29 September 2022
After a long day of gardening, my husband and I decided to try out Manina, a new, local business and we were very pleasantly impressed by the high quality of food and service! This restaurant definitely has room to grow on my palate and I look forward to coming back! Full disclosure, I did provide a Yelp elite review with a rating of 4/5 stars. I typically reserve 5 star Yelp ratings for exceptional restaurants with consistently great food and service.
If you have read any of my other posts, you know we have been back from completing our thru hike of the Appalachian Trail for about 3-weeks. The A.T. is 2194.3 miles of hiking…every. day. It took us just over 5-months to complete. By “us”, I mean my husband did the daily hiking slog and I car supported along the way (hiking about 25% of what he did). He lost a significant amount of weight and now we are working to put some of it back on.
Upon returning home to Fredrick, MD I was super happy to see some of the new restaurants that have popped up!! Manina is one of them…
We were greeted with smiles and a very friendly “come as you are” attitude that we couldn’t be more grateful for at this time. I feel like with so much time in the wilderness, we have forgotten that most people actually clean up and put on “nice” clothes when going out to eat . 🤪 Thankfully our waiter was super nice and welcoming.
After being seated outside, we quickly decided on the deviled eggs and Appalachian pickle plate to start things off. We agreed that the deviled eggs are the rockstar standout of the night! With a small tear in my eye , i almost had to concede my own deviled egg recipe… almost, but not yet! Now the pickle plate, that was a total surprise. My husband was initially horrified at the thought of pickled eggplant but let me tell you, he loved it and we had to darn near fight each other for the tasty morsels. The crunch of the sun chokes were an equally interesting and tasty addition. And the peppers were lip smacking yum! Note to the chef, guard that vinaigrette recipe with your life.
I had to try a craft cocktail, and decided on the Appalachian Daisy. Side note, have you noticed an Appalachian theme here?! I swear, we just can’t get the trail out of our veins! The Appalachian Daisy had a blend of smoked apple brandy (from Baltimore) that i could have sworn was a good mezcal and fresh lime juice. As the menu states, “gives off mezcal margarita vibes…”, absolutely the truth.
My husband had a glass of a local wine, REV, from Old Westminster, MD. REV is an Cab Franc/Cab Sav blend that surprised us with the quality and rich, deep flavors! If you like Cabernet, try this one!
For our main plates I had the Autumn Harvest salad and my husband ordered the Coppa and Cress pizza. The salad had me closing my eyes to fully savor the flavors. The beets, butternut squash… and that goat cheese is magical. It must be local and very fresh made? The Coppa and Cress pizza had a fabulous flavor. The crust was a little too crispy for my personal taste but my husband loved it like that! The cress is the green stuff on top that has a spicy garlicky flavor note. I dipped my pizza slice in the remnants of my salad to scoop up more of that goat cheese and to fully enjoy the rest of the vinaigrette.
Dessert. I know, how could i possibly? I am a firm believer in dessert bringing home a fabulous meal. Think of it as the cuddle after a great love making session. We…I decided on the sponge cake. After seeing Tom’s eyes light up (Tom was our waiter) when i asked about the sponge cake… I had to get it and OMG. The presentation was awesome. There was some sort of warm, ethereal cream sauce that was poured over the sponge cake. It sort of reminded me of tres leches cake. The flavor was very light and not too sweet at all. TIP: lay the sponge cake over in the sauce and give it time to soak in. Have another cocktail or glass of wine and savor every minute of it. Even my husband enjoyed it and he never eats dessert unless we are talking a dark chocolate truffle.
I can not wait to go back and try the hand stretched mozzarella!!
Manina is fabulous and an absolute MUST TRY, if you are a foodie or just love eating great food, expertly prepared. The menu is a little limiting and you must check daily for what is being offered. But with a fabulous Chef, you can really get some unique pairings. Now, this can be risky as a new restaurant but, this foodie finds it refreshing and bold! I’m tired of trying the same old menus. Bravo to the owner for creating something new!!
I’m closing, if you are in the Frederick, MD area, stop reading reviews and go get yourself some fresh, local ingredients prepared expertly for you! I’ll be the one snarfing down the fresh mozzarella with a side of deviled eggs at the end of the bar!