We met up with our friend Karalyn last night to check out a new restaurant on Stone Way called Manolin. Manolin is the creation of Renee Erickson alums Joe Sundberg and Rachel Johnson. Sundberg had worked for years at The Walrus and the Carpenter; Johnson hails from The Whale Wins (one of our favorite spots just down the street on Stone Way).
Manolin, Karalyn tells us, is named after a character in The Old Man and the Sea, which somehow was not on my high school English class reading list. But I get it…sea…fisherman…seafood…awesome fish is Manolin (the restaurant’s) strength.
Manolin serves up wonderful small plates with a Peruvian influence. One particular highlight being the Rockfish Ceviche. We ordered this, as well as the Scallops Ceviche and the Fried Plantains to start.
These were accompanied by delightful southern hemisphere styled cocktails – Chad’s drink titled The Matt Johnson, after Rachel’s brother, mine called the Park Plaza and Karalyn sipped on the Klose In (a pisco concoction). We also ordered the special fish of the day, a sole topped with a fennel salad, which was perfect.
We ended our meal with some spiced donuts and a tasty banana pudding.
The ambiance of Manolin is delightfully open and airy, but intimate at the same time. Johnson and Sundberg did a wonderful job creating the space, set back from Stone Way with an inviting patio that we are sure will be packed this summer.
Caribbean blue tiles cover the back wall of the restaurant, but the two main focal points are the horseshoe shaped bar made of a light birchwood and the wood burning oven just behind the bar. The oven gives off an “around the campfire” smell, which prompted Chad to suggest to our waiter that Manolin add s’mores to the menu…we’ll see if they agree with his suggestion.
It’s clear that all the staff at Manolin are excited about this new venture. Our waiter (sadly, we forgot to get his name) was friendly and both Johnson and Sundberg made sure to stop by our table and chat.
As the evening wore on and our bill grew larger, Chad attempted to strike a bargain with Sundberg offering our undying allegiance to the restaurant in return for an open table (called, aptly, “Chad’s table”) this summer, when we are sure Manolin’s popularity will swell and a table will be harder to obtain…
Manolin Location: 3621 Stone Way N., Seattle, WA 98103
Phone: (206) 294-3331
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 4pm-10pm