Manzo Ristorante at Eataly – Flatiron District, Manhattan – October 8, 2016
This past week was our friend Tony’s birthday (Happy birthday, Tony!), so he chose to have a celebratory dinner with us at Manzo Ristorante, a restaurant within Eataly in the Flatiron District of Manhattan.
Each dish was plated beautifully, but I found every dish, with the exception of the Testa (pork appetizer) and Leggero (lemon meringue and blackberry dessert), to be way too salty. This is a pricey restaurant, so to find this to be the case is disappointing.
I started with a Punkin Ale by Dogfish Head brewery. This ale is made with pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. While some pumpkin beers taste artificial and/or lack the taste of pumpkin, this was not the case with Punkin Ale. The flavor of pumpkin is definitely present along with sweet molasses notes from the brown sugar and malt combination. I could definitely make this my go-to Autumn beer.
For our appetizers we shared the Testa and the Agnolotti del Plin (pronounced ahnyoh-lah-tee dell plihn). The Testa was made with Arcadian Pastures pork terrine, wild blueberries, thyme and grilled sourdough bread. While it was a pretty dish, I found it to be bland. This was the only savory dish we had that was not overly salted. I had hoped to taste unctuous pork with acidic, fruity blueberries and lemony notes of thyme. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The pork was slightly earthy, but that was it in terms of flavor.
Agnolotti are, “…a type of pasta typical of the Piedmont region of Italy, made with small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over filling of roasted meat or vegetables.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnolotti,2016) The Agnolotti del Plin were housemade agnolotti stuffed with Sekel Farm veal and sugo d’arrosto (pronounced sue-go d’ar-ross-toe, a sauce made from the drippings from roasted meat). Again, this dish was salty. The pasta was toothsome and the stuffing was tender and savory. The sugo d’arrosto added more meaty flavor to the dish. If it had been less salty, it would have been perfect.
For my entree, I had the Mafaldine (pronounced mah-fahl-dih-neh, “Mafaldine, also known as Reginette (Italian for little queens) or simply Mafalda, is a type of ribbon-shaped pasta. It is flat and wide, usually about 1 cm. (½ inch) in width, with wavy edges on both sides.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafaldine, 2016) The housemade pasta came topped with Invincible Farm’s cheese pumpkin and burgundy truffles. While the pumpkin was creamy and silky, again the salt overpowered the pumpkin and the truffles.
Finally, for dessert I had the visually stunning Leggero (pronounced lehj-jeh-roh). It is a white lemon meringue with spiral of blackberry coulis. It was topped with a small scoop of refreshing lemon sorbet. The meringue was damp and not crispy as I had hoped it would be. Overall, the flavors were unremarkable, and I had hoped to be blown away since it was so beautiful to look at.
Accessibility Rating for Manzo at Eataly
I used my wheelchair to visit Manzo at Eataly.
- Entryway – 3: We entered Eataly from the Fifth Avenue side. There are two wide exterior doors before a small vestibule and then, two more doors. There is a slight bump at the exterior entrance. The entrance to Manzo is narrow due to the host stand being right next to the bar. The menu and host stands had to be moved so I could enter and exit. There are no stairs.
- Bathroom (Men’s bathroom) – 3: The moderately lit, accessible stall has two grab bars around the toilet. Making a 180° turn within the stall was easy. The low sink has a tall faucet with standard length handles. It was difficult to fit underneath the sink to get close to it.
- Walkways/Space – 3: The space is tight throughout the restaurant. The moderately lit space has moveable furniture throughout. Accessing any part of the restaurant not adjacent to an aisle would be difficult for anyone using any kind of mobility assistive device. I was able to fit comfortably underneath the central pedestal table with my footrests raised up. It was very loud while we dined there due to loud talking.
- Staff – 3: Since I had made a reservation in advance, the staff had a chair removed from a table they selected ahead of our arrival. The host allowed me to select the spot at the table that worked best for me. The staff also moved the host and menu stands over so I could enter and exit the restaurant. This would not be necessary if the disability community was considered when choosing where to place the host and menu stands.
- Braille Menus: They do not have Braille menus.