A laid-back space tucked behind Sihlcity, Maison Manesse combines the culinary wizardry of chef Fabian Spiquel and charming energy of front-of-house / sommelier Michael Ledesma. Taking over a tired local restaurant, they have transformed it into cool, deconstructed space, reusing as many original features as possible, but with lashings of style.
Loosely defined as fun fine dining, the diminutive menu is limited only by Fabian’s inventiveness; the result, a playful, frequently-changing blend of flavours, textures and exciting ingredients. One constant is the use of a superfood in each dish, so all that deliciousness has added health benefits. Keen to avoid even the merest hint of stuffiness, every aspect of the restaurant is designed to make this an everyday dining experience – albeit one with exquisitely good cooking; service is informal but impeccable, the table decor quirky (science beakers serving as carafes) and the crowd young(ish) and relaxed.
Guests stop by at lunchtime for a quick plate of pasta, though in the evening diners can choose between two set menus or a small à la carte selection. Michael is on hand to advise on the wine list, sorely needed as it runs to over 350 wines, all of which, unusually, are available by the glass. A parting touch is the postprandial gin and tonic (Hendricks with cucumber and a grind of black pepper) that appears unbidden to send you out into the night refreshed.