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Manzo

ttoommyy Feb 12, 2011 06:12 PM

We just got back from eating at the bar at Manzo (Eataly) tonight at it was great. We had carne crudo, artichoke salad, spaghetti alla chitarra with shrimp and lobster, ravioli stuffed with mortadella in a butter and pistachio sauce, and a ribeye steak. All was perfect and Kira, the bartender and server, was wonderful. I highly recommend Manzo, especailly if you are a Batali/Bastianich fan.

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Manzo
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

  1. p
    pace Feb 12, 2011 06:48 PM

    Thank you for posting!

    1 Reply
    1. re: pace
      ttoommyy Feb 13, 2011 05:50 AM

      You're welcome, pace.

      I just want to add that we went early, around 6:15 pm and were told that there would be about a half-hour wait for two seats at the bar. They took our cell phone #, so we decided to walk around Eataly for the 30 minutes. I'd say within 15 minutes we received a call and were told two seats were available at the bar. I think we sat, ate and drank until around 9ish. Great vibe and wonderful staff.

      By the way...drinks included a cocktail each, a great bottle of wine and flight of 3 amari with dessert. :)

    2. r
      RGR Feb 13, 2011 10:02 AM

      We've eaten at Manzo twice: dinner in the dining room and lunch at the bar. When we ate at the bar, Kira was our bartender/server and, yes, she is a delight! Service in the dining room was also excellent. The food at both meals was delicious.

      Manzo photos (dinner): http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157625847020198/

      Manzo photos (lunch): http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157625895952376/

      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      4 Replies
      1. re: RGR
        n
        nmprisons Jul 26, 2011 03:46 AM

        Gosh, I wish Kira had been the bartender the one night I went there. (We had a painfully stuck-up male bartender.) Manzo stands as the only restaurant in New York that I have ever walked out of in disgust. Still can't believe I paid for what I had ordered, given the horrendous service we received. Sigh.

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        Manzo
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: nmprisons
          r
          RGR Jul 26, 2011 07:33 AM

          Oh, dear! I hope you expressed your displeasure with Mr. Stuck Up by not leaving much of a tip, if any. But what did you order? And was it good?

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          1. re: RGR
            n
            nmprisons Jul 26, 2011 08:04 AM

            Thankfully, it was a painful ordeal during the ordering process that caused us to leave, so we didn't waste much time. I think the bartender -- who already had refused to give us the time of day when we tried to get some drinks, forcing us to call him over -- had us pegged for cheapskates. When we tried to order a few appetizers to start, he literally refused to serve us something we requested (and saw being served at one of the tables). No explanation, no nothing. Just a refusal. My beer, which I had about two sips of, was $10. I paid, bought some stuff from the fish monger there (who I really like) and cooked us dinner instead. No tip (though no angry letter, either, so fair is fair).

            1. re: nmprisons
              r
              RGR Jul 26, 2011 08:43 AM

              There's no excuse for that kind of behavior. I can assure you that Mr. R. and I would immediately have had a word with the manager. Two sips of beer for 10 bucks is very steep. Even though you had decided that you weren't staying, if you had let the manager know why before paying the bill, you might have gotten your beer comped.

              Perhaps you can tell that we're not into complaint letters after the fact, preferring instead to be vocal about problems on the spot -- in a nice way, of course. It's been rare that a restaurant's manager hasn't taken our complaints seriously, and it has usually ended up working to our advantage.

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

      2. m
        michelleats Jul 25, 2011 10:51 PM

        Good rec, ttoommyy! This place seems to be awfully underrated (or at least under-discussed) on this board, especially given how many Italian food aficionados hang around, here. We tried it this past weekend and loved it.

        Photos here: http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/07/m...

        In some ways, it's a strange place to have a restaurant of this caliber. Babbo and Bouchon Bakery alumni Chef Michael Toscano's newest endeavor, Manzo, is tucked deep inside Eataly, NYC's Disneyland of Italian food. The walls that divide it from Eataly's tourist mayhem are thin and one has the sense that the mayhem is never far away: You can hear it. Inside, though, the white tablecloths, pretty red walls (the same, deep red shade as its Mario Batali-owned sibling, Otto Inoteca) and fantastic service create a sense of comfortable, graceful hospitality, while warehouse-height ceilings disperse the worst of the outside noise. Whatever your thoughts on the unusual setting, none of that matters once you sit down to eat. The food is good enough to make everything else irrelevant.

        Manzo means "beef" in Italian. Not surprisingly, the restaurant's stated specialty is meat "sourced by iconic NY purveyor, Pat LaFrida," according to the website. In light of the record-breaking temperatures, we weren't in a very meaty sort of mood. Happily, Manzo's vegetable, pasta and fish preparations were unquestionably stellar -- just as good as the meat dishes we tried.

        My two dining companions and I shared four appetizers. The first, baby wild arugula with purslane, peaches, sunflower seeds, and goat milk ricotta and vinaigrette, included beautifully peppery, well-watered arugula and juicy purslane, two of my favorite salad greens. Here, they were exceptionally fresh and moderately dressed. The slight bitterness of the greens, sweet, juicy peaches, acidic vinaigrette and salty ricotta involved all the tastebuds.

