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Restaurants & Bars San Francisco Bay Area


Robert Lauriston | | Aug 12, 2004 11:23 AM

Finally got to Manka's, which I've been hearing about for years, last Sunday, and had a great meal ($58 prix fixe):

- amuse bouche of chopped liver on a warm crouton with a wedge of crabapple jelly

- salad of seared albacore, salt-cured black olives, and baby romaine

- rabbit meatballs in thin vegetable soup with raw baby dandelion greens

- warm tomatoes and baby green beans with salt cod puree and basil custard

- pulled pork, grilled tenderloin, and house-smoked belly with roasted new potatoes

- fresh goat cheese with roasted figs and huckleberry sauce

- meyer lemon cake with sliced peaches

- flourless chocolate cake with raspberry ice

Portions were generous, overall good value for the money. Excellent wine pairings, particularly the Durban muscat Beaume de Venise with the chopped liver and a Thackrey Pleiades with the pork.

The wine list is almost entirely California, dominated by $125-250 cult wines (Turley, Sine Qua Non, Duckhorn, Williams Selyem, Peter Michael, etc.) but there are some good bottles in the $30-40 range. No spirits; if I go again I'll bring some armagnac or calvados, it's definitely the kind of rich meal that calls for a digestif.

The room and setting are lovely but I could have done without the Enya-ish music and twee menu copy (e.g. "A Soup Fashioned from the Bounty of Coastal Gardens Dotted with Wee Balls of Local Bunny Draped with Bolinas Baby Dandelion Greens").