Manhattan in Mornington
Shop 2, 55 Barkley Street, Mornington, VIC
03 5976 4867
"Relax, enjoy good food, have a laugh. We're here to build a good relationship for years to come, when you're here, you're special."
Mornington is home to the stylish, new Manhattan restaurant, inspired by fine Italian family recipes handed down through generations, and by the wealth of top-grade produce available year-round on the Peninsula.
Manhattan opened in December 2012, but its dash of style together with the high quality of its dishes has rapidly gained the attention of foodies in the Melbourne area. Owner, Rose Mimmo, comes from a “food family” which has long had a passion for sharing beautiful dishes; with a long and strong background in hospitality, the idea for Manhattan was to bring some of the old school charm of a family-owned Italian restaurant to the Peninsula, and to give it a modern twist.
The restaurant was born after husband Nino renovated the haberdashery into a modern, up- market establishment. In its first year, the business has focused on providing a great Italian and Mediterranean-style a la carte menu selection within its delightfully bright, spacious and airy setting.
The full-length deck at the front gives way to a dining area with a dozen marble-top tables on a glossy hardwood floor; there is a mezzanine overlooking the dining area, the beige walls of which have a few well-chosen prints leading up to an elegant oyster-shell shaped ceiling.
It has certainly added a new dimension to the eating options in the Barkley Street region of Mornington, both for local residents and for the passing traffic on its way to some of the region’s best beaches. So far Manhattan has let its food do the talking and word has got around fast, meaning the business has started well. Where it goes from here could be even more exciting.
Rose and her younger brother, head chef, Angelo Branca, work together on the creations that aim to set the Manhattan dining experience apart from the rest. A large selection of starters, salads, pastas, pizzas and main meals adorns the menu and the bread and bagels are made in-house. Brother, Joseph Branca, manages the family oriented business, and sharing the head chef position is Hailey Garrat who started with the family 11 years ago. Apprentice chef and Roses son, Christian, has truly inherited the passion that already reflected in popular dishes he created. In the kitchen Nonna Cristina and sister Louisa are to be found rolling meatballs and making desserts in true authentic Italian fashion such as their famous tiramisu.
The family knowledge of food helps greatly, with Rose inheriting many of the recipes and cooking techniques, and able to create not only delicious but very nutritional and healthy choices. Key to the initial success of Manhattan has been the diversity and abundance of local produce, which is used as much as possible in menu dishes. It helps that the Mediterranean-like climate of the Peninsula is able to recreate much of the produce, and many of the tastes, from Italy.
It is not hard to see the heavy local influence in specialty dishes like the fresh Peninsula mussels cooked in chilli, garlic and tomato sauce, and the fettuccini mare monte, fresh prawns, Moreton Bay bug with calamari pan-seared with spinach and cherry tomatoes in a chilli-infused olive oil. Cheeses and Sicilian olives are also locally sourced.
The wine list has been carefully chosen to complement each of the dishes and includes selections from many of the high quality local wineries of the Peninsula.
“We want our customers to enjoy the ambience and dining experience when they visit Manhattan, everyone that steps through our doors we welcome as part of the family”