manna serves American Cuisine, Tuesday through SUNDAY in Downtown Wilmington. The restaurant features innovative food and cocktails, a robust wine list and full bar.

Our chef selects the best ingredients in arranging his vision of the American Restaurant. We buy as local as possible, so long as the quality is fantastic and the price is fair. We do not buy local for the sake of buying local.

We change the menu frequently to incorporate all of the freshest ingredients and provide alternative dishes for those people who frequent our business on a more regular basis. Ask your server if the chef can prepare something off the menu…if we’re not too busy, he is happy to accommodate.

Our chef specializes in french technique but invariably holds his hat on his ability to create interestingly unique combinations and flavor profiles from nearly every culture based on his extensive culinary knowledge. If you are interested in a four course tasting menu please call in advance. This allows our chef to take the burden of choice out of your hands and places the artistic element into his, a fun time had by all.

Visiting? Come stay with us
Dominic Scott
GENERAL MANAGER / PROPRIETOR

Wm Mellon

“It is still very unclear to me how I stumbled into this industry. My parents didn’t own a family restaurant that I worked in through high school saving money for summer vacation and a used Plymouth for senior year. In fact, my family and I rarely went out to eat.

At any rate, I’ve been eating my whole life. It’s something I’ve always been good at. It seems that I was destined to do something where I could continue to encourage the gift of eating that possesses me…

In all seriousness, I have been fortunate to have worked with some of the greatest people on earth and for some reason, they all seem to work in restaurants. I guess I have been going to school since I got out of the Army and saw the first “help wanted” sign on the window of an uptown eatery. That day I got the job. I am certain that I was hired because I was the first to apply and nothing else.
Fast forward twenty years and here I am. I’ve had the pleasure of working under top chefs since the early days of scrubbing pots and mopping a sweaty kitchen well into the night.

Aside from actually being the chef, I’ve done everything in every department of the restaurant’s operation. Over the past decade I’ve worked with the area’s best chefs: James Bain (Harvest Moon/Dockside), Pete Baxley (Harvest Moon/City Club), Tom Mills (Gardenias/Little Pond), Aaron Peterson (deluxe/Fresh Market) Keith Rhodes (deluxe/Catch), Kevin O’Connell (Seldom Blues/LFCC), Shawn Wellersdick (undercurrent/Port Land Grille) & Josh Woo (Yo Sake). They’ve all shaped my love for this industry and share with me this most recent endeavor.

This restaurant has been a dream of mine for many years. I am very proud of what we have started. We work tirelessly to maintain originality in concept, uniqueness in wine selections and attentiveness to all the extra details that make dining an experience.

I still love to eat…manna simply invigorates this passion. Come see.”

– Wm Mellon, General Manager/Proprietor

Dominic Scott
EXECUTIVE CHEF

Carson Jewell

I have admired Carson from afar for many years. I first met him when we operated the music venue Bella Festa—he and his twin brother are two thirds of No Dollar Shoes (a band that was a little bit folk, a little bit bluegrass and a whole lot of Budweiser). They performed there shirtless, shoeless and fearless which speaks volumes about who HE is as a person…more of an individual who is unafraid to be himself—comfortable in his own skin. Confident…

Around that time, Carson was running the kitchen for Caffe Phoenix. It was sometime thereabouts when the restaurant would move from its original address on front and market to its final residence at the corner of Front & Princess. When Carson was at the helm, especially at the latter location, I recognized a special talent that he had that was FAR ahead of its time. He was constantly paying homage to the farmer and the places where GOOD food was being grown and sourced—it seemed that those were the places that he wanted to align his cooking philosophies with and the freshness was evident on the plate.

They were the first place that I ever saw that had a chalkboard with the specials and the locations of all of the ingredients on the menu. It even went so far as to inform the guests as to how far the farms were from the restaurant.

As I mentioned, it was far ahead of its time. The idea of “Farm to Table” had been coveted by several restaurants since Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in the 1970s, but it had not been dubbed that yet…or at least it wasn’t on many people’s radars especially in the smaller cities.

Sure, lots of chefs were sourcing excellent products from all over the world, but Carson was finding the same things in Wayne County, Ivanhoe, NC, Stump Sound and other coordinates only a quarter tank of gas away from Wilmington. That was a difficult thing to do back in the early 2000s and this community wasn’t ready to pay more for a humanely raised chicken, over Trumpet mushrooms foraged from Pender County out of a kitchen seeking to eliminate most if not all of its wastefulness.

Carson would move to Raleigh and work under the esteemed tutelage of James Beard Award Winner, Ashley Christensen at her newest restaurant, Death & Taxes. After honing his skills in the Capitol City, he would venture to Portland, Maine to work with a friend and fellow North Carolinian, Ben Jackson at Drifter’s Wife—which was named Top 10 new restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit

Eventually, he would make his way back home and as luck would have it, he and I would run into each other outside of manna. He was looking for work; I was in need of a cook. The timing was perfect for both of us.

His food is simple but there is nothing normal about it and that is the beauty. The plate is strikingly colorful and the fare is extraordinarily flavorful; the menu is playful and honest. I think I am as proud of this menu as he is and I am honored to have him on the team. I am certain that he’ll push me to work harder in order to keep up with him. I’ll look forward to that challenge.

He cooks like he plays music…well, in our kitchen he wears shoes and a shirt, but he is still fearless…I suspect that if the health department would allow it, he would be perfectly comfortable cooking in the kitchen wearing only a pair of cutoff jean shorts and a giant smile. Makes perfect sense to me.

Dominic Scott
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF

Rebeca Edelmira Alvarado-Paredes

When Rebeca came to us, manna won the lottery. In all of my years in the restaurant business, I have never met a more amicable person & never met a more skilled sugar-smith. Typically, you get one but not the other. With that type of talent comes ego; an inability to meld into a team mentality; a lack of desire to train and be trained. But for her, there is nothing more further from the truth—Rebeca is an enigma.

She found us on a social network and asked if we needed a pastry chef. We were intrigued. She came in a literally blew us away. After she was able to handle the pantry station during a busy service, we gladly brought her into the fold…

Like Jameson, she has been a pillar, stabilizing our restaurant with imagination, thoroughness and dedication. She has also become our little rock star, easily getting the most requests by her fans in the dining room. Although she is still a little shy when it comes to coming onto the floor, Rebeca has become more glib with the guests (obviously looking to unseat me).

Born in San Salvador, El Salvador, Rebeca moved to Yonkers, New York when she was around four years old. She graduated from Johnson & Wales (Providence) with a degree in Baking and Pastry. After her studies she worked at Renaissance Hotel (Providence) & Pastiche Fine Desserts (Providence). In Boston she gained employment at L’espalier. She has interned at L2O (Chicago), Eleven Madison Park (NYC) and WD-50 (NYC).

“I love baking, making things look pretty. I love the art.

It is hard to believe but her favorite food is canned tuna fish and avocados while her favorite dining experience was at Blue Hill (NYC).

Her dream job (after manna) would be to work for Pierre Herme. She loves to travel, painting and playing with her cat.

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“I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If i wanted a picture, I’d buy a painting.” — Andy Rooney