $220.) If you want to enjoy the jidori egg yolk with potatoes and more, make a reservation, as the pocket-size Baumé doesn’t accept walk-ins. 201 S. California Ave., Palo Alto, 650.328.8899
Last year, David Kinch and his revered restaurant earned a well-deserved third Michelin star. The tasting menu will set you back $235—add another $198 for the wine pairing—and consists of more than a dozen innovative items with ingredients and presentations that illustrate Kinch's genius. For instance, there's his seasonally driven oyster dish, Tidal Pool, that has become one of his signatures, and caviar beignets dusted with gold flakes. And just when you think you can’t possibly be even more impressed by the level of service here, you’re given a treat on your way out (a bag of granola, perhaps) that allows you to continue enjoying the Manresa experience the next morning. 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, 408.354.4330
For an extra-special evening at Saratoga’s lone Michelin-starred restaurant, book the private chef’s table that overlooks the kitchen and accommodates up to 10 guests. Thanks to its floor-to-ceiling window, you get a prime view of the action without the operational noise that can make conversations a challenge. The price for the tasting menu is $135 per person, and includes fare such as Maine scallop, fava bean and leaf gazpacho, dry-aged squab breast and salted caramel mousse. (A vegetarian option is $125 per person.) The wine pairing is $98 per person; or for $250 per person, go all out with the rarewine pairing. 14555 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, 408.867.4711
Originally published in the July issue of Silicon Valley
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