Dining

Breaking the rules and the restaurant model with Jolene Mannina

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Jolene Mannina’s food adventure just keeps getting more interesting.
Courtesy of Jolene Mannina

Good cooks don’t follow recipes, and great ones know when tradition could use a good kick in the ass. That’s why after almost a decade, Jolene Mannina went from waiting tables to founding a food truck business—Sloppi Jo’s Roving Eatery—in only seven months, naming it after a renegade dish of pulled pork, red chili sauce, pickled onions and a gooey fried egg with a tortilla on the side. Typical just isn’t her bag.

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Mannina sold the truck last year, but she reappeared soon after as the mastermind of weekly food truck roundup Saturday Night Truck Stop and its head-to-head chef battle Back of the House Brawl. Bigger things are brewing, but for the moment, Mannina’s energy is focused on launching another side adventure.

Called ChowDownTown, the pop-up restaurant will appear monthly inside the gallery attached to The Lady Silvia lounge in the SoHo Lofts, offering a set menu to guests who buy tickets in advance. Mannina says her partner Joshua Clark will be head chef, using Lola D’s mobile kitchen to prep dinner for one or two seatings. Plates will pair with small-production wines and specialty cocktails crafted by a local mixologist, with total cost per person staying under $60.

“It will cater to the service industry as well as foodies in town,” Mannina says, adding that Lady Silvia’s marketing director Jimmy Foster is spearheading ChowDownTown’s creation. “I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of this event, and hopefully things like this will continue to pop up in Las Vegas.”

ChowDownTown will always be on a Wednesday, with details on the premiere event to be announced.

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