We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Quiet place serving Excellent food”
Review of El Manantial Restaurant - CLOSED

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
El Manantial Restaurant
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Wiehle Ave.
Description: El Manatial is a family operated restaurant, featuring European Fusion Cuisine. We offer Italian, French and Spanish specialties, including a Tapas bar.
Reston, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Quiet place serving Excellent food”
Reviewed 19 July 2014

I visited El Manantial on a Friday evening and had a reservation at 6:30pm. We were a party of 5. The host promptly took us to a centrally-located table. The ambience was delightful- the music was not loud and the atmosphere was peaceful and not at all noisy. We ordered drinks to start with (martinis) that were really good. For the appetizers, we ordered Frog's Legs, Calamari and Scallops. Absolutely divine. A bottle of Argentinian red wine was recommended by the server and that complemented the mains perfectly. The mains consisted of the Seafood Paella, Mahi Mahi Imperial, Filet Mignon Stroganoff and the Rock Fish. Heavenly. Since it was a birthday dinner, the server brought us a collection of the desserts available for that night. We chose the Chocolate Mouse Cake, Chocolate Cheesecake and the Fruit Tart, which were very tasty. The dinner was an amazing experience!

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank ksg1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

74 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent tapas + wonderful rose wine.”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

The place looks cool. The wine selection is fantastic. The Escargots was really prepared nicely and came out quick. The rack of lamb was not traditional with it's own touch it was different but amazing. I will be back.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Look4best
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clifton, VA
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Good Service - Average Food - Pricey”
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Perhaps trying a new restaurant on Valentine Day is not the best idea. However, we really had our expectations set high based on the large number of glowing reviews. As others have reported this restaurant is somewhat of an oasis in an otherwise dismal shopping center. Nonetheless, the interior of the restaurant is well appointed and congenial.
I opted for the fried oyster appetizer. The four oysters were plump but the breading tasted of oil that badly needed to be changed. The dish suffered as a result.

I ordered the rack of lamb in red-wine sauce. My wife ordered the filet mignon. The lamb was served sliced from the bone in a scant amount of heavy wine sauce. While presented well the lamb was rather tasteless. Fortunately, there wasn't much sauce but the little that was served was rather thick and did not complement the dish at all. The bones were served apart from the meat. My wife's filet was served initially a bit too rare for her taste (despite her order). Even after heating again it was still a bit on the rare side for her. However, it was a quality piece of meat and she did enjoy it.
We were offered quite a variety of deserts - primarily various types of pastry. I chose the chocolate and banana tart which was quite tasty and a nice ending to the meal.
Service was extremely good - almost too good. Appetizers were served almost immediately after ordering and the main courses shortly thereafter.
This restaurant has quite a nice wine list consisting of a large number of Argentinian, Spanish, and Italian wines. They also serve some of these by the glass. The ones we chose (a Riesling and a Pinot Grigio were both very good.
Overall, this is not a bad place. It has a lot going for it - many fish choices on the menu, good service, good wines. However, our first impressions were that given their prices we would expect the food to be much better than average. It was also slightly annoying that they wouldn't honor their web coupon despite the fact that it did not have any particular restriction that would exclude a holiday. Others, sitting close to us commented on this as well.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank terrysb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centreville, Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great place”
Reviewed 11 February 2014

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Reston. While it is a bit off the main path, it is worth the short drive. And while it also doesn't look like much from the outside (it's in a strip shopping center), it is easy to park and it looks like a different world when you enter. The food and the very professional wait staff are both excellent. You are always welcomed and well taken care of here.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank LarryF6724
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suitland, Maryland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It's Gone Downhill..”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

This used to be a wonderful place but everything has gone downhill.
They used to have a pizza stone they'd bake their pizza on...this last visit the pizza wasn't as good, terribly greasy and everything was WAY TOO SALTY.

The insalata caprese was swimming in salt. It was nasty.
And the manager paces back and forth if they aren't busy, and made me very uncomfortable. Maybe we dress too casually, but I always feel as though we're treated like we're less than their other patrons.

And he always tries to sit me somewhere bad-this last time it was right next to a door which kept swinging open and shut and the place is not busy.

Used to be fairly regular, kept giving them a chance, but after this, no more.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank J C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed El Manantial Restaurant also viewed

Reston, Fairfax County
Reston, Fairfax County

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing