Since opening his Los Gatos restaurant Manresa (named for a city about an hour to the northwest of Barcelona) in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2002, chef David Kinch has defied conventional culinary categorization. As Charles Bowden wrote a few years ago, “The restaurant press says he is cooking New California Cuisine or he is cooking French or he is cooking Catalan or he is farm-to-table…” but really the best way to describe him and his cuisine is to use one word: original. Kinch suffered a huge blow in July 2014, when a two-alarm fire destroyed the kitchen and back-of-house area, necessitating a six-month renovation and $2 million to reopen. But reopen it did, and without much change to the kitchen’s original footprint. “When the fire happened, I always thought we were the best restaurant we ever were in 12 years,” Kinch told Inside Scoop SF. “So I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.” Unsurprisingly, Kinch has been looking forward to putting 2014 behind him, and he seems to be regaining momentum, opening his first spin-off, Manresa Bread, a block away. What to expect at the freshly reopened restaurant? A $198 tasting menu that uses products grown using biodynamic practices, and dishes featuring vast landscapes of ingredients and flavors that are thoughtful and experimental, but never overwrought.
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015