After some time away, we decided to revisit Manhattan’s Pub ‘n Cheer, a place we have found to be mostly good and occasionally great.
It was not that absence that made our hearts grow fonder of this UpTown Toledo restaurant. It was the new-ish menu of kitchen-perfect entrees, appetizers, desserts, and a Sunday brunch, as Manhattan’s asserts itself as one of the best mid-price restaurants in town.
Our dinner on a recent low-key Friday night was in the main dining hall, not far from the bar, with a gentle evening sun as a backdrop, an eclectic mix of patrons, age and social, as our surroundings, and a friendly acoustic guitarist as our musical score.
Address: 1516 Adams St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Thursdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: MC, V, D, AE
Web site: manhattanstoledo.com
Our waitress was menu-shrewd and sincerely engaging, answering our myriad questions about the many choices for the night.
We were quite happy with her appetizer suggestions: the homemade pierogi ($11), dumplings stuffed with cheesy mashed potatoes, topped with bacon, caramelized onions, cheese, and beer-battered goat cheese curds with caper aioli ($9.35).
For the entrees: the hand-cut ribeye ($21), grilled slightly bloodier than medium, was served with a fried egg on top (an extra $1) that’s becoming a new culinary trend, though I’m not certain why. The steak was tender to the knife and well-seasoned to the taste. The crunchy potato pancakes served with the steak were not afterthought, as is often the case with the sides.
The NYC Cheese steak ($11.45), with caramelized onions, julienned sweet peppers, and creamy Havarti cheese, was served “street vendor style” — open-faced and hot — on a homemade hoagie roll, with a bowl of au jus for dipping. The steak was tender and the delicious sandwich only got better with each bite, much like the plate’s generous helping of crisp homemade fries.
While care and attention went into the presentation of those entrees, the prettiest plate on the table was also the healthiest: the Scottish salmon and a jumbo scallop ($21.85) baked on a cedar plank and served with grilled asparagus, citrus hollandaise, and fresh apple slaw. Looks did not deceive; everything was spot-on. For dessert, we strongly suggest splitting a slice of the homemade and decadently delicious cheesecake — or if the belt won’t tolerate another bite, getting it to go for a late-night treat.
For our next visit, we tried the Sunday brunch buffet. Trust us when we say it’s so good that God will understand if you skip a Sunday morning service (or two).
Priced at $18.50 per patron (children ages 4 to 10 are half that price, and children 3 and younger are free), the buffet is an all-you-can-eat challenge, as there are simply more options than can be safely consumed. And even then you’re likely to push yourself to extremes. Among the choices: scrambled eggs, bacon, house-made sausage gravy and biscuits, house-made sausage, house-made kielbasa, home fries, french toast, buttermilk pancakes, quiche, omelets made-to-order, and waffles made-to-order.
You’ll also find mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, macaroni and cheese, green bean almondine, “Secret Recipe” stuffing, the “Chef’s Special Feature” entrée, salmon, and a ham, turkey, and prime-rib carving station.
We started with plates devoted to breakfast: omelettes, crispy bacon, french toast, house-made sausage gravy and biscuits, and house-made sausage patties. Other than the made-to-order items and carving station, the breakfast and lunch foods are of the help yourself servings in covered heating trays.
It didn’t matter that the home fries were lukewarm by the time we sat down to eat them; they were still delicious. And while Manhattan’s had us with the made-to-order omelettes, crammed with goodies at our behest, the house-made sausage gravy and biscuits stayed in our minds hours after the breakfast portion.
For the lunch portion, we sampled the mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green bean almondine, “Secret Recipe” stuffing, the “Chef’s Special Feature” entrée — on this day it was a spinach lasagne — and turkey and prime rib from the carving station. We delighted in every choice, but did come back for the prime rib — the best in town, as far as we’re concerned — and the stuffing, which we’re hoping can be bought in bulk carryout for Thanksgiving.
The dessert tray was worth the extra trip. The buffet also comes with a complimentary mimosa (good) and endless coffee refills (even better).
Manhattan’s takes reservations for brunch and dinner. Our only regret about our two visits is that we waited so long to come back.
We won’t make that mistake again.
Contact Bill of Fare at: email@example.com.
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