22 October 2008

A birthday lunch at Manny’s, Minneapolis

I’ve written before how my brother (whose birthday is in October) and I (birthday in November) have an annual lunch to celebrate. Well, we missed last year. And we almost missed this year. We agreed on a date, but I didn’t write it on my calendar. I would have totally missed it if he hadn’t had his assistant call and ask if we could meet a little earlier.

Manny’s was an easy choice for this year’s lunch. It never used to be open for lunch. But a change of venue this year, to the swank, new W Minneapolis Hotel (located in the Foshay Tower), also resulted in a few other changes – including, now they serve lunch (and breakfast, too).

We both decided to order the Peppered Bar Steak with Bleu Cheese, Cabernet Butter. Wow! It was fantastic. The steaks were done to perfection. There was a generous dollop of a bleu cheese and butter blend with a hint of cabernet. The steak was a nice size for lunch. That is to say, it was a big steak. Not as big as the steaks they serve at Manny’s for dinner. But their dinner steaks and chops go for $40 and up. This was a nice sized luncheon steak for less than $20. And it came with a pile of really nice fries, crisp and flavorful.

I like the ambiance of Manny’s. The new space is fairly contemporary and not so much like the dark wood paneled cliché of a steakhouse. Our server was very good. He figured out pretty easily that Mike and I were celebrating and he played it up. At the end of lunch, he invited us to come back next year and he offered to join us.

So here’s my bottom line. My wife and I probably wouldn’t eat at Manny’s for just a dinner out for the two of us. We’re just not the kind of people who think that paying $40 for a steak is a good value. But I definitely would go there again for lunch. I thought the menu had enough variety to be interesting, the food was good, the service was pleasant, the ambiance was comfortable. All in all, it was a pretty good value.

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