Manny's attempts to raise the steaks—er, stakes

Legendary steakhouse now serving breakfast, lunch

Perhaps they were celebrating their steaks, which Manny's has been buying from the same Kansas City purveyor for about 20 years. They're cooked precisely and served simply: Most arrive with just a parsley garnish, except for the filet mignon, which arrives with a side of béarnaise sauce. The tenderloin may be ordered in either a 14-ounce portion or a 10-ounce one "for the ladies," a description that seems a little outdated, particularly since I watched a couple split a 40-ounce steak and saw the woman match the man bite for bite. This massive, bone-in rib eye—otherwise known as the "bludgeon of beef," because it looks precisely like a prehistoric murder weapon—is, in my mind, the restaurant's signature steak (it may also be ordered in a more modest 26-ounce version). Its crust is slightly salty, flecked with crispy shards of char, and the meat takes on the bright, acidic flavors enhanced by dry aging. This is a steak for a carnivore's carnivore.

The steaks go well with wine, of course, and Manny's has an extensive list of American reds, from a smooth, by-the-glass house cabernet to a slew of those biblically named big bottles, including a $2,000, nine-liter Kenwood "Artist Series." My favorite pre-steak appetizer is the Caprese salad made with burrata, the grand slam of Italian soft cheeses. Burrata is basically a cream-filled ball of fresh mozzarella, which combines a lovely, soft, ricotta-like texture with a musty, tangy, goat-cheese-like flavor. When ordering a side, I recommend the hash browns: They're a textbook execution, a crisp, golden disk the size of a Frisbee—three people barely finished half. For groups, these excessive portions, which our waiter tactfully described as "a little over the top," are certainly reasonable. But on a table for two, an order of broccoli looks like a small forest, the loaded mashed potatoes like a snow-capped mountain. And how many calories might there be in the $15 brownie, a dark, dense chocolate block the size of a car battery topped with whipped cream and ice cream, doused with chocolate and caramel sauces, and sprinkled with pecans?

I suppose that's the point, though: The audacity of Manny's is precisely what makes it fun. That was probably part of the reason Manny's wasn't nearly as thrilling at lunch or breakfast. The lobster eggs Benedict and blueberry-mascarpone stuffed French toast were certainly tasty, but how often do two people blow $65 on breakfast?

Where the elite meat: The new Manny's, with the infamous bull painting
Jana Freiband
Where the elite meat: The new Manny's, with the infamous bull painting

Location Info

Map

Manny's Steakhouse

825 Marquette Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: Minneapolis (Downtown)

Details

MANNY'S
821 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis
612.339.9900; mannyssteakhouse.com
appetizers $12-$20; entrées $20-$88

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Inside Manny's, diners seem insulated from these questions of excess. It was only when I stood out on the Foshay's 30th-floor observation deck that my worries blew in with the crisp fall breeze: Would we soon feel the consequences of spending too much money and indulging in too much rich food? Wilbur Foshay himself had scarcely opened the doors on his magnificent building before going bankrupt in the 1929 stock market crash. I took in the view of the glittering skyscape and wondered how long such decadence might last. 

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