Friday, November 22, 2013

Lunch at Manny's Steak House

Omnivore's real dilemma - eat a big steak or a bigger one ...?         (Post courtesy DH)

Steakhouse - the name conjures up the image of dimly lit high ceiling-ed rooms lined with deep leather chairs suffering stern faced black-suited men swirling old scotch while discussing the fate of the industry or economy as they attack giant steaks while being attended upon by dour faced waiters in coattails. No women in sight anywhere and not a word or gesture out of place.
Such was the image that conjured up in my head causing some trepidation, when the better half of this marital equation casually suggested:
"Manny's Steakhouse for our anniversary?"
It was rather uncharacteristic of her given as she usually tries to balance out my excesses and indulgences (all in service of gastronomy assuredly ) with healthier endeavors. The draw of a good steak helped us get over our reservations and it was a good thing it did.

Located in the historic Foshay Tower in the heart of downtown Minneapolis Manny's steakhouse (Located: 825 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis MN, 55403) is nothing like my imaginings. The Maître d' was (gasp) a woman and there were women serving as well as enjoying the hospitality. Not quite the male bastion a steakhouse is made out to be.

We were ensconced in a comfortable booth and menus handed to us. The steaks ranged from a measly 7 oz all the way to 56 oz - the Rib-eye 'bludgeon of beef'. At 3.5 lbs of corn-fed marbled meat, there really is more than one way to kill using it including eating.

I picked the wimpy lunch-size New York strip - just about 11 oz while my better half opted for the Tenderloin steak salad. We also requested a glass each of the house chard and cab respectively and then settled back to explore the basket of breads and whipped butter. The caraway flavored white bread was delicious, as was the raisin brown bread. As it happens our bread choices matched our wines in color.

Over bread and wine we enjoyed a conversation uninterrupted by "Mom see this ..." or "Dad, can I tell you something...". The wait for the food was neither too long nor too short.

The New York strip steak was served with butter sauteed broccolini.

The salad with a buttermilk ranch dressing and blue cheese as garnish.

Crushed pepper was offered and accepted - and that was the first thing we noticed - the strength and 'kick' of the pepper was pleasingly noticeable.
My better half can appreciate cheeses that my palate declares beyond the pale - blue and Gorgonzola, and it's ok - the world is a better place with tastes that complement each others'. The salad was decent, and the tenderloin served on it really tender.

But the star of the show was the new york strip - crispy on the outside, perfectly seasoned and very tender and juicy inside.Our waiter had proudly informed us:
"Our steak is proprietary - that means you can't get it ANYWHERE else and is DNA tested for being black Angus. Its wet aged for X days and then dry aged for at least Y days" No, we're not springing an algebraic trap on you. I just wasn't paying enough attention to remember the numbers. And DNA testing? It all
sounded like 'culinary forensics' from an episode of 'Law & Order: Gastronomic crimes division'.
While we had no idea what to make of the wet and dry aging and the forensics, we can say with some certainty - this is the best steak either of us tasted in a restaurant.

For dessert, the restaurant treated us to a chocolate cake with a Bailey's Irish creme infused mousse and whipped cream topping with a generous helping of chocolate sauce poured over.

Chocolate sauce waiting for cake
Sauce being poured over...

Posing... after a couple bites
This is how we consumed it ;-) with full gusto

The happy feelings that resulted from all this stayed with us all day long. 
I still wonder, had we ordered the 56 oz steak - would they let us stay for the week it will take us to finish it?

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