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The first time I went to Los Gatos was when my friend and I rushed to the Michelin-rated Manresa to enjoy their "Bar Bites" menu before heading to catch our flight out of the San Jose Airport. As we drove into the town on our single-minded mission, I made a mental note of how adorable the town of Los Gatos looked and how I wanted to go back. And I finally did! In between events in San Francisco, I headed south to Redwood Shores (20 minutes north of Palo Alto) to visit friends. When I was invited to check out The Catamount, I thought it was a perfect chance to return to Los Gatos. Little did I know that Los Gatos is a good 45 minute drive from Redwood Shores but thankfully my friend was a good sport and willing to drive. We entered the charming town of Los Gatos where the streets are lined with shops and pulled into the lot where The Catamount is located. Opened in May of 2017, The Catamount is a very large (10,000 square feet), bright and airy space with a beautiful Carrera marble bar welcoming you at the entrance and a warm, modern comfortable overall feeling. The historic building dates back to 1923 and the name The Catamount is a combination of "the cats" (translated from Los Gatos) and the Santa Cruz Mountains, which can be seen from the windows in the restaurant.
Last summer I attended an extraordinary dinner at Los Angeles Food and Wine called Dining with the Michelin Stars. One of the featured chefs was David Kinch of Manresa in Los Gatos. After eating his delicate Beggar’s Purses and Beef with Pole Beans, Puffed Rice and Onion Broth at the dinner, I swore that a dining experience at Manresa was on the top of my list. But, the only issue was, when would I be in Los Gatos? Well, it happened! After a weekend at Pebble Beach Food and Wine, my friend and I were flying out of San Jose Airport and Los Gatos is just 15 minutes from the airport. So, despite all the eating we had done over the weekend, we hightailed it out of Pebble Beach when the event ended and drove straight to Los Gatos. Los Gatos is a charming little town that looks like it was lost in time. Our navigation took us down a few streets (a few arguably seemed like ally-ways) and we pulled up in front of Manresa. Manresa Manresa opens for dinner at 5:30pm (the bar opens at 5:15pm). The restaurant offers a 14-course tasting menu for $198 and takes about three hours. Sadly we only had about one and a half hours before we had to head to the airport. But, the good news is that if you sit at the bar, Manresa offers an abbreviated tasting menu called "Bar Bites." It's five courses (pulled from the full tasting menu) and was what we had time for.