Thursday, July 30, 2015

Now open: Twenty Manning Grill

It's lighter, in design, menu, and price.

Now open: Twenty Manning Grill


Audrey Claire Taichman's Twenty Manning, on 20th Street north of Spruce (at Manning), is back after a five-week redo to both its philosophy and look.

She's making it clear that she's trying to impress her neighbors, not necessarily the critics. 

It's now Twenty Manning Grill, and chef-partner Kiong Banh has put out an eclectic American menu -- utterly accessible and moderate-priced (everything is $22 and under). There will be a daily special (hot dogs on Mondays, fish and chips on Thursdays, for now). It's dinner only, daily, at the start.

Though the menu is still a work in progress -- and as such is not being made available -- Banh is offering at the outset such dishes as heirloom tomato gazpacho with pineapple-basil sorbet; moules frites with classic broth, crusty bread and bourbon remoulade; pan-seared scallops with pink grapefruit supremes, sauteed spinach, and yellow pepper olive oil; and an 8-ounce "TMG Burger," made of grass-fed, pasture-raised beef with special sauce, iceberg lettuce, plum tomato and raw purple onion, served on a cutting board topped with what Taichman calls a "good pickle" alongside fries.

Banh has kept his signature charbroiled beef sirloin noodles on the menu.

Taichman and Banh got help from fellow restaurateurs. Zahav's Mike Solomonov and the Art Institute's Rocco Lugrine consulted on the pizza dough recipe. Georges Perrier's bakery is providing the rolls. 

Gone are the glass partitions that looked so cool 10 years ago when Twenty Manning opened as the bar-equipped companion to her Audrey Claire down the block.

Fury Interior Design went sunny and white and bistro-like, adding whitewashed tongue-in-groove wood paneling and white tile bar to complement the white pressed-tin ceiling. The scheme contrasts with new yellow Chesterfield leather banquettes, dark wood bistro chairs, and wooden tables. A rotating display of artists' photos is hanging; up now are whimsical shots of people eating from Arlene Love’s "Philly Eats" series. The fling-out windows and sidewalk dining (with summertime cooling-misting system) will remain.

Drinks ($3 to $11) incorporate fresh herbs and fruits, and the draft beer list has been increased to six, mostly locals.

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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein
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