Thursday, Dec 14, 2017
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Restaurant Reviews

PEACH WEEKENDER | BILL OF FARE

Mancy's Steakhouse just short of perfect

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    The sirloin and shrimp lunch at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    "Bone In" Filet Mignon at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    The aged Delmonico cut ribeye at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    The escargot appetizer at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    Salmon over gnocchi at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    Creme brulee at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    New York-style cheesecake at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

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    Crisp fried Brussels sprouts at Mancy’s Steakhouse.

Mancy's Steakhouse is one of those Toledo institutions where one goes to be delighted with perfection of aroma, sight, and taste. It has always set the culinary standard. Its dining rooms and bar are the things of movies — dark wood, a roaring fire, circular staircase, and artwork worthy of museums that adorn the walls. It has a regal atmosphere and low lighting. It is a restaurant you go to when you want to enjoy your company over a wonderful meal with of some of the best steaks available.

For years — a decade even — Mancy's Steakhouse has been one of the top restaurants reviewed by The Blade, consistently receiving the coveted five-star rating. Even the finest have an off night, but on our first visit to Mancy’s in North Toledo, the venerable eatery fell short of our expectations for perfection more than once.

Mancy’s Steakhouse

★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Address: 953 Phillips Ave.

Phone: 419-476-4154.

Category: Business casual.

Menu: American.

Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; dinner, 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10:15 p.m. Friday, and 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Reservations are accepted.

Wheelchair access: Yes.

Average Price: $$$$

Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.

Web site: mancys.com.

Still amazing, but not the perfection that garners five stars. We first visited the restaurant for dinner. My companions and I started with the lobster bisque ($9). As we said three years ago, it’s a showstopper. It comes with a full 2 ounces of lobster meat in a bowl, then smothered in a thick, delicious velvety and creamy soup.

We shared the delicious smoked salmon dip ($10), which is honey-bourbon brined and cherry wood smoked in house, served with toasted baguettes.

Details at Mancy's still make it stand out. House salads are served over a chilled plate with every meal, and they are notable, and decorative, with an array of fresh mixed greens.

Since this is Toledo’s premier steakhouse, I opted for steak, obviously. The Aged Delmonico Cut Ribeye ($35) is 16 ounces of well-marbled steak. Ordered medium rare, it arrived medium and it was slightly more fatty and a thinner cut than one would expect, which might explain the overcooking.

The “Bone In” Filet Mignon ($59) was also not the perfection I expected. My dinner companion said it was cooked perfectly, medium rare, but poorly seasoned and somehow dry. We both ordered asparagus as sides to our steaks, which was undercooked, unseasoned, and bland.

We ordered the crisp fried Brussels sprouts ($10) as another side to our steaks, although it is on the menu as an appetizer. It is served with bacon and pecans in a sweet Ohio maple syrup reduction. This delectably delicious dish more than made up for the shortcomings of the asparagus.

The third dish at our table, Salmon over Gnocchi ($25), was the big disappointment of the night. Gnocchi should have a light and fluffy texture, with mild potato flavor. This didn't have that at all.

The gnocchi didn't taste homemade and was actually chewy. We'd recommend dropping it from the menu if it can't be improved.

Additionally, the salmon was bland and didn't leave us with any feelings one way or the other.

Our second visit, for lunch, was superb.

We started with the escargot appetizer ($11), which was enjoyable, with a buttery, just on the edge of too rich, appeal.

One companion found his lunch at the steakhouse to be delightfully filling. He began with a cup of the restaurant’s chili ($4) and professed surprise to find not the ground-up beef endemic to most such offerings, but actual chunks of beef tenderloin swimming in a subtle mixture of red beans and a blend of spices. When is the last time you actually recognized the meat in your chili, he wondered aloud?

For an entree, he chose the beef tenderloin Stroganoff ($11), an impressive portion of meat, mushrooms, onions, and old-fashioned egg noodles. The meat was tender, the noodles abundant, and the onions and mushrooms battled to see which could be more plentiful. The sauce was rich without being overpowering, and he applauded the fact the noodles were al dente, not mushy as though they'd been cooked hours earlier.

My other luncheon companions chose a daily special, the Blackened Cod with mango salsa, mashed potatoes, and green beans ($18). The fish was very well cooked, but the salsa was a little too sweet for her liking, so she was grateful it was served on the side so she could control it.

I opted for another steak for lunch. The sirloin and shrimp ($24) was perfectly cooked, seasoned, and delicious. The three huge tempura-fried shrimp were a wonderful touch.

Desserts are made in house, and the creme brulee ($8) and New York-style cheesecake ($7) were both wonderful.

Like other restaurants of its caliber, Mancy's excels at cocktails.

The fully stocked bar will delight and impress. We ordered a Moscow Mule that arrived ice cold in a copper mug, as it always should, and an excellent ice-cold martini. The wine selection is expansive and impressive.

Contact Bill of Fare at: fare@theblade.com.

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