We made a reservation through Open Table (which I had never done before--it worked out great!) for 7:30. It's good we did--it was a full house and there was another party of two waiting when we got there.
We weren't hungry enough for an appetizer, but we nibbled on the pita chips and some kind of dip (it tasted like hummus, but maybe make with walnuts?), which was really good.
It took us a while to figure out what we wanted--everything looked so good! I finally settled on the roasted vegetable crustada--a flaky pastry shell filled with seasonal roasted vegetables in a silky herbed sauce. It was topped with crispy onions and sat on top of a roasted red pepper coulis. It was almost like a pot pie, but without a top and a flakier, thinner shell. it was fantastic.
Nate settled on the Caribbean potato cakes--savory and sweet, lightly spiced cakes made of vegetables, sweet potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes. They were served with a tomato mint chutney and drizzled with spinach and avocado coulis. They were excellent. They really did have a spice to them, and even just a few bites was very filling.
Both of the meals were so huge and hearty that we took half the dishes home. Cafe Manna is really a great place--it's all sustainable, with recycled and compostable to-go boxes and bags. The wine they serve is organic and they have only local beer (Lakefront and Capital).
The meal was great as usual, and I'll know we'll be back to try other menu options. Our waitress was pretty good, although it took her a while to come back to get our order and for her to clear our plates and box up our food.