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“Ripped Off and Used. The Manna "Iron Chef Challenge" = FAIL”
Review of Manna

Manna
Ranked #33 of 678 Restaurants in Wilmington
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Ripped Off and Used. The Manna "Iron Chef Challenge" = FAIL”
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We were told it was a multi course "Iron Chef Challenge" style dinner. It was anything but. We arrived at Manna and sat in our assigned seats amidst an array of production cameras, sound guys and monitors. (more on that later) Soon after the meal began we realized that the chefs in the competition were cooking BUT ONLY FOR THE JUDGES. The meals they prepared were not for us but for three local idiots(judges), one even being dressed as a wizard with a ventriloquist doll. We were given a first course of old lettuce with no dressing and a small slice of fruit about half a bite size. Then as we watched the amazing dishes being prepared by the chefs for the judges we were then given a completely different dish, a single medium size shrimp over a small grit cake with some shavings of pork. More like a few bacon bits. The TV crew the whole time trying to engage us with a badly synced microphone & ventriloquist doll which nobody could make out what they were saying. Quite honestly we didn't really care at that moment. So, the second so called course arrives its another single shrimp over a teaspoon of greens(actually the greens were great but only enough for one bite) with a brown sauce and a chunk of BBQ pork. Chunk in this case equals about the size of a ping-pong ball. At this point the chefs are continuing to throw out amazing looking dishes to the judges while we are taunted by the images of nicely sized portions on the TV monitors while having only our Charles Dickens size portions of quickly prepared banquet food to nibble and savor. Dessert was slightly better meaning that mass wise it equaled all the others dishes combined.
This was a complete scam by Billy and the folks at Manna. They had the balls to charge 50 or 60 bucks a head plus drinks plus tip! All so they could have a marketing tool and some guy can have a pilot TV show to try and sell. We were taken advantage of and used. As a customer of Manna in the past I have always enjoyed their food but this was such a ripoff, $175 for food and drinks for two is absurd. There are plenty of places to eat in Wilmington and Manna is off my list as it should be yours. The chefs from the other restaurants created some fine meals that we only wish we could have tasted. My business will be going to these places rather than to the ripoff artist Bill and Manna. The other chefs were not involved in this scheme and turned out some fine dishes. Please go see them at their locations: Catch 22, Yosake, 1900 all are great places to eat and they would never pull a stunt like this. Manna=FAIL

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank Rob M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Clifton, Virginia
Level Contributor
249 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 269 helpful votes
“cocktail genius - menu brilliance”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I had the pleasure to sit at the bar for dinner and watch the talented bartender craft his magic.
I selected a 'Salt & Pepper' but marveled at nearly each concoction he made. Signature mixtures are listed on the menu with unique names like Largemouth Bass and Bicycle Kick - but don't hestiate to ask for a drinks preference or liquor you fancy and let him uniquely mix the potent potion. Artful and complex. Strong yet mysterious. Don't rush the second most enjoyable aspect of the restaurant. Make the time to enjoy this - or come purely to enjoy an evening at the BAR. But the meals and this menu are the primary reason for finding Manna. Order the Jurassic Pork if you want to astonish your friends -Fred Flintstone-style. Try the Wool Street Journal with Beets Around the Arugula Bush if you are more refined. Simply elegant interior, outstanding service and beautiful patrons. Thank You for such a memorable evening.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank doublemdoublet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wilmington, nc
Level Contributor
51 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Excellent food, attentive bartender”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Got in from a late trip and stopped by Manna for a bite and drink with a friend of mine. I ordered the "Bobby Filet", asking for it to be between rare and MR. It was cooked perfectly and was covered in an awesome mushroom sauce. My friend ordered the pork leg dish. It was literally a leg of a pig. It was also absoutely excellent and a ton of food. My forend can eat quite a bit and still took half of them home. I have lived in Wilmington over 30 years and this is some of the best food available.

Bartender was great and did well. Great selection of scotch, some not seen anywhere else in Wilmington.

Atmosphere was a little stuffy, but that could have been just because of the stuffed shirts sitting next to us at the bar.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sailfishnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Apex, North Carolina
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Five distinct flavors in one bite. Perfection.”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Check out their current menu before you go so you'll know what they offer as someone I went with wasn't happy with their entree selection (not enough options, they said).

I on the other hand was extremely happy with this breath of fresh air. I had their fresh baked bread that was served with hand mixed butter and plum jam. The butter had lavendar in it. You can't taste lavendar but you sense it. It's the strangest thing ever and it really wakes your pallate. It's not overdone either. In fact nothing was overdone in this restaurant.

I tried a bunch of new things I never have before, each selection I made I was a little nervous but there's no need to be. They blend the perfect amounts of each flavor to complete a well balanced flavor.

I had tasso for the first time as an appetiser, called The Nutty Professor. Tasso is ham that's cured a specific way. It was delicious! For my entree I had a pork chop, figs, parsnips, and kous kous. Each item on my plate was powerful. I ate much slower than I normally do just to take it all in and enjoy each bite to its fullest. Dessert was a pumpkin sponge cake with orange ginger ice cream. Once again, I thought "I hope this isn't too pumpkinny and the ice cream isn't too gingery". One of the best desserts I've ever had. I'll have to plan a trip to Wilmington each time their menu changes just so I can try some new stuff.

If you want fancy food, this place is worth the price you pay and the it's in a beautifully romantic setting. You can't go wrong.

I highly recommend it for a special occasion too.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank unctina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Level Contributor
43 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Culinary Smackdown”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

This is hands down one of the best places in Wilmington to have an incredible dining experience. Run to perfection with an incredible staff, I find any and every excuse to eat here when I can. (and hope so again soon) If you want good food and great drinks in Wilmington do your taste buds a favor and eat at Manna.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Sw0rdf1sh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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