261 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910339.948653 -75.174117
Mon. - Thu., Sun. 5pm - 10pm;Fri. - Sat. 5pm - 11pm
Neighborhoods: Fitler Square, Center City
Bad Time – I've been to Twenty Manning three times now and prior to last night it's been wonderful. After a bad experience at Mantra I came here. We came on a Monday night and it was pretty empty. We ordered the calamari as our appetizer. Upon recieving the dish and trying it I was shocked. The hotness of the dish completely overpowered the calamari. I couldn't taste any part of the calamari. It was pretty bad. I alerted the waitor and he took it away.
For dinner I ordered the flank steak with mashed potatoes, a dish I've ordered in the past and had success with. My girlfriend ordered the lamb shank.
We recieved our dinners in a timely fashion. Upon cutting my steak I observed it was severly overcooked. I had ordered it medium rare and it came out well done. No big deal, I sent it back. My girlfriend's dinner was also severly overcooked. I tried it and it was tough and burnt, certainly not the way it should be. After a few minutes my steak came back and was once again bad. This time it was clear they flash cooked it. The outside was burnt while the inside was rare. All in all this was a poor experience however I'll give them this one and hopefully it'll be better next time.
LAMMMEEE – I wanted to order the steak but the restaurant had ran out of steaks. so that was a bummer. the appetizers were kind of lame. nothing too special. for the second course my date ordered the sirloin noodles and i ordered the salmon instead of the steak. The noodles is essentially the equivalent of what you could find in a Vietnamese restaurant. Its called bun in Vietnamese and its vermicelli noodles with char-broiled pork. The head chef is a Viet person. We are also viet and we are unimpressed with the quality, authenticity, uniqueness, or anything with the food. I could get the exact same bowl of noodles at a asian restaurant for 6 bucks. (thats not even an exaggeration) its called charbroiled pork with vermicelli noodles. or in viet its called Bun thit nuong.
overall i think the restaurant is the worst place i have ever been on a date. In philadelphia the worst restaurants ive been to is Penne in university city and twenty manning. (though i do like the name. its funny) In any case, it is essentially a Vietnamese chef that knows hows to open a business and cater towards people who have never tried Viet food. A lot of people are impressed with this place, but they have never been to a chinatown restaurant and ordered the exact same thing. Twenty manning just adds a cool name to it.
loud, lame fake viet food imitations, no steak, LOUD, creepy waiter, not mad expensive but compared to the dish i could get at a viet restaurant thats exactly the same thing. its WAYY overpriced for what you get. hell i could make that. its not that hard. the noodles all you have to do is boil it in water and still the restaurant still managed to mess that up. it was wayy to hard. if anyone wants the recipe on how to make it then google "bun thit nuong" that essentially what it is.
Great spot! – My friend and I popped in her with our shiny Rue La La coupon last night and really enjoyed the new and improved Twenty Manning. I have not been here since the facelift and the space is very warm and inviting with it's simplistic décor, the newly white walls, bright yellow and wooden tables, matching it's sister spot across the street, Audrey Claire. As always- the picturesque windows provide great people watching. There was a great mix of people enjoying evening drinks and dinner. The place had a nice quiet romantic and relaxed buzz about it, and absolutely packed!
We got the table next to the door in the big picture window- the best seat in the house as far as I'm concerned, the best of both worlds, the feel of the outdoor bistro tables with the cool vibe of a restaurant. Our waiter came over with menus and a cute mini brown paper bag with bread and butter also some radishes and some sea salt. I normally don't go for the bread basket, but the petite pieces were nice and fluffy.
We decided to start off with some cocktails to diffuse this week's work stress= Lavender martini, please, what started out as a one drink night ended with three! Maybe it was the lavender that relaxed me or the mulitple martinis! It really made my tastebuds sing. We grabbed the some small plates, as we were more vested in the liquid dinner for the evening.
The Farmer Market beets- the beets were fresh and worked really well with the goat cheese, honey and balsamic.
Mini Crab Cake-a great simple collaboration of organic ingredients, by far, my favorite dish of the night! All crab
Pot Stickers- while the flavors were ok, the texture was a hard and chewy- not the best plate in our order.
