Mancini's Char House
The rise of so many great steakhouse options in the Twin Cities makes us appreciate the folks who have been doing it right for decades: Mancini's Char House in St. Paul. That's because a great steakhouse experience is about more than just carving up the perfect slab of medium-rare beef and slathering your baked potato in butter—it's having a Manhattan while sitting in a red leather booth as you wait for your table (half expecting a member of the Rat Pack to stroll in for a martini). It's smelling the char odor clinging to your hair and clothes hours after you've left. It's encountering Vulcans in the winter months and bocce players in the summer. Every hunk of perfectly charbroiled filet, New York strip, and sirloin comes with hefty helpings of salad, greasy grilled bread, potatoes, and some of the best people-watching the city has to offer. This sprawling family-owned restaurant has been filling stomachs since 1948, and the decor tells you that not much has changed since then. But why mess with old-school perfection? Mancini's has easily earned the right to call itself a St. Paul institution.