Changes are happening at restaurant.
A renovation now in progress, and slated for completion May 18, will include new dining areas, a wine cellar and a bar and lounge. Already a charming destination nestled on a quiet side street in downtown Los Gatos, the new look will give diners even more reason to enjoy James Beard Foundation Award winner and two-Michelin-star chef David Kinch’s Spanish-and-French-influenced cuisine.
“The driving idea behind the new design is to add pleasure to the overall dining experience,” Kinch said. “Just like with the food we serve, we want the atmosphere of the restaurant to evoke the beauty of the location, and to be a memorable ingredient in its own right.”
Kinch explained that the renovation has been in the planning stage for almost four years and that it’s “just part of our natural evolution as a restaurant—trying to improve, trying to move forward and not be stagnant.”
Dream Design Team
The design team included Kinch, partner Michael Kean and Sterry Architecture and Sunny Hills Studio. Kinch said he and Kean were involved every step of the way.
“Michael and I were part of the thought process in terms of the colors and design elements,” Kinch said. “We knew what we wanted to do, which was get a liquor license and build a space to serve it in, but also not to lose any seats. We’re regaining the seats lost in the lounge by building another dining area.”
The architects came up with the idea of the restaurant’s new façade as well as an arbor that covers a walkway leading to the new entrance.
“But to me,” Kinch said, “it just meant they were listening when Michael and I described the overall look and feel we wanted.”
The new design will retain the sophisticated atmosphere that diners love while creating a fresh contemporary feel.
A new entrance will take diners along the leafy sheltered walkway to the rear of the building and a Japanese-inspired garden. Berkeley artist Erik Powell, who collaborated with Los Angeles- based Cleveland Art, created a hand-blown glass chandelier, which will be a focal point of the entry.
Comfortable Lounge and Classic Drinks
From the entry, diners will walk into the new lounge and bar, sure to be stunning with an iridescent backing of alabaster mother of pearl. Lounge seating will curve around the intimate space and face the restaurant’s distinctive fireplace.
Kinch is working with Manresa’s wine director Jeff Bareilles to create a bar menu of classic and contemporary drinks. They will be incorporating ingredients from Love Apple Farm, the restaurant’s strategic partner in the kitchen.
“We’ll incorporate basil, tarragon, cucumber and other ingredients into drinks,” Kinch said. “We’re tasting and testing and narrowing. We intend to concentrate on the classics with high-quality ingredients and high-quality spirits. We’ll start out with a small, contemporary drink program of new drinks that we’re creating.”
Kinch doesn’t plan to have a separate bar food menu.
“We’ll have a couple seats at the bar, some snacks,” he said. “I’d like to have a nice beautiful Spanish ham that we can slice at the bar. But it’s going to be all lounge seating with no tables. A comfortable place to enjoy pre- and post-dinner drinks.”
Sophisticated Dining Areas
The interior will feature an Earth-tone color palette with cream and Maplewood accents. New carpeting, lighting and tables will add to Manresa’s fresh look. There will also be a private dining room that will seat up to 10 people, and total maximum restaurant seating will be 70, which includes two dining spaces, four outdoor seats and the bar and lounge.
Manresa will close May 9 to complete the renovation. The doors will open again two weeks later on May 18 when Kinch, Kean and their staff will welcome guests back to Manresa where they can savor the exquisite cuisine of Chef David Kinch in beautiful new surroundings.
Buon appetito, amici!