Mana, Munchies And More

Downtown Chicago during the holidays is such a splendid sight.  This is what is fondly called “The Bean” in Millenium Park.  Mickey flew all the way in to light up Michigan Avenue, block by block.  All that was needed was a light snow to make it truly a magical moment.

After strolling along the Ave, checking out the Gucci store and enjoying the sights.  Of course food was next!  The next stop was Mana Food Bar.  I happened to be home fighting off a cold and reading the Chicago Suntimes when I came across a Thanksgiving article about two chefs who are married and throw a party every year for 60 guests. The second sentenced in the article mentioned the wife owning a vegetarian restaurant. Why this place does not have more name recognition is beyond me. First, the place is tiny- 28 seats total.  The interior reminded me of Dirt Candy in New York.  The concept is small or large plates- no pressure like Green Zebra.  There were 10 -12 each of cold & hot dishes, 4 noodles dishes and a few sides.  Fresh squeezed juices, a few smoothies and Sake.  I guess the chef has a hankering for Sake. My favorite was the beets and arugula with a raspberry vinaigrette. The surprise kicker here was black pepper. Really tied the flavors together.

And number two favorite was the grilled asparagus with spicy miso mustard with sesame roasted peppers.

I’ll be back for sure to try the many other dishes that were offered here.

And of course the Bleeding Heart had their red velvet cupcakes in this week.

The picture speaks for itself, but let me say “OH MY GOD, THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR ONLY BEING THREE BLOCKS FROM ME!!!!!”

This weekend was just beautiful and looking forward to having a long weekend off for Thanksgiving. Happy Holiday to everyone.

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