Mana: The best restaurant in Seattle is not in Seattle

Leavenworth is a German town 90 minutes drive from Seattle downtown. And it is the best restaurant out here. Mana is exquisite, New York City exquisite. The décor is subtle but it’s pronounced minimalist; the open kitchen is calm yet busy; and the plates of food coming to your table are a synchronized parade. Having left NYC 9 months ago, I have desperately wanted an experience that brings sheer joy of elegant dining.

From the warm tea in the waiting area to EVERYTHING on this menu seems thoughtful. The pairing of non-alcoholic drinks goes above and beyond most restaurants ever care to. A restaurant putting in so much thought in food and drink pairings for vegetarian / non-vegetarian / alcoholic / non-alcoholic customers is a display of respect that most restaurants don’t even consider. And for that, I am truly glad to have experienced an evening of fine dining at Mana.

The chef making rounds and being able to talk about nuances of dosa and crepe, I felt like I was transported to the best of NYC fine dining. It was the best meal I’ve had in Seattle in the 9 months being here.

I will say that not everything was enjoyable to my palate, the mushroom crepe and a plate of soggy red peppers did not hit the spot, mostly because of the primary texture in both plates being similar. Everything else, delicious! The drinks, fabulous!

Amuse Bouche: Roasted fennel, celery root ravioli, blood orange glaze and miner’s lettuce
1 st course: Cashew cheese fried nori crisp with sauteed wild foraged black trumpet mushrooms and parsley chimichurri
2nd course na drink pair: Ginger-sarsaparilla huney jun kumboocha
2nd course: Roasted cauliflower tom kha with urfa biber coconut whip cream and cilantro gremolata
3rd course: Miso glazed pepper with preserved lemon shaved butternut squash, curry leaf celery root broth and fried parsnip chips. Drink pair: Basil ginger lemongrass elixir with coconut whip
4th course: Gochujang roasted maitake mushrooms, smoked carrot and pecan cheese mung bean crepe with roasted sunchoke beet ragout, carrot pepper black garlic sauce and mache. Drink pair: Raspberry-orange blosson cayenne chaya elixir
5th course: Sweet Anne raspberry tart with earl gray whip cream, green peppercorn hucklberry coulis and sunflower seed tuile. Drink pair: herbal tea blend

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