Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Leptologists Eat at Manifesto

Paul: Today's destination is a short walk-
Candice: We're not walking anywhere in this weather! It's below zero with the wind chill.
Paul: It's only eight blocks.
Candice: Forget it. Bring the car around.
Paul: Fine. Today, we're driving the short distance to Manifesto Tuscan Grato & Scotch Bar.
Candice: It's located across from the State House in downtown Columbus.
Paul: It's right off an office building atrium and as we enter through the revolving door, we are hit with a wonderful smell.
Candice: The restaurant is decorated in quotes, including Ron Burgundy's famous quote about scotch.
Paul: It is a scotch bar. Also present on the walls are quotes from presidents and TV commercials alike.
Candice: The room is brightly light with its plate glass windows looking out at the State House. The dark wood is beautiful. Anthony, our server is right with us. I order tea.

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Tea Selection
Paul: The menu is dense. There's lots to choose from.
Candice: For appetizers, I order the Tuscan Hummus Dip, the Antipasto for Two, and Chicken Saltimbocca.
Paul: Sounds good! I order the Spicy Tomato Bisque and the Baked Short Rib Cannelloni.
Candice: Anthony is excellent with his service. Water, both hot and cold, is right on time. The hummus and antipasto arrive quickly.
Paul: The hummus is a white cannellini bean puree, surrounded with flatbread crackers.

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Tuscan Hummus
Candice: I've never had a white bean hummus before, but this is very fresh. The crackers have been sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.
Paul: The flavor of the hummus is slightly sweet and ends in a tangy spark. It's quite good.
Candice: On the platter, there are three cheeses, peppers, and Italian meats.

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Antipasto for Two
Paul: We'll call them the cheeses blob cheese, square cheese, and purple cheese.
Candice: We'll ask Anthony when he comes back, you cheese connoisseur, you.
Paul: The blob cheese is pretty bland. But the rectangular cheese is very tasty. The purple cheese is fruity and also very good.
Candice: The salami is spicy, yet mellow. I love the peppers.
Paul: Anthony informs us that the cheeses are Mozzarella (blob), Provolone (rectangle), and a Port Derby (purple).
Candice: Anthony also informs us that Manifesto has been open just two months.
Paul: I think they have a good thing going for them. They have a nice location, nice decor, and so far a nice menu.
Candice: Don't jinx it!
Paul: Sorry! Here's my soup.

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Spicy Tomato Bisque
Candice: Well?
Paul: This soup is very spicy. It has a deep, strong burn that seems a bit too strong.
Candice: Let me try. Yes, you're right. Not a good flavor.
Paul: The orzo on the bottom does counter the spice a little. Not a bad soup, but not great.
Candice: I tried the Black Vanilla tea first. It was very good. Anthony brought me more hot water and I tried the Berry tea next. It's milder than the first, but very good too. Ah, they've seated a couple too close to us, in an otherwise open restaurant. I don't care for that.
Paul: Here's the food.

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Chicken Saltimbocco
Candice: Um...
Paul: What's wrong?
Candice: Smell this.
Paul: It smells a little funny. How does it taste?
Candice: You try it.
Paul: It's all right, but not great.
Candice: It smells like feet to me.
Paul: That's not good.
Candice: It is not. It is just not for me.
Paul: The Cannelloni is pretty good. I've never had beef in a cannelloni before. Here. Try it.

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Beef Rib Cannelloni
Candice: You're right, it is good.
Paul: The sauce and cheese are well-proportioned and the beef is flavorful and not overcooked as I might have expected. The only issue is that the pasta is a little chewy.
Candice: Anthony is sufficiently contrite and asked if I want to return the chicken. I decide not to have another entree.
Paul: Have another bite of mine.
Candice: I will.
Paul: Anthony arrives with the bill and the chicken has been removed from the total.
Candice: Then he offers us a free dessert. Classy move.
Paul: We pick the Tiramisu.

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Tiramisu
Candice: and, it's excellent.
Paul: They used real whipped cream.
Candice: It's light and creamy. The hint of coffee is perfectly balanced with the sweetness.
Paul: This made the meal.
Candice: Indeed. An otherwise excellent lunch except for the chicken.
Paul: How do you feel about that?... and the overall experience?
Candice: I think the dish was not to my taste.  I have limits, apparently. You didn't have the same adverse reaction to the smell as I did.
Paul: No, it didn't stop me from eating it, but it was no spectacular piece of chicken either.
Candice: How they handled it says a lot about their professionalism. I'm willing to give them a pass on that.
Paul: So, worth it?
Candice: Yes, the menu is broad enough that it's worth coming back again.
Paul: The price was on par with what we've seen elsewhere for this caliber of restaurant.
Candice: And the wait was nonexistent.
Paul: Anthony did a great job serving us.
Candice: Overall it was a good lunch.
Paul: Back into the cold!
Candice: Bring the car around, will you?
Paul: Uh, no. It's around the block.
Candice: Fine! But I'm complaining the whole way.
Paul:  With your gloved hands cupping your ears like a weirdo.
Candice:  Oh shush, kettle.  Walk in front of me, you big oaf, block the wind!

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Manifesto Tuscan Grato and Scotch Bar on Urbanspoon

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