Mancini’s Char House
photo by tj turner
It’s not the official state dish, but for generations, a classic night out starred a perfectly aged, thick-cut hunk of steak. Throw in a winking neon sign, arctic-dry martini, and white-and-black dressed servers, and dinner became an occasion.
Our hearts flutter every time we walk beneath that iconic neon sign, promising an elegant evening and a Silver Butter Knife Steak. Art and Marie Murray opened their steakhouse in 1946. Their three kids (Tim, Jill, and James) run it today. Known for sports columnist Sid Hartman bringing his “close personal friends” and one of the best New York strip steaks in the state.
26 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, 612-339-0909 | murraysrestaurant.com
The Kozlak family has run this northeast Minneapolis institution since the end of Prohibition. Incredible service—punctuated with a matchbook personalized with your name or “Happy Anniversary” to commemorate a special night. In the summer, you can catch your rainbow trout in the outdoor stream, but every season is a good one for Jax’s luscious prime rib dinner.
1928 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-789-7297 | jaxcafe.com
Yes, there is a real “Lindey” (Lewis Lindemer), who put down a $200 cash deposit to buy this Arden Hills restaurant in 1961. Today, Lindey’s sons run the place. $32.95 gets you the “special” sirloin—with salad, hash browns, and garlic bread. The Place For Steak, indeed.
3600 Snelling Ave. N., Arden Hills, 651-633-9813 | theplaceforsteak.com
This proper supper club on the shores of Middle Spunk Lake was first opened by major and minor league baseball player George “Showboat” Fisher in 1932. There’s plenty to order off the menu, but only a fool would miss the chance to have their walleye.
425 Stratford St. W., Avon, 320-356-7372
Wiederholt’s Supper Club
This family-run business has been serving Miesville since the 1930s, and the eye-catching sign has been drawing in diners since the ’60s. Mad Men-era dinners include a king’s portion of prime rib and an enduring Friday-night fish fry.
14535 240th St. E., Miesville, 651-437-3528
With its glittering, ceiling-tall bar, swank wallpaper, and black-and-white outfitted staff, Monte Carlo is a throwback to the days when the martini was king. Dishes, like the room, are straight-up ’50s-style glamor, like chopped liver and a Caesar salad. Don’t miss the famous, crusty, mystery-spiced wings.
219 Third Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-333-5900 | montecarlomn.com
This decades-old downtown Minneapolis supper club was named for the founders’ fathers, J.D. White and Hoyt Andrews. Hugely popular before Twins games, the Cajun entrées lead the menu.
301 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-338-1560 | jdhoyts.com
This pleasantly dark restaurant, filled with intricate wood carvings, has been the pinnacle of dining in Duluth since 1914. Much has changed since then, including an update that brought more TVs and seating into the bar, but it’s still the best prime rib sandwich in the Twin Ports.
508 E. Superior St., Duluth, 218-623-7425 | pickwickduluth.com
This old-world beauty of a restaurant, in a historic corner of St. Paul, is filled with stunning spaces—including the cozy basement, the dining room with a roaring fireplace, the wood bar with ornate carvings, and the truly magical expansive patio.
374 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-5715 | wafrost.com
The rustic wood bar, lounge, and steakhouse befit a town with rich logging history. Nestle in at any hour of the day for a hearty American breakfast, a happy-hour burger, or a walleye supper in fancy cabin-chic rooms.
1201 NW Fourth St., Grand Rapids, 218-326-3423 | forestlakerestaurant.com
The sign advertises fish and whiskey, and, really, what more is there in life? The log walls, the covered wagon-roofed booths, the spectacular bar, and the water views—all with family-owned hospitality—make Anton’s required dining for all Minnesotans. Your adventure starts with popovers.
2001 Frontage Rd. N., Waite Park, 320-253-3611 | antonsrestaurant.com
Open since 1927, the black-and-white tiles and grand dining room with huge windows make this place feel as if fancy ladies-who-lunch should luxuriate here over Chicken à la King, escargot, and lingering gimlets.
102 N. Second St., Stillwater, 651-439-1100 | lowellinn.com
It’s easy to imagine hopping out of a stage coach and ambling up to this hotel. It hasn’t changed much since it was built in 1854. Inside the dining room, fare is straightforward: steaks, walleye supper, and cheese curds imported from the dairy wonderland of Wisconsin.
502 N. Main St., Mantorville, 507-635-2331 | hubbellhouserestaurant.com
Mancini’s Char House
Mancini’s is St. Paul, and it feels like family. Walk in there, you’ll see a politician or a CEO or an old buddy from church. Nick Mancini started grilling the steaks on huge, open charcoal pits here because that’s how they grill steak in Italy. There’s always a Mancini family member in the restaurant, because, well, that’s the name on the door, right?
531 W. Seventh St., St. Paul, 651-224-7345 | mancinis.com