Cafe Manolo Westport
Have people been talking about this place? I feel like a nerd. It's around the corner from me and I just went for the first time last week and again tonight but guess it's been open since last summer.
Funny how they are not that many reviews on the place?
First off, the staff is excellent. As I get more and more jaded with finding good restaurants, I find a big part of my dining experience has to do with the people at the place. Well, everyone from the jovial front door guy with a passion for wine, the chef/owner to the waiters are stellar.
I went back a second time in one week simply to drink the Chalone chardonnay which used to be easy to find out in Cali but not here. This request got me into a discussion with the door guy/sommelier/restaurant consultant and an impromptu tasting of some of the interesting wines he chooses. I will definitely be back again to enjoy the selections he shared with me (maybe lunch today...)
I forget whether the menu changes nightly or weekly? Last week we had halibut in a leek sauce with two sides - whippped Yukon Gold potatoes and a vegetable medley stacked with goat cheese. Each component of the meal was inventive, tasty and excellent. Cheesecake for dessert was whatever...
Last night I had a risotto made with wild mushrooms (I think sorels), fava beans, mascarpone cheese and one other vegetable was in there. It was so awesome I wish I got the double sized portion. That's a cool little thing of this place - all entrees are offered at two price points. I planned to get a dessert as they all looked appetizing but got sidetracked with all the different glasses on wine on my table. Again, the staff was just excellent and we shared stories of the places we liked in the area. I even got a few leads for some NYC restaurants from them.
I hope this place stays around. I'm not too down with the overall restaurant choices we have here in Westport. To me, this place excels at the 3 things I need to turn an ok dining experience into a great experience - interesting food, kick ass wine and a homey staff.
I'm a bad one to ask that. I only notice when things are super cheap or super expensive, so I guess they must have been on par for the quality. I think bill for 2 was $122. No idea what my bill for 1 was. Wanted to return for lunch again today but they close at 2. Wish more places served lunch later or all day dining around here.