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Manresa Kindles A New Beginning

A short break after the second setback in four years gives David Kinch a chance to regroup, refresh and renew the Los Gatos eatery.

Into the Garden stars Love Apple Farms tomatoes, strawberries, herbs and flowers from Manresa’s garden.

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Chef David Kinch

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The newly painted dining room.

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Diners celebrating the holidays in Los Gatos have something for which to be thankful— and so does David Kinch. After a two-month closure this summer following the second destructive fire in the past four years, the chef ’s three-Michelin-starred Manresa restaurant has reopened with a fresh new look and new additions to its menu.

“Some days are better than others,” says Kinch of the setback. He has praise for the contractor and town officials for a willingness to help him meet a challenging deadline, calling them “magnificent.”

Updates to the restaurant’s interiors include new paint in the dining room, new carpet in a dark hue that Kinch dubs Angry Ocean, and a palette of artwork he’s accumulated from multiple trips to France each year. They include some striking portraits in silver gelatin by a young French photographer. “I’ve taken some photos myself,” Kinch says wryly, “but do I have the courage to hang them?”

Summer’s tomatoes and corn are key elements of his Into the Garden signature dish; with the advent of winter, Kinch is concentrating on seasonal fare such as white and black truffles, various brassicas, Nantucket Bay scallops, kuri squash, celery root and matsutake mushrooms.

The July blaze, ruled accidental by authorities, was caused by rags outside the building on a hot day and led to an estimated $1 million in damage that included the loss of precious serving ware from Japan. The fire occurred in a spot near a blaze that caused $2 million in damage in 2104 and was ruled an arson.

Kinch, who also operates The Bywater restaurant in Los Gatos, used the hiatus from Manresa to work on several projects, including the opening in Campbell of the third outpost of Manresa Bread, a bread shop and cafe with head baker and partner Avery Ruzicka. He also has been concentrating on a new restaurant, Mentone, set to open in Aptos next year, which will serve Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed setting. Mentone is the Italian version of Menton, the Cote d’Azur city on the France-Italy border. But for those with more immediate dining needs, or wishing to toast the restaurant’s renewal, Manresa will be open Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, 408.354.4330, 

 

Originally published in the December issue of Silicon Valley

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