A culinary master that’s brought the taste of authentic Peruvian cuisine to the Oregon District is busy making preparations for the spring opening of her new restaurant in Centerville.
Margot Blondet, owner and executive chef at Salar Restaurant and Lounge at 400 E. 5th St. in Dayton, has announced a new restaurant called Manna, expected to open this spring at 61 W. Franklin St. in Centerville.
Meaning “food from God to feed the soul,” Manna will offer Peruvian cuisine with a French influence, according to Manna’s general manager, Michael Sexton. Though the concept is entirely separate from Salar, Manna will include some of Salar’s fan favorite dishes on its menu.
An opening date has not been set, though Sexton said they’re aiming for a grand opening in either April or May.
“Contemporary Victorian” is how Sexton described Manna’s motif. Blondet has been collecting artwork from around the U.S. to fit her vision for the new restaurant.
Blondet purchased two adjacent buildings at 57 and 59 W. Franklin St. in Centerville to create the restaurant. One of the spaces was formerly a King’s New York Pizzeria that closed in January 2020, and the other was a women’s fashion boutique.
“She’s (Margot) really changing the entire structure of both (buildings),” Sexton said.
Both spaces have been gutted for the extensive renovations. The restaurant will have a large capacity inside and outside, with seating for around 125 to 150 people. There will also be an outdoor patio and two full-service bars in both the upstairs and downstairs dining space.
Before taking on the role of assistant general manager at Salar, Sexton worked at Coco’s Bistro for 21 years.
“It’s a really great venture for me, especially because (we’re) building something, literally from the ground up,” Sexton said. “Margot is so talented and so creative, and she has such a niche for what she does. And I have my ideas, she has her ideas, so we’re going to sit down and see what we’re going to do... She understands me and I understand her, so that’s important.”
In addition to her duties at Salar, Blondet will serve as owner and executive chef of Manna.
“She’s a multi-faceted, multi-talented (person),” Sexton said. “I mean, she can multitask with the best of them.”
Blondet arrived in the United States in 2005 and quickly landed the job of executive chef at Sidebar in the Oregon District. When Sidebar closed, she was offered the opportunity to take over the space and build her own restaurant. She jumped at the chance, and Salar opened its doors in April 2013.
“Margot is so innovative, and she has so much to offer this city and Centerville,” Sexton said. “It’s just really exciting to be a part of that.”
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