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El Manantial Reston report


Restaurants & Bars 3

El Manantial Reston report

Dennis S | Oct 3, 2004 03:59 PM

Finally made it here today, many thanks to bilrus for the tip a while back. It always looked good and our tastes seem to overlap quite a bit, so I trusted, but never verified.

We stopped today for a small lunch. The inside is so much nicer than it looks on the web. Only a couple of other tables were full, but they did well in giving us all space throughout the room (which was broken up nicely and had good details, like the darkened ceiling.

Service was great. Food even better. We got the cuccina pie and the Salmon. They started us out with a great basket of bread. Fluffy, just a bit yeasty, a great match with the olive oil.

Then came our order. I'll start with the pie. The crust was one of the best I've ever had in my life - a handtossed thickness to it. We asked later if they made their bread there. While they do make the crust of course, they get the bread somewhere else but finish it there - still, they know how to handle bread.

More about the pie, though - real mozzarella, very good pepperoni, and the tomatos used were divine. The 8" pie seems bigger than 8" - a very good split for two people (along with something else).

As for the salmon, the broccoli was cooked to perfection and matched perfectly with the light buttery cream sauce used primarily for the salmon (but allowed to mingle with the broccoli). I asked how they cooked the salmon, but got no answer. I think it was lightly broiled. The outside was glazed and just barely crisp, and the inside was just cooked, very juice and just superb. The sleeper hit was the potatoes. Didn't expect much, and they looked like overdone homefries, but like the salmon, they were slightly crispy on the outside and nicely done on the inside. They were a nice addition to the plate.

They have tapas, which are on a separate menu available by request. I will be going back for sure, and will pass up Reston Town Center very easily to go here instead and support a family who evidently loves cooking and hosting a nice meal.


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