Here at Manhattan with a Twist, we are no stranger to amazing food, which is why we were insanely impressed with recently opened Manon, located in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Head inside and prepare to be blown away by the awe-inspiring three story venue.The first floor hosts the bar and lounge while the second floor contains the main dining room — both of which incorporate baroque style with brick walls, chandelier lighting, and an overall royal feeling of grandeur.
As if the interior isn’t impressive enough, the menu, prepared by executive chef Tae Strain and pastry chef Beth Bosmeny, will surely make you drool by just reading it. The modern American menu focuses on locally sourced seasonal fare. We recommend starting with the Fruit Crudite ($9), which is a refreshing, unusual dish, topped with lime chili, mint, and Kaffir lime syrup. Their bread is to die for, and comes out nice and warm and tastes super buttery.
Next up were their appetizers, which were hard to choose from. We opted for the Viking Village Scallops ($18), which came with caramelized fennel, cauliflower and grapefruit. These scallops were to die for and literally melted in your mouth. We also tried the Saffron Black Pepper Garganelli ($18), which was equally divine. This pasta dish came with Little Neck clams, cockles, sea urchin butter and red chili flakes. It had a great amount of flavor and wasn’t too creamy and was just the right portion. Definitely worth trying. We were also fortunate to try their famous Lobster Rolls ($38), with Santa Barbara sea urchin and American caviar. These are outstanding. Unlike most lobster rolls, which are heavy with sauce, these are more lobster meat than anything, and taste like heaven. They come with a side of homemade potato chips.
Now, while we were enjoying our appetizers, our drinks were not empty. Manon has a great cocktail menu, catering to both men and women. I started with the Rock God ($14), which was comprised of Fighting Cock, King’s Ginger, mint water and Decanter bitters. It was a nice, strong cocktail and very enjoyable. Next, our amazing waiter made up a special rum drink just for me, and it was delicious and refreshing. After the cocktails, it was time to move on to some wine to pair with our entrees.
For our entrees, we decided on the Herb Grilled Whole Branzino ($29), made with coriander, jicama, fennel, shallots, and palm sugar vinaigrette. With this fish, I ordered a glass of Sancerre, which paired perfectly together. The branzino was cooked to perfection — not undercooked and not overcooked! If you are a fish lover, then you will certainly enjoy this dish. Additionally, we enjoyed one of their evening specials, short ribs. These were absolutely phenomenal, fell right off the bone, and hard to stop eating! Along with our main course, we had some of their outstanding side dishes, including the Brussels Sprouts ($9) with honey butter and pecans and the Cauliflower Gratin, both of which were to die for. Although our stomachs were fit to explode, it was hard to stop and put our forks down!
If you think we didn’t have dessert, think again. Somehow we managed to expand our stomachs for just a little longer and were able to take pleasure in their sweet offerings. We had the Caramel Poached Pears ($11), made with a lemon puree, cinnamon-bay leaf ice cream and crispy phyllo, which was paired with a sweet Moscato wine — an incredible combination. Additionally, we tried the Chocolate Cake & Creameux ($12), which comes with brown ale caramel and malted ice cream. This was a true winner and paired very well with the Sauternes. For those of you afraid of ordering chocolate cake at a restaurant for fear of it being too heavy or dark, don’t worry because this was not the case at Manon.
With an exceptional cocktail menu, phenomenal food, and a luxurious atmosphere, it is no wonder that we have dubbed Manon as the BEST new restaurant in New York City. We cannot wait to come back — whether for some after work cocktails, a delicious meal, or late night revelry, we are sure to frequent this new spot on the regular.
Manon is located at 407 West 14th Street.