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New Manhattan Beach Restaurant Opens Saturday

May 20, 2014 02:01PM ● By Mb News Staff

Peggy Curry of GrowingGreat with Manhattan House Chef Diana Stavaridis at the organization's benefit in May. Chef D and Manhattan House have partnered with GrowingGreat and its healthy eating programs for school children.

After months of buzz, Manhattan House at 1019 Manhattan Beach Blvd. will "soft open" this Saturday, May 23. The restaurant, which features the culinary finesse of Chef Diana Stavaridis, is taking reservations online. A number of seats will be kept available for walk-ins but reservations are strongly encouraged.

The restaurant, whose chef and management team have been on site for months working hands-on to craft their vision, will hold a "hard opening" July 1.

Diners at Manhattan House will be pleased to discover a menu that offers Chef D's ambitious "hyper-local" culinary program, using only the freshest, most local ingredients available. To that end, the restaurant partnered with the nearby 
Pacific Elementary School and GrowingGreat to grow herbs and vegetables in the school's garden, giving children the hands-on experience of cultivating food and healthy eating.

Chef D, who is passionate about food sustainability and demonstrating the finer nuances of the culinary craft using the best natural ingredients, has been providing 
hands-on educational sessions for the students.

In addition, Manhattan House is working closely with local farmers and fishermen to source the best meats, seafood, grains, fruits, and produce.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Chef D for many years and witnessed her remarkable evolution as a chef,” says Richard Drapkin, a veteran restaurateur and strategic advisor to the restaurant. “Manhattan House will give her a fabulous platform to let her culinary talents shine and I’m honored to be a part of the team serving what I believe will be some of the most noteworthy food in the L.A. area.”

Chef D's menu will feature a variety of brining, fermenting, pickling, smoking, and preserving techniques, with all preparations done in house. The talented chef has refined her techniques and understandning of what goes into healthy and delicious fare via a tenure at Los Angeles' acclaimed BLD, as well as her time working throughout Europe, first in France, with Michelin Star Chef Giles Epie at Citrus Etoile and renowned Chef Gregory Marchand of Frenchie’s, then at the River Cottage with food sustainability pioneer Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Manhattan House's bar program will also feature fresh ingredients whenever possible. Mixologist/bar man Kerry Donnelly, who leads the bar program, will offer a list of extensive local beer, wine and cocktails.

A dedicated "Manhattan Menu" will present a handful of takes on the drink. Other cocktails will offer modern spins, 
including options with a fat wash, as well as housemade bitters and shrubs.
Manhattan House will also offer ten taps of seasonal beers from local breweries, as well as unique and exclusive offerings that reflect Chef D & Donnelly’s East Coast roots.

Donnelly has perfected his art locally and on the East Coast--at The Palm Steakhouse in Manhattan, NY, and Fishbar in Manhattan Beach.

“Chef D and I share a passion for using seasonal ingredients at the peak of ripeness and we’re already talking about what custom bitters we want to create together,” says Donnelly. “We have an award-winning chef in the kitchen and I plan to make the drinks we serve just as memorable as the food our guests enjoy. Who says you can’t put duck fat into a cocktail as well?!” 

The restaurant’s décor will bring the best of the beach and city life together, melding classic and modern into a beachy vibe that transports diners to an East Coast seaside locale. Notably, the restaurant's interior pays homage to the good ol' days of Los Angeles with a bar that uses the reclaimed aged cedar of what once were Hollywood Bowl seats. The historic weathered wood supports a custom poured concrete top. 

The restaurant also sports three new windows along its 
west wall, flooding the space with natural light and brightening the interior. Rustic wood, industrial metal fixtures, and natural colors are enhanced by historic photos of Manhattan Beach. The colorful exterior mural is approximately 80 feet long, and vibrantly showcases the bicoastal Manhattans that the restaurant was named for.

Manhattan, NY, is also the home of the restaurant's four founding partners – friends who came west together, and now live in California. Brett Schwartz and Jeffrey Kirshenbaum are Manhattan Beach residents, while Adam Hersh and David Topkins reside in San Francisco, CA.

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