Memories and Inspiration for Food, Travel and Life
While in Wilmington visiting old friends the time came to decide where to eat downtown. A waitress at the restaurant we had been having aperitif mentioned a new place we should try. Manna was a very fortunate find in what can be a very disappointing search – to find a high quality meal, with an impressive menu and well executed, for a modest price…in North Carolina. I am a huge fan of Wilmington, and enjoy the restaurant scene there. However, even my wildest expectations did not prepare me for the meal I had at Manna. It was amazing.
The restaurant itself is beautiful and very tastefully decorated, the bar area is perfect for getting a cocktail while waiting for your table or just to sit and have a few drinks with friends. The menu is impressive not only for the ingredients listed, but the cooking techniques not often found in North Carolina restaurants. I knew this chef either knew his stuff, or he was making it up. We were willing to take a chance and see how it went, which obviously was a good choice.
The meats from duck confit to the short ribs were prepared and cooked to perfection, I mean everything was. The biggest surprise to me was the selection of spices added to this French cuisine base. My duck confit had Indian spices in addition to the traditional flavor and that was amazing and so welcome. French haute cuisine right now is going through its obsession with all things Japanese, so I was so excited to taste something new and unexpected. The chef came out to talk to our table briefly and I discovered he had done some stages in Paris – which explained a lot.
Listen, my tastes are not going to be like everyone elses obviously, but as of this time in 2012, this was the best surprise restaurant by far.