BEST STEAK HOUSE (1998)
To walk in and see that oil painting of the majestic, sunset-backed bull is to know you've arrived in an irony-free zone. Which is good. If we want irony, we can go to Buca or Jitters. Here they don't have time for satire; they've only got time for steak: dry-aged, hand-cut, cooked with a scrupulous eye toward perfection, tender as a ripe berry, chewy as a candied chestnut--the sort of meat, in other words, that will echo in your mind and mouth for years. As will the wine list: The regular contains some 240 wines, the reserve another 500, and wine guy Jon Landberg, one of the only internationally certified sommeliers in the Midwest, is constantly inserting new rare California cabernets so that the many Manny's fans (like the 300-plus who show up on the first Tuesday of every month for the cigar smoker) are assured of getting something worthy of their steaks.