Manhattan Restaurant

Restaurant: Manhattan Restaurant
Cuisine: American/Regional/West Coast
Last visited: December 16, 09
Area: Vancouver, BC (Waterfront/Downtown)
550 West Hastings Street
Price Range: $20-30

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3
Service: 3
Ambiance: 1.5 (for a hotel)
Overall: 3
Additional comments:

  • Serves traditional soups, sandwiches, pastas, entrees
  • Ocean Wise fish
  • Located on 2nd floor of Delta Inn Hotel
  • Large windows, but not much view
  • Good for business lunch meetings
  • Old-fashioned hotel restaurant
  • Cozy mom and pop type seating area
  • Fresh sheet available (3 course dinner)
  • All day dining: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Dessert menu

Recommendations: Local Mussels, Wild Salmon, Sterling Silver Steak, Pasta Pearls as a side, and the Chicken En-Sous-Vide (special)

So the restaurants at the Delta Inn Hotel & Suites really need an upgrade. It’s very old-fashioned and traditional and so are most of their menu items. It’s not the best for West Coast so as a tourist, whom you would likely be coming here, I would opt to try something else. This is pretty good if you stick to recommendations, but there is better.

I was served 3 menus at dinner:

1) The dinner menu (which is basically the all day lunch menu with a couple additional entrees)

2) The price fix menu (3 for $28)

3) The fresh sheet with the daily special (which is basically what the chef wishes he could serve on the regular menu…this menu showcases his talent the best)

Basically there were too many menus, which is interesting because they just revised their menus so this was relatively new. I could tell that the chef was passionate about cooking and it showed on his daily fresh sheet. I am pretty sure he is being limited to what he can create because the food needs to suite the image the Delta Inn carries. Their target market isn’t too upscale so the food is nothing gourmet or creative

The service is a bit slow because it’s pretty quiet and there is always only a few tables to serve so they have a small staff. This could mean 2 things: 1) hot made upon order food OR 2) dinner from last night. Rest assure because I am pleased to say it’s #1 and I know this because they have an open kitchen so you can see them making everything AFTER you place your order.

If you’ve been following my reviews you’re probably thinking why is she eating here again?! To be honest, it wasn’t really my choice, however it gave me the opportunity to make a big dent in the menu and as a result give you the best recommendations for what to order. There’s always a positive to repeat dining! I came here for lunch twice and dinner once so I’m combining my review because it’s pretty much an all-day menu they offer.

I posted the review for Manhattan’s appetizers.

To see my Manhattan dessert review

On the table:

Complimentary bread

  • Served with house made tomato chutney (tasted like freshly chopped marinara sauce), butter, and olive oil and vinegar. This was followed by a series of appetizers.

Spinach and Butter Lettuce Salad – 2.5/6 (Fresh sheet item)

    • Roasted beets, candied walnuts, goat cheese snow, lemon dressing $8 Added salmon for $5
    • This was offered on their fresh sheet as the starter and I ordered it as my starter for lunch.
    • I ordered it with salmon and I felt pretty ripped off because it was a pretty small filet. The picture makes it look dry, but it wasn’t as all. They actually do a really good job grilling salmon here. It’s really flavourful and they season it well before grilling it.

  • It was very lightly dressed in this lemon dressing that I bet was made with yogurt as a binder. It was slightly creamy, but not thick and still a vinaigrette. It had a little honey or sugar to sweeten things up. I wish he had used some lemon zest in it as well.
  • The walnuts were pieces rather than whole and they were candied, sweet and crunchy. It was almost like eating granola though so it didn’t make it as elegant.
  • I think it was about 2 whole beets cut into chunks instead of slices. They were nice and tender, but not seasoned.
  • The goat cheese didn’t taste like strong goat cheese, which I liked. It was really soft, creamy and buttery. It was almost like a mascarpone or cream cheese; it was so smooth and decadent. I loved it. I just which they gave more. There wasn’t much at all. A crumbled goat’s feta may have worked better because you couldn’t evenly distribute the soft goat’s cheese.

**Pasta Pearls - 4/6

    • Israeli Couscous, wild mushrooms, Parmesan cream, truffle oil $15
    • Add chicken, prawns, or salmon $8 Add beef $15
    • This was a vegetarian dish and I treated it as a shareable appetizer for lunch. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about t he entrée…I was really hungry that day :)
    • I’m glad I ordered this. It works much better as a shareable side dish. It’s really hearty and filling for one person because they give you a lot. It tastes like gourmet mac and cheese. I loved it! It’s creamy, cheesy, stingy and it was mainly Portobello mushrooms and a few button mushrooms. They were nice and juicy and went well with the Parmesan cream sauce.

  • Israeli cous cous are little round balls that taste like pasta, it’s similar to orzo. It’s not the first time I’ve tried it, but it’s hard to come across and I really like it.
  • I ordered it with grilled prawns and they weren’t that big so I thought an additional $8 was a bit steep. It came with 3 lightly seasoned grilled prawns that were slightly overcooked. I think the dish would be best with grilled chicken.

