Fourth generation food and beverage industry professional carries on Manca family tradition from the late 1800s
Le Grand Bistro Américain, the authentic French bistro located on the shores of Lake Washington at Carillon Point, announced today that Mark Manca has joined the restaurant as general manager.
Manca brings an extensive background in the hospitality industry in both Seattle and Las Vegas. As general manager, he guided Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar and John Howie Steak through very successful openings and established the restaurants among the region’s premier seafood and steak houses. In Las Vegas, Manca made his name as general manager of The Range Steakhouse in Harrah’s and director of operations at Top of the World in the Stratosphere Hotel.
In addition to his own accomplishments, the Manca family is a part of Pacific Northwest culinary history, beginning with his great-grandfather Victor Manca who owned the iconic Manca’s Café in downtown Seattle from 1897 to 1957.
In his new position at Le Grand Bistro, Manca joins local culinary pioneer and Le Grand founder Ted Furst in overseeing 45 team members, all with the goal of ensuring that every guest, every time leaves with a smile and wanting to come back.
“My grandfather’s philosophy was that good meals with friends and family are some of the most memorable times of your life,” said Manca. “My focus at Le Grand is to create this inimitable dining experience by getting to know our guests and ensuring their satisfaction through our core values and quality relationships.”
“The food at Le Grand truly brings you back to France,” Manca added. “I have met many guests from France or who have visited France many times and have complimented our authentic cuisine. Also, there is no better view on the water anywhere else in the city!”
“Mark and I worked together twenty years ago and are thrilled with the opportunity to do so again,” said Furst. “Mark’s experience and family history is so engrained in this region, so I knew that he was an excellent addition to help build upon what we have created with Le Grand. I look forward to bringing our experiences together to create something even more special.”
Additional highlights of Manca’s career in Seattle begin with Schwartz Brothers at Benjamin’s Restaurant in Bellevue, leading him to opening and managing the Benaroya Symphony Hall food and beverage program and eventually joining Chef John Howie at Palisade Restaurant as sous chef. He also worked with restaurant legends Victor Rosellini and Mick McHugh to open Vic & Mick’s 910 Restaurant and developed the food and beverage programs for Schwartz Brothers Spirit of Washington Dinner Train.
Manca pursued a bachelor’s degree in hotel restaurant management at UNLV. He worked his way through school in some of the best food arenas in Las Vegas at a time when service, hospitality and dress code expectations were very high. He was fortunate to learn at some of the hot spot hotels and casinos, including the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas Country Club and the Tillerman Restaurant.
Realizing his life-long dream in 1991, Manca brought his great-grandfather’s Manca’s Café back to life in Madison Park, where it thrived until bought out in 1998. Manca and his wife now live in Kirkland and are proud of its strong community and opportunities for the Le Grand team to give back as volunteers.
About Le Grand Bistro Américain and Founder Ted Furst
Inspired by creator and founder, Ted Furst, a force on the Seattle food scene for more than thirty years, the restaurant brings French bistro cuisine to the area with a broad selection of appetizers, charcuterie, soups and salads, a full raw bar menu featuring local shellfish on the half-shell, and a wide selection of entrees. Le Grand’s founder is among a small group of culinary pioneers who jump-started Seattle’s food and beverage renaissance in the mid-80s. Furst’s advocacy of local, seasonal products, deep roots as a developer and trainer of influential chefs, and his concept and menu development work have made him a profound influence on what and how people in the Puget Sound area eat and drink. With his latest concept, Le Grand Bistro Américain, Furst is committed to living in the true philosophy of the authentic Bistro, which is essentially about honest, perfectly prepared food, and a warm, comfortable, restorative ambience. Items are house made (even the ice cream) and skillfully prepared on site. The bread for the restaurant is baked in the central hearth oven twice a day and the food is classically prepared in an authentic French style, but still moderately priced. For more information, visit www.bistrolegrand.com and follow Le Grand Bistro Américain on Facebook and Twitter.