Manzana Rotisserie Grill - CLOSED
610 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue WA 98004
Solid Dining Experience For Friends and Family
By: Grant Y
Closed as of June 2008
Manzana has closed and reopened as Palamino, an mixed American styled cuisine run by the same restaurant corporation. Though Manzana seemed popular, apparently the owners thought a new branding effort and menu would be more popular with Bellevue diners. Our review for Palamino will be up in the next few months.
"Manzana" is derived from the Spanish word for apple, which the restaurant claims is used as the inspiration for its style-from apple art, apple colored lights and even an apple wood fire place. Apple or no apple however, our review team found Manzana to be pleasing to our palates.
Our trip to Manzana was interesting before we even entered the restaurant due to the windstorm that was picking up on that Thursday afternoon. We saw countless people struggling to hold onto their coats and hats as the leaves billowed across the street on our way to Manzana from Bellevue Square. Entering the restaurant, we were relived to be out of the wind and also got a positive first impression from the look and feel of Manzana.
The interior was very classic and also modern at the same time, with dark woods, raised booths, separated sections and ambient lighting composed of wrought iron light holders with yellow stained glass meant to look like candle lighting. The modern, southwest-inspired design came through in the many sharp lines as well as the wood weave styles. Spacing in the central area was well padded, though I could see the lower area being a bit crowded when the restaurant is near capacity. The only considerable thing we noticed was that even with a low volume of diners, Manzana was fairly noisy, which leads us to believe that it would be quite loud during crowded hours.
Our menus included a good deal of items, ranging from soups, salads to sandwiches, burgers then over to seafood, pastas, ribs and steaks. In addition, a lunch special menu was also included that offered a variety of fresh catch seafood dishes that cost less than many of the regular menu items.
After talking the possible dishes over, we decided to try an all around sampling of the Pork Tenderloins, the Pecan Crusted Salmon lunch special and also the featured Rotisserie Chicken. For appetizers, we also ordered the Crab Cakes.
The crab cakes arrived and were on a plate full of sauce that was a semi-creamy, semi-tart lemon mustard that was a hit and miss with our reviewers. All of our reviewers liked their entres much better than the crab cakes. The rotisserie chicken was very moist and tender and had a plethora of spices listed as ingredients, though it was a bit subdued on the execution. On the pork tenderloins, tender and juicy came out as a winning combination again, though the sweet honey glaze with a little powering on the sweetness. In both cases, the garlic mashed potatoes got high ratings for being quite appetizing. Lastly, the pecan crusted salmon was delectable, with a wonderful mouth feel between the crusted top and moist flaky well cooked salmon underneath. The texmati' rice was a parsley and butter infused rice that did the Indian style basmati rice some justice.
Service was quick and efficient all around, with fast orders, check-ups and the punctual delivery of the bill. It was perhaps too fast for a dinner pace, but for a Bellevue lunch pace was appropriate. There were no minuses or pluses as far as service goes, though we didn't have much interaction with the server
In terms of value, the price of entrees were $12 for the crab cakes, $14 for the pecan salmon, $16 for the pork tenderloin and $17 for the rotisserie chicken. This is a bit pricey for lunch, but the portions are filling for either a lunch or dinner, and also include a higher baseline cost for ingredients and of course, location. As such, we thought the price was appropriate for the food.
Overall, Manzana scored well in our ratings and is the first restaurant to receive identical ratings across the board from our reviewers. Tasty food and classy atmosphere combine with fair service and value to make this a good bet for taking your friends, family or co-workers out at any time.
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