        A dish of roasted beets with hazelnuts, poppy seeds & smoked ricotta included sweet golden-red beets, which tasted especially pleasant, almost desserty, with the crunchy, freshly toasted hazelnuts. I'm not sure where the poppy seeds came in, in this dish, though. I didn't see any.

        A generous portion of warm calf's tongue with potatoes, leeks & Barbaresco, tasted more like a warm terrine than the braise our waiter described. The very soft, tender, even pillowy tongue was a bit too salty by itself, but the sweetness of the Barbaresco sauce helped cut the saline. Potatoes came in a crisp, deep fried tangle and added a nice textural contrast, but they were also oversalted.

        The tongue did go very nicely with a dish of summer squash with pole beans, sungold tomatoes, roasted peppers and parmigiano. (Lightly salted) vegetables were noticeably fresh and cooked to crisp tender (except for the tomatoes, which were raw). Vegetables were moderately dressed with very good, flavorful olive oil and not overly oily as these types of dishes can be, even in very good restaurants.

        This was already quite a lot of food, even split three ways, so it was a bit of a relief that my "main" was another appetizer -- quite substantial, I might add -- of carne sala with fiddlehead ferns & shaved apple from the "Celebrating Razza Piemontese Beef" section of the menu. The only carne sala I've tried in the past has been similar to beef carpaccio: thinly sliced, dressed, raw, fresh beef tenderloin. This version used cured, possibly air-dried beef similar to prosciutto in texture and presentation. It was out of this world delicious. The sweet fragrance of the beef went beautifully with both the pickled fiddlehead ferns and the sweet, sweet apple, while the ground sea salt sprinkled over top added a lovely crunch.

        A companion's wild striped bass with baby artichokes and black truffle vinaigrette main was also excellent. Fish was very moist and tender, even on the outer edges, and it came on a thick, creamy white base I couldn't identify from the bite I tried, since it was so well mixed in with the other ingredients. It may have been a bechamel sauce. Baby artichokes had been oven-roasted until sweet. Truffles were added with a liberal hand.

        I didn't try the pasta component of the gnocchetti with sausage and garlic scape pesto, though my dining companions reported that it was soft, chewy and delicious. The bite of sausage I tried was a bit too salty -- probably something that the gnocchetti is supposed to balance when taken in the same bite -- and pleasantly, heavily garlicky. Not a dish for vampires. The companion who ordered the dish raved about it.
        
        We finished with a simple, but luscious dessert of macerated strawberries with sweetened mascarpone and balsamico and a glass of 2009 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Moscato d'Asti Bricco Quaglia. The strawberries were gorgeously ripe and probably needed very little sugar. Mascarpone was creamy, yet also nearly light (perhaps whipped), its smooth texture heightened by the fact that it was served at around room-temperature. Balsamico was sweet and of wonderful quality. The glass of sweet moscato, which the staff kindly attempted to "split three ways" (i.e. give all three of us a full glass; I had to decline, but appreciated the gesture), had a lovely, fragrant nose: all ripe peach and pear and lychee.

        In general, service was excellent and our waiter (I think named Rafael) was as patient as a saint, despite our unusual order of five small plates and two mains for three people. Pacing was very thoughtful. We felt neither rushed or ignored.

        In light of the excellent food, lovely service and interesting, fairly priced wine list, Manzo seems surprisingly under the radar of most of the usual NYC talking heads (or eating mouths). I can't say I mind being able to walk in around 6 p.m. on a Saturday night and not have to wait for a table right now, but boy do I feel for all the hungry, chowish hordes who have yet to try this place. Of all the Batali-owned establishments in town I've tried* (Babbo, Lupa, Casa Mono / Bar Jamon, Del Posto, Spotted Pig and Otto), Manzo really might be the best. On the basis of this first meal -- the first of many, many meals, I think -- I'm convinced it is.

        * I haven't tried Esca.

        -----
        Lupa
        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

        Bouchon Bakery
        10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

        Babbo
        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

        Casa Mono
        52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

        Spotted Pig
        314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

        Del Posto
        85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        Bar Jamon
        125 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

        Bricco
        304 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

        Eataly
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        Manzo
        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        1. c
          comiendosiempre Jul 26, 2011 04:58 AM

          A couple of months ago a group of us had dinner at Manzo. The food was good, not outstanding. We thought certainly below the caliber of Batal's other two high end spots in the City. In terms of price - atmosphere, with the restaurant located in the middle of a packed food store - we were underwhelmed.

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          Manzo
          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

          1 Reply
          1. re: comiendosiempre
            m
            michelleats Jul 26, 2011 09:18 AM

            Are you comparing it to Del Posto and Esca? I've never been to Esca, but I did think the dishes we tried at Manzo were better than Del Posto's (and Babbo, Lupa, etc..).

            Also, do you remember what you had? I am probably weighing the phenomenally good carne sala heavily in my mind. If i'd only tried the tongue and gnocchetti dishes, though, I might walk away thinking the restaurant was just good, not great, because of the oversalting. Ingredients did seem to be of extremely high quality across the board.

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            Lupa
            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

            Babbo
            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

            Del Posto
            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            Esca
            402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

            Manzo
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

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