Mancini's Char House

531 W. 7th St. St. Paul, MN 55102

Capsule review:

Charcoal-broiled steaks haven't always been the speciality at the House of the late Nick Mancini (the show is now run by his sons). Mancini's got its start in 1948 as a neighborhood beer joint, and the full kitchen followed in 1971. The restaurant, particularly the snazzy lounge and the large main dining room, has always felt a little bit like Las Vegas to me. Not the slick Bellagio-Paris-Venetian Vegas of the 21st century, but the early-'70s, Lola-Falana-headlining-at-the-Sands brand of Vegas. The supper-club food is not targeted towards highbrows. Mancini's is the kind of joint where dinner starts with a complimentary relish tray and the salads are mostly iceberg lettuce. The limited menu features steaks, lobster and walleye, but if you're a Mancini's newby, start with a martini and the plump shrimp cocktail and then segue into the flavorful 13-ounce New York strip steak. (Rick Nelson, )

Price: $$$


American casual
American fine dining