Sablefish1.5/6

  • Honey smoked, squash fritters, creamed leeks $20
  • Regional, Ocean Wise
  • I couldn’t taste the honey or any smoked flavour. It wasn’t sweet at all and was pan-fried in butter. I think they forgot to season it because there was no salt or pepper.
  • Sablefish is cod-like so it doesn’t absorb flavours like salmon would so I found it quite bland. I prefer fish with the skin, but this one didn’t have it and I also found one bone in it.
  • The sauce was too thin for what I think was supposed to be a cream sauce. It was very buttery and they drizzle it with basil oil as well. It tasted like a clam chowder cream base sauce…a bit soupy and too oily, but not flavouful.
  • Squash fritters were 1/6 – I thought it was frozen deep fried fish sticks. It was dry and tasted like bread crumbs and it didn’t look appetizing at all. It had some curry and fresh ginger seasoning and was crumbly from being over fried. The presentation was really poor too. The side to this dish should be those creamy leek and potato won tons. The creamed leeks is part of the filling for the won tons – they should permanently be on the menu.
  • The best part of the fish was the leeks hands down. They were very caramelized, sweet and held on to the sauce very well. I’m pretty sure they use the same leeks or recipe for the creamy leek and potato won tons.

Wild Salmon - 5/6

    • Warm apple salad, burnt butter sauce $21.00
    • Regional, Ocean Wise
    • The warm apple salad was not really a salad, but more like poached apple wedges. They apples were poached in apple cider with red onions and maybe some balsamic vinegar. I could definitely taste the sweetness and cinnamon from the cider. They were very caramelized with the red onions and so tender that you barely had to bite into t hem. The sauce wasn’t a sticky thick glaze, but it was actually quite oily from the butter. The ‘salad’ part was more or less a garnish thrown on top.

  • The salmon was nice, moist, and well seasoned, but again with no skin. It’s so much more flavourful with skin. However with the apples, I guess you didn’t really need it.
  • The round white melon balls are Yukon gold potatoes which were soft, but not cooked to the point where they lost their shape. These were really unique and I liked the presentation.
  • The dish could be too sweet for some, but I love sweet with savoury. I think the combination of apples, salmon and apple cider worked really well.

Chicken En-Sous-Vide3/6 (Fresh sheet item)

  • Chicken wrapped in prosciutto served with leek and potato won tons $22
  • Apparently the chef was actually inspired to make this dish because Rob Feenie had made one in a recent competition. (This info was from the server). En-Sous-Vide is a French method of cooking where meats are cooked in a vacuum sealed bag and slowly poached in water at a low temperature until fully cooked. This process helps the meat retain flavour and cook in its own juices.
  • This was dark meat chicken (the thigh) which made it even more juicy. It was pounded flat, seasoned with freshly minced parsley and simple seasonings and maybe some lemon. It is then rolled, wrapped with a layer or prosciutto, tied and put into a vacuum sealed bag. It basically cooks in the marinade and it’s own juices. It was so juicy and moist that it had a very slippery and smooth texture. If you like dark meat, which I don’t prefer (I know! I can hear the gasps already)…but if you like dark meat you will love this dish. This method of cooking really locks in the flavour and I could even taste the fresh herbs throughout the chicken.

  • It came with 2 sauces for dipping. There was a beef gravy and chicken gravy that was very reduced and sweet and sticky. The beef gravy was a bit random and over powering for the chicken. It was the same sauce that they serve with their steaks, but it isn’t as rich or as bold.
  • The make really good gravies here because they take the time to reduce it. Still not as reduced as So.cial at Le Magasin…which is the most reduced I have ever had. I didn’t even need the additional sauces. It’s already quite salty from the prosciutto and additional seasonings.

  • The prosciutto wasn’t crispy and when I cut into in it the prosciutto just slipped off from the chicken. There was also a thin layer of fat between the prosciutto and chicken…it was almost like chicken fat…I really didn’t like that part, because it made it oily and I don’t like the texture of fat. I found myself eating around a lot of it…but that may just be me.
  • The creamy leek and potato won tons were bite sized pockets of perfection. I reviewed these in my appetizer review for Manhattan I posted yesterday.
  • This dish also came with sautéed whole mini romaine lettuce leaves

**Sterling Silver Steak - 6/6

  • 7 ounce Centre cut tenderloin with truffle mashed potatoes and broccolini $36
  • At Manhattan this is deserving of a 6/6, but overall it’s a 5/6. I still think Gotham’s is a notch better.
  • I am a filet mignon girl. If I’m ordering steak I’ll pretty much always order this cut and always order it medium rare.
  • Sterling Silver steaks are premium steaks from grain-fed cattle. They are hand-cut and represent the top 12% of all beef. It’s pretty damn good.
  • The first right step was starting with a quality ingredient. The second right step was making it right upon order. The chef didn’t start cooking my steak until I was done with my appetizers. There weren’t many people there so he really took the time to make this.
  • I asked for it medium rare and it was perfect. It was lightly seasoned with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, had beautiful grill marks and the inside was perfectly pink and warm.

  • I cut into it with ease and it was like eating soft cheese. It was so buttery and smooth and the fat was so marbleized it cooked throughout the steak and made it super juicy and tender.
  • The sauce was a rich thick red wine reduction with maybe some balsamic vinegar to give it a tang. It was actually very reduced, thick, and sticky. Almost as reduced as So.cial at Le Magasin, but till this day So.cial still takes the lead. A minor complaint is that they served too much gravy with it. I can’t really complain because the sauce was SO good, however my steak and potatoes were swimming in it
  • The mashed potatoes were 6/6 too! It looks super plain and bland, but it was full of flavour. It’s one of the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had . They were super creamy almost like the texture of a creamy yogurt. It was completely pureed and tasted like there was pureed roasted garlic in them. I was definitely in awe because I have no idea how they could get potatoes so flavourful with them still being completely white. The truffle oil was also very apparent and it brought such a delicate sweetness yet distinct flavour to the potatoes. The potatoes I could eat by themselves easily…a whole bowl of it too, but with the gravy – that just put them over the top!

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