Chef Five Bites: Steve Mannino

Chef Steve Mannino was tapped in July to head the kitchen at Rustico, as well as the forthcoming second location, slated to open next summer at 4075 Wilson Blvd. Timely tip: This Saturday, Oct. 10, from noon to 6 p.m., hit Rustico for Oktobeerfest. There will be lots of food, beer, live music and a raffle for a Harley. Oh, yeah. Find all the deets here.

Mannino's résumé includes the Park Avenue Café in New York and Chicago, Les Nomades in Chicago, and eight years with Todd English, during which he opened and served as executive chef at both the Olives in Las Vegas and DC. He later worked with Steven Starr to open Buddakan and the Continental in Atlantic City.

Of his family friendly Five Bites, he writes: "My wife and I are firm believers that if we make eating fun for our children (which can mean dipping, handling or, to some, playing) then not only will they be willing to try new things and flavors, but they will enjoy them and in turn develop a lifelong love of eating well."

1. Whole duck at Peking Gourmet Inn. But everything on the menu is fantastic. Plus, we love playing with our food and what better way than with duck and the accompaniments.

2. Burgers (sometimes my wife), chicken burgers (always for me) and tenderjacks (buttermilk battered chicken tenders for the kids) at Tenderjacks. This casual dining restaurant is our home away from home in Leesburg. We like the fact that veggies are seasoned and are easily substituted or available as a side.

3. Peruvian-style chicken at La Chocita. Hint: They very often have their coupons featured on the back of Giant register tapes!

4. Beef combo (eye of round, lean brisket, flank, fatty brisket tendon and tripe) at Ashburn's Pho Bistro

5. Chicken tikka with spicy mango sauce at Naan and Beyond. Cooked to perfection and still around $6, you can't beat it for the size and quality.

Previous Chef Five Bites: Cathal Armstrong, Dani Arana, David Guas, Josh Short, Michel Richard, Haidar Karoum, Ryan Morgan, Shannon Overmiller, Anthony Chittum, Jonathan Krinn & Jon Mathieson, Victor Albisu, Vatche Benguian, John Snedden, Nicholas Stefanelli, Travis Olson, Brian Robinson, Cliff Wharton, Alex Bollinger, Massimo Fabbri, Daniel Bortnick, Rob Weland, Olivier Perret, Dennis Marron, Dean Gold, Mike Isabella, Bryan Voltaggio, Geoff Tracy, Bart Vandaele, Rodney Scruggs, Clayton Miller, Alex McCoy