Top 10 steak houses in the Twin Cities


5. Joan's in the Park
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Sasha Landskov
So often the entire steak house experience is steeped in testosterone. Manly men with the manliness aren't the only ones who know how to properly prepare a great cut of beef. Take, for example, this little neighborhood sweet spot that can hardly be called a steak house but that happens to serve some serious steak know-how. Owners Susan Dunlop and Joan Schmitt have a history steeped in steak knowledge. They have worked at the Capital Grille and Morton's. Chef Dunlop gets great hunks of meat (as big as she can fit inside their modestly sized kitchen) to break them down herself -- no one else can be trusted to get those steaks just so. What she does at each step of the process ensures a steak experience as delicious as anywhere else in town. They have also got an exquisite glass of red to pair with that steak. Who said that a perfect steak dinner needs to come with a heavy-handed clap on the back? Soft, subtle lighting in a not-at-all stuffy neighborhood joint can be the perfect accoutrements to a nice, red cut of perfectly seasoned meat. (631 Snelling Ave S., St. Paul; 651.690.3297)


4. St. Paul Grill

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The room oozes class and elegance. The booze bottles behind the bar glitter like a studio-era Hollywood cast of players. Money has been both made and spent in this dining room. It's an ideal setting for a serious steak. Cut nice and thick, beautifully aged and served with the reverence you'd expect when the bill is likely to top three digits before the decimal point shows up. The St. Paul Grill is the kind of room where no one needs to prove their importance; that you're sitting inside these walls is proof enough. (350 Market St., St. Paul; 651.224.7455)


3. The Strip Club

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The Strip Club in St. Paul isn't the kind of carnivore heaven where you're seated near a rowdy table of Cosby-sweatered louts and leave with a char stench clinging to your hair and clothes. In fact, you're more likely to head home with a new favorite drink from the creative bartenders. The meat is different too. Grass-fed beef from Thousand Hills in Cannon Falls makes for a more full-flavored taste of the three options diners choose from: a New York strip, filet mignon, or hanger steak. Then comes the tough part--which sauce should accompany your cut? You have eight to select from, and trust us when we say the SAT is easier to game than this delicious multiple-choice conundrum. Le Moulin Rouge offers criminis in red wine rosemary glace, while Tuscan Titillation promises cannellinis, onions, garlic, and sage. Simple poached carrots accompany every fleshy entrée, which lets you put your carnivorous focus where it should be: on the perfectly cooked, well-crusted meat your knife sinks into. (378 Maria Ave., St. Paul; 651.793.6247)


2. Murray's

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Tony Nelson
You aced your Class B motor vehicle test. You won the Nobel Prize. You just found out Aunt Nedra left you the millions you thought were going to Mr. Chunky. You want steak. You'd prefer the steak to be the kind that yields to the gentle yet firm pressure of a silver butter knife. Murray's is your place. Its gleaming, mirrored walls and swishy pink curtains recall prom night 1946, or your grandparents' third dinner date. The restaurant is classy in a Nat King Cole kind of way, and the silver butter knife steak will drive you out of your mind and into your local credit union for a cash advance. At $99 for two, it's tender and perfectly textured, it gives completely at the tiniest tooth mark, and food writers have been known to avoid writing about the thing lest their prose become inappropriate for a family newspaper. Ah, Murray's: The spirit is willing and the flesh is medium-rare (or, actually, however you like it). (26 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis; 612.339.0909)


1. Manny's Steakhouse

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Tony Nelson
The purpose of the steak house is to make you feel like the top carnivore on all of planet Earth, both in terms of scoring the finest red, red meat, and also in terms of scoring social privilege over the other bipeds. No place pulls this off better than Manny's. It's not just the steak, though we could go on all day about the excellent, deep, thunderous, winey, concentrated, specially cut dry-aged beef Manny's serves. It's also the social theater: There you are, in a dining room bursting with some of the best, biggest, hugest, giantest, most prestigious bottles of wine in all the world. All around you are captains of business, real estate, and industry, and their dates. Then, along comes your server. He rolls up a cart of steaks, chops, and, often, lobsters that are probably altogether worth more than your first car. He displays them to you, with a little song and dance about the excellence of each. You select your victims from the cart and tuck into either your perfectly poured cocktail or your bottle of well-aged wine that is more than likely never ever seen except inside the homes of obsessive wine collectors. How do you feel? Like a million bucks. Like the winner of everything. Like the top carnivore, the top predator, the top of the top of the top. It is that exact moment in time that makes Manny's the greatest steak house. (825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.339.9900)


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Location Info

Manny's Steakhouse

825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Murray's Restaurant And Cocktail Lounge

26th S. 6th St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

The Strip Club Meat & Fish

378 Maria Ave., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

St. Paul Grill and Bar

350 Market St., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Joan's in the Park

631 S. Snelling Ave., St Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Jax Cafe

1928 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

Mancini's Char House

531 W. 7th St., St. Paul, MN

Category: Restaurant

Lindey's Prime Steak House

3600 N. Snelling Ave., Arden Hills, MN

Category: Restaurant

Erte

323 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Music

Fogo De Chao

645 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
3 comments
Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

Woolley's Steakhouse should be on that list over a few of them!

Bruce Miller
Bruce Miller

Yea! The Strip Club Fish & Meat is high on the list; this wonderful (Minnesota Cooks participant) has long had a commitment to locally grown farmers and food. Terrific to see them recognized! Congrats to Chef Jd Fratzke and his team!

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