It's official: Manresa's first spinoff is finally here. After years of pop-ups and months of anticipation extended by the tragic fire at its two-Michelin-starred big sister, ManresaBread (276 N. Santa Cruz Avenue) is set to pop in Los Gatos beginning tomorrow morning. The project comes from Manresa's longtime head baker Avery Ruzicka, along with the restaurant's executive chef, David Kinch, and Manresa alum Andrew Burnham. It's a small retail shop that's intended for takeout, emphasizing fresh-baked loaves like a classic levain, pumpernickel rye, and whole-wheat polenta. Pastries rotate seasonally, but include hazelnut brown-butter cake, chocolate brioche, and kale-parmesan scones. (Here's a mouthwatering illustrated guide to the menu.)
The space was designed by Robert Van Horne (Tosca Cafe, Delfina, Belcampo), who stocked it with plenty of local plants and a wood, marble, and copper design. Everything is baked in a massive commercial kitchen right down the street, which will allow ManresaBread to service not only its parent restaurant, but the three Santa Cruz locations of Verve Coffee Roasters as well (beginning March 1). They'll also hold onto their weekly slots at the Santa Cruz and Campbell farmer's markets. Hours for ManresaBread are Wednesday-Sunday, 7 am-3 pm.