Last Friday night we celebrated our 10th anniversary by going out to dinner at a very well-known Minneapolis institution. Manny's Steakhouse.
I've been wanting to try Manny's for several years now, but never got around to it. I also don't have an expense account.
Originally, I had made reservations for the St. Paul Grill, another Twin Cities destination restaurant, but Matt had his little steak-loving heart set on Manny's. So we reserve, several weeks in advance, and the earliest time we could get was 8 p.m.
The new Manny's is now located in the refurbished Foshay building, next to Key's Cafe and also the site of the new snazzy W hotel. The hotel and restaurant had just opened that previous Wednesday, so when we arrived downtown at 7p.m. to check out the place, fancy Hummer stretch limos, Porsches, and other exotic automobiles that scream out, I'M DEFINITELY COMPENSATING FOR SOMETHING, POSSIBLY MY PERSONALITY, were rolling up to the front door. Guys in black suits and earpieces that looked like they were part of a Madonna video circa 1993 were running to and fro, looking frantically important. Well, the W hotel lobby is something to look at, I tell ya. My little podunk self looked around and felt like Dorothy, especially when a young lady sashayed past wearing a mini-mini dress and thigh high boots. Seriously, the dress came to a rest precariously under her bum, and I said to Matt, "Holy Smokes, should I get a dress like that?" Matt looked and said, "Uhhhh..." which I translated to mean, "Go right ahead, and then I have to post your bail when the po-po arrive and arrest you for indecent exposure."
We took the elevator up 30 floors to the observation deck and they had a little museum detailing the history of the Foshay Tower and its creator, William Foshay. The building was modeled after the Washington monument, so it narrows into this cool obelisk. On the 27th floor was Mr. Foshay's old 2-story office, which took up the whole floor. They turned it into another bar, and it was pretty cool. People were lounging on beds and chaise lounges, sipping cocktails, and a crowd of young, Euro trash looking men sat at the bar, with their spiky hair, faux tans, sparkly sunglasses and Armani shirts, laughing wildly and sucking down their Appletinis. It was exactly like a scene from the blog, Hot Chicks with Douchebags. Now I'd seen them in their natural habitat, and I had a sudden urge to gag. Matt snorted disgustedly and we decided to go back down to the lobby to look at the other bar.
The other bar was huge, 2-stories, and looked like an IKEA catalog/Austin Power's/Barbarella super sexy cocktail lounge. Big black velour couches, white sparkly vinyl chairs, purple tufted ottomans, and art deco metal tables and gigantic Bauhaus lamps and funky rugs. The main color scheme was black, purple, white, gray, and chrome.
I ordered a Blood Orange martini and started people watching and tried to eavesdrop, which is a favorite past-time of mine when we go out to restaurants or bars. I can happily sit in a corner and watch people mingle and make bets with Matt on who is on a first date, who is not, and who is trying to pick up someone at the bar and not succeeding.
The martini was $12 and tiny. By tiny I mean it was normal-sized. Which was disappointing. For $12 I want a drink as big as my head and enough booze in it so that it's actually considered a fire hazard. No dice. But it was tasty. They also had food, which we didn't try because we were saving ourselves for our special dinner, but I figured the food was probably like the rest of the place: flashy and fun to look at, but lacking in substance.
We decided to go next door to Manny's to see if we could get seated early. My next post will be my completely biased review of the restaurant, based on my experience.