Oysters- the selection were blue points, while perfectly shucked and tasty- the champagne mignonette really didn't compliment them well, I think it needed a more acidic component to make it work
Artisan Cheese plate- the presentation was adorable, however the cheese portions were smaller then most other restaurants around town, the accompaniments were fresh and
Our waiter had a pretty flawless service, he initially spilled water in my friend's lap when we first got there, but he recovered remarkably! He was very knowledgable with all of the plates and did a great job with keeping our cocktails refilled, with a smile!
It was a beautiful evening on the square and the service really took our dining experience up a botch! A couple snafus, but this could be my new default spot! A great hidden gem, can we keep it that way?
Bistro with style to spare, yet substance that's simply fair. – The Scene
Twenty Manning's sidewalk tables are some of the city's best--diners never feel like they're competing for space with pedestrians. Glass, leather, concrete and small vases of faux wheat grass inside create an atmosphere akin to a low-lit Armani furniture showroom. A concrete communal table roughly divides in half the bar-lounge from the dining area, but does nothing to quiet the bar chatter. Staff, while polite, is disinterested.
Inattention to major details for many of the entrees--lukewarm soup, overcooked New York strip steak, indelicate tuna sashimi--and a muddled Pan-Asian theme distract from what works on the menu. Namely, small plates suited for cocktails and conversation. A market-fresh grilled fish is the only consistent entree, while side dishes like sauteed baby bok choy, shiitake red-jasmine rice, sticky rice covered in chili-citrus vinegar and a baked Brie-and-chive potato pancake steal the show. (Photo courtesy of K.Ciappa)
Disappointed – I went here with good hopes, but was ultimately disappointed. the hostess was nice and we were seated quickly, but the tables are basically on top of each other. We had 3 people at a 4 top table, but it could have been 6 we were so close to the other table.
Our waitress took about 20 minutes to get to us. Then she only took our order (without writing it down, which she then forgot what drinks we wanted), with no greeting or speil. It turned out they had specials (we heard from another waiter) that we never even heard about! We got our appetizers before the wine, which is unacceptable.
We got the dim sum and calamari. the dim sum was Ok, the calamari was good, I liked the spice of the hot peppers.
then our entrees. I got the seared tuna, and it was good, if not exceptional. The taste was good, and the vegetable, tuna, and black rice paired well. My companions however got the pumpkin ravioli, whichi was mediocre. The flavor was weak, and uninspired.
The desserts were the best part. After barely talking to our waitress (yet again) we got the strawberry shortcake (very good) and the bread pudding. Both were yummy, but as dessert is the easiest dish to do well, I was unimpressed.
All in all, I won't go back. Horrible service, mediocre food, and too many candles coupled with tight tables made it a waste. There are better places.
Unique, Romantic, all around Wonderful! – I visited Twenty Manning with a group of 4 for restaurant week and was extremely impressed by the eclectic menu and the interior ambiance. Among the group was a food and beverage director and former restaurant manager - tough crowd! I had significant trouble deciding among the choices on the prix fixe menu, but settled on spring rolls and tuna, both of which were done and presented incredibly well. The wine was expensive, but other than that, I can't wait to go back.
terrific spot for private party – I hosted a sunday brunch at this restaurant and it was terrific. Great support from staff in menu design and planning. Prices reasonable for a comprehensive buffet. The food was delicious. The only surprise-miniature bagels. Unless you like bagel bites, which you might-they were adorable-request larger bagels. Other than that-perfect spot for a sunday brunch party.
Definitely recommend this place! – I visited this restaurant with three friends for a birthday dinner. The staff was very friendly and the food was fantastic. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Near perfect – Excellent atmosphere, romantic, stylish, great lounge area, inovative and excellent mixed cocktails, tremendous food and top shelf service. It wasn't crowded when I went so I can't say this all translates with a packed house but my dinning expereince was clearly the best I've had in the city in the last year.
One of the great dinners of my life. – I recently enjoyed a fabulous birthday dinner at Twenty Manning in Philadelphia.
The food was incredibly well prepared and presentedit will be remembered as one of the great dinners of my life. The service was very friendly and attentive. What really makes this restaurant special is chef Kiong. Twenty Manning is steeped in the chefs warm, gracious personality and love of people - from the first moment you meet him you feel as if you are in the company of an old friend. By all means, check out this restaurant.
Nelson C. Lauver
Nationally Syndicated Journalist
The American Storyteller Radio Journal
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