Meat at Manny’s

We celebrated a special occasion in our household this weekend, and we were in search of a good steak, so we decided to go to Manny’s. We bandied about many options (Strip Club, Murray’s, Ruth’s ChrisMorton’s), all of which I want to try eventually, but Manny’s won in the end. And that was even before we saw the meat cart.

The meat cart is a sight to behold. The server discusses each piece of meat to guide you in your choice of entree for the evening. The cart included everything in the online version, plus a baseball steak, which was a round cut of meat a little larger than a filet.

We ordered the filet (10 oz for me, 14 oz for Tim), accompanied by loaded mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. While we were waiting for our entrees, we had a couple pieces of bread to absorb our pre-meal beverages (vodka/soda for Tim, manhattan for me). There were two types of delicious bread in the basket– a salty white bread with a peppercorn crust, and a dark brown bread with raisins. 

Our entrees arrived, and we were in meat heaven. The filets came with bearnaise sauce, but I only dipped into it once because the meat was so flavorful and I wanted to savor it. The macaroni and cheese was perfect– warm and comforting, with several types of cheeses and a slightly browned crust on top. The loaded mashed potatoes were fantastic, with chives, sour cream, and bacon on top. We completely devoured the mac and cheese and made our way through about half of the potatoes. They were much richer and harder to eat in large portions, but they were still good. Plus, we wanted to save room for dessert.

We ordered the Bailey’s cake, which was the smallest dessert on the menu, and it was still huge. It consisted of a brownie on the bottom topped with Bailey’s chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and hot fudge sauce. We took about a third of it home for leftovers the next day. 

Our server was really friendly and came by to check on us regularly. His timing was excellent– he always seemed to come by when we were ready to clear our plates. He had great recommendations and made our first experience in the restaurant a pleasant one.

There are several booths along the walls of the restaurant. We were seated on the end of a series of small tables with chairs on one side and a booth on the other. I was glad we were on the end so we could have a little more privacy and we weren’t sandwiched between two other parties. I’d request a small booth next time, just to have our own space.

The bathrooms were impressive, if a little hard to find (go right, go right, go left, go right– it was like a maze, and I was glad I just had the one drink). The stall doors went from the floors to the ceiling, although the barriers between the stalls left a little space underneath, in case of a toilet paper emergency. The floors and walls were made of gray marble, and the sinks were silver and modern. 

After our meal, we took the elevator to the 27th floor to check out Prohibition. There was nowhere to sit, so we left. It was small and dark and crowded, although the views were impressive. I’m not sure it was my kind of crowd, if this overheard conversation was any indication: “I’m cashing in my life insurance to get plastic surgery.”

Parasole, the bar in the hotel lobby next to Manny’s, looked impressive. A friend of mine mentioned that it was a much better place to get a drink. There was a lot more space to move around, and it had a cool decor and vibe. 

We stopped into Barrio, the new tequila bar on Nicollet, but we left because there was nowhere to sit or stand. We went next door to The Local, which was still busy, but we were able to grab a couple stools by the bar. Tim got another vodka/soda, and I ordered the JJ, which is made with Jameson, mint, and black currant. It was refreshing and sweet. We didn’t stay too long in The Local because, again, we were getting a little claustrophobic (note to self: time our meals when happy hour is not occurring). 

On the way back to the car, we saw a guy pushing a 10-speed bike along Nicollet Mall. He was wearing a windbreaker and a blue Speedo. I’m assuming it was a Speedo because of the generous view from the back, but that was more than enough. I didn’t need to run around to the front for proof. Last year, we saw a similar sight– two guys in Speedos on rollerblades downtown in front of Gaviidae. I guess if that’s your fashion choice, Nicollet Mall is the place to let it all hang out.

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