Order this... Seared Day Boat Codfish at The Manisses

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 10:30am

For a late July day the weather was unusual — dark and stormy — but The Manisses Restaurant was as expected: warm and cheery, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and excellent food.

Christiane Fogo, the General Manager, met us with a smile and an umbrella and walked us through the lobby bar before escorting us to the restaurant, where we met Doné Roos, the sous chef, who presented us with a perfectly cooked Seared Day Boat Codfish, The cod is served over delicious lobster risotto with wilted spinach and a checca sauce made of tomatoes, buffalo milk mozzarella, salt, pepper, and olive oil. And, we must report, that while we were chatting and waiting for our main tasting, we were treated to warm, right-out-of-the-oven, not-to-miss rolls. 

Chef Roos hails from South Africa and is delighted to be on Block Island and at The Manisses for her first summer stint in the states. We learned that she spent the winter in Florida after working in South Africa at a five star lodge — and a restaurant in Cyprus.

After our tasting, we took a tour of the various eating venues, each of which has a different feel and view. The Lobby Bar has comfortable couches and chairs to relax and enjoy appetizers, drinks, desserts and eight varieties of Flaming Coffees. In the restaurant area, you have many choices, including the large bar area, the rotunda, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gardens and the fountain, or one of two outside garden areas.   

We ended our visit with an explanation of new items on the menus, such as bacon-wrapped filet mignon, and miso crusted halibut, and the chef line-up. Ariel Fontanilla, the Executive Chef of The Manisses and Ballard’s Inn, oversees seven chefs at The Manisses (with the assistance of Chef Roos): a grill chef, a pasta chef, two fish chefs, two pantry chefs (salads) and a dessert chef who makes all of the desserts.  

The Manisses Restaurant and the lobby bar are open for dinner from early May until Oct. 1. Dinner is served from 6 to 10 p.m. seven days a week. For reservations or more information call (401) 466-9898. 

— Becky Ballard and Ruth Perfido