With the third Manresa Bread opening today, Avery Ruzicka is finally getting to see all of her house-milled breads come to life in a new way.
The Campbell location marks a distinct evolution for Manresa Bread, the bakery spin-off of David Kinch’s Michelin-starred Manresa. While the other two bakeries only serve loaves and pastries, the new Manresa Bread is an all-day cafe with toasts, sandwiches, salads, and even full-on entrees like confit chicken with gigante beans. (Of course, you can just swing by for a baguette and chocolate babka, too.) At 2,100 square feet, it’s also twice as big as the Los Gatos and Los Altos locations, with seating for 35 guests.
“When we decided to expand to another location, we started thinking about all the things we still wanted to explore. We love our bread and we want to do more things with our bread, but our current stores aren’t set up for that,” Ruzicka says. “How do we like to enjoy our bread? What do we like to enjoy with our bread? And what do we want to still learn about? That was the initial framework. We wanted to have sandos, breakfast items — we wanted to just utilize all these things in new ways.”
Toasts topped with combos such as ‘nduja, ricotta, and honey and sandwiches filled with the likes of chicken schnitzel and caper mayo are available anytime, while breakfast items get phased out at 4 p.m. in favor of more ambitious, “dinner-y” dishes. There’s German spaetzle made with sourdough starter and freshly milled flour, served in the vein of cacio e pepe, for example, and country pate with frisée in a mustard dressing. “Pate with a wonderful crusty bread, with a dry rose, to me, sounds perfect,” Ruzicka says. “It’s fun, convivial food with the backbone of it being bread or bread items or fermented items.”
And there’s a full bar.
“We have a full liquor license, but I don’t think I need a croissant and a Jack and Coke,” she says. “So instead we asked ourselves, ‘What kind of cocktails would naturally pair? What feels like an extension of this menu?’”
The team landed on a citrusy, farmers market-driven cocktail that will change seasonally, as well as cocktails highlighting fruit juices and house-made jams. But there’s also a robust offering of espresso drinks, kombucha, beer, and wine, with an emphasis on highlighting products that echo Ruzicka’s bread philosophy. While the wine list isn’t 100 percent strictly natural in the sense of no sulphur being added, it does feature plenty of natural wine, primarily from France and California. And the chosen beers, from breweries like Cellarmaker and Prairie, are often spontaneously fermented.
“When I think about bread making, let’s take an ingredient and see what we can make with it,” says Ruzicka, adding that the drinks follow suit. “Let’s take things that aren’t manipulated toward an end goal but are supported and coached and observed to create the most natural expression of what those things are.”
Manresa Bread is open at 195 E. Campbell Avenue in Campbell from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.