I finally made it to Manhatta, one of the most talked about openings of 2018. This little gem, last project of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, is located on the 60th floor of a high rise building in the Financial District, and boast incredible views of Manhattan. Know that the entrance is on the side of the building it is located in, the staff being probably used to have people asking them where to find the restaurant and directing them at the corner of Liberty and William Streets. Once you find the right entrance, you end up in a lobby where you will check in and check your coat, before stepping into an elevator that will bring you straight up to the 60th floor, a somewhat long ride. As you arrive, the first thing you see is the view: on one side, in the Bay lounge, the Statue of Liberty, from the lounge, downtown and Brooklyn with its famous bridge from the dining room.
There, Executive Chef Jason Pfeifer created an interesting French inspired menu, with a week day lunch that has fewer options than the week end or evening menu and if you are vegetarian, you might be limited in your choices, although the kitchen seems accommodating. Here is what we had:
Of course, I could not not try their signature cocktail, the Manhatta or Manhattan, made with New York Distilling Ragtime Rye, Carpano Antica, Demerara and bitters.
They brought us some delicious crackers with an eggplant spread. They proposed to bring more, but we declined as they were quite addictive and we wanted to eat our meal…
As an appetizer, Jodi got their Stracciatella, a dish made of this delicious Italian cheese, spaghetti squash and olive oil. Normally, it has anchovies that are probably adding a nice depth to the dish. This was good, but there was way too much cheese and the spaghetti squash got lost in it.
On my side, I ordered their Scotch snails, that is a take on escargots and scotch eggs, the snails being served with a pork sausage, bathed in a delicious sauce made with butter, garlic and parsley. This is a great dish and I loved the rustic presentation with the fresh baguette that was cut by hand and aimed at dipping in the sauce.
For her entree, Jodi had to go with another appetizer as there was no vegetarian choices in the proposed entrees. It was the market lettuces, accompanied with radish, tahini and shaved mimolette. Good, but a bit disappointing for her.
For me it was much easier, their entrees being all very interesting. After much hesitation, I opted for the duck confit that is their version of cassoulet. It was served with bacon and watercress. The quantity was a bit small, but it was amazing: the beans were very soft, literally melting in my mouth, with the bacon adding a nice smokiness to the dish. And that duck: perfectly cooked medium rare, the skin was slightly crispy and a bit fatty.
We ended the meal with their chocolate gateau that is a chocolate layered cake, very chocolatey, served with a salted caramel ice cream.
I left Manhatta quite happy that I got to finally try that place: the food was delicious (if you are non-vegetarian), the service on point, in a setting that is amazing, especially if, like us, you are sitting next to a window. Know that Manhatta is a non-tipping restaurant so, besides the tax, there is no surprise with the prices. The quantity of food is small but the flavors are big: I definitely recommend it and will go back there for dinner for sure!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Manhatta - 28 Liberty St, New York, NY 10005