April 2010 Issue
What keeps a restaurant in business for 89 years?
A menu that’s tasty and consistently prepared, great service from an experienced staff, an exciting wine list and a cozy atmosphere come to mind — and Mancy’s Steakhouse in Toledo delivers on them all.
A few weeks ago I visited the “Glass City” staple with my family and we all agreed that our meal was worth the two-hour trip.
We arrived hungry after a quick tour of the Toledo Museum of Art and were seated with glasses of ice water and a tray full of freshly baked bread and seeded crackers within minutes. But take note — we arrived at 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday and the place was nearly full, so you’ll definitely want to make a reservation, especially if you need a larger table. Mancy’s is a popular spot for birthday dinners and other celebrations, and the staff is spot on. They definitely know how to handle a dinner crowd.
Our meal began with crab-stuffed mushrooms ($7.95), fresh oysters Rockefeller ($9.95) and a cup of French onion soup ($3.75), all of which were well prepared. The meaty mushrooms were juicy and pleasantly browned on top, the spinach and hollandaise-filled oyster shells featured just the right amount of spice, and the soup was loaded with soft, salty onions, chunky croutons and a broiled cap of melted cheese.
Dinner entrees at Mancy’s come with a house salad and a choice of a one-pound baked potato, hand-cut fries, hash browns, wild rice pilaf, boiled redskins or fresh vegetables. The house salad dressing, in a world generally ruled by vinaigrettes, is a surprising sweet-and-sour red French. The sides we sampled, both the baked potato and the redskins, were also examples of straightforward, no-nonsense goodness.
But the real stars here are the steaks.
The veal porterhouse ($28.95) is a 14-ounce, meaty shortloin chop rubbed with roasted garlic and served with a Béarnaise sauce that has a hint of horseradish. Even with these accompaniments, the flavor of the delicate veal shines through. Of course, we had to try Mancy’s filet mignon ($24.95 for a 7-ounce portion, $30.95 a 10-ounce), billed as “the most tender steak of all.” Cooked medium-rare, the texture was smooth and buttery and — thanks to what we attributed to aging and in-house butchering — the cut had a distinctive beef flavor that filet mignon typically lacks.
From Mancy’s nightly seafood menu we chose mahi mahi topped with crab in a citrusy saffron sauce ($25.95). The fish was moist, and both the crab and the pleasant-but-not-overpowering sauce added fresh flavor. The dish was served with crisp fresh asparagus and creamy mashed potatoes. Both were delicious.
Fortunately, we took our time with this meal to enjoy Mancy’s cozy appeal and to save some space for coffee and dessert. Ice cream lovers, myself included, delight in Mancy’s Turtle Pie ($6), a mountain of praline ice cream on a chocolate cookie crust topped with candied pecans, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. The menu says it’s enough for two, which is an understatement. This dessert is huge. We also tasted a bourbon bread pudding ($6) that was simple, sweet and served with a few dollops of vanilla ice cream.
Mancy’s Steakhouse is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and for dinner on Saturday. The lunch menu features smaller portions of dinner items as well as burgers, sandwiches and specialty salads. The chefs also offer lunch specials including chopped steak with mushrooms, gravy and a side dish for $5 on Wednesdays.
And considering our delightful dining experience at Mancy’s, lunch for $5 is a great deal.
Mancy’s Steakhouse, 953 Phillips Ave., Toledo 43612, 419/476-4154. mancys.com. Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–9:30 p.m., Fri.–11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–10 p.m., Sat. 4:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Closed Sundays. Dinner entrees: $16.95–$42.95. Credit cards accepted, handicap accessible.