As owners and managers, the Lahey family has shaped their own style of dining in this growing downtown Toledo locale and has what they call a acoeNew ... More
As owners and managers, the Lahey family has shaped their own style of dining in this growing downtown Toledo locale and has what they call a acoeNew York-inspiredac menu. Zach is the second oldest of seven children, having graduated from St. Francis de Sales and Ohio Northern University where he pursued musical theater. He did quite well through high school and college becoming an accomplished singer, dancer and actor. He has appeared in an array of productions and held lead roles in West Side Story, JC Superstar, Hello Dolly, Guys & Dolls, and Forever Plaid to name a few.
We have only been here for their Sunday brunch, but it is our favorite place to go for brunch. The food is excellent and the service could not be any better! Our waitress has remembered us from the first time we were there and goes out of her way to make our experience a pleasant one. This is the place my husband always wants to go for Father's Day.
You can literally count the number of good restaurants in the downtown - or immediate downtown area on one hand. Manhattans is one of the good ones.
This eclectic little place on the cusp of the historic Old West End has three things going for it: 1) exceptionally good food, 2) expert service, and 3) more than reasonable prices. If it was truly in the Big Apple, you might find it tucked away in the West Village (and you would pay triple for everything).
Don't let the area intimidate you. It's not the most upmarket neighborhood, but it is perfectly safe, and the older buildings surrounding the restaurant are part of the charm. There is plenty of on-street parking, and it is easily accessible from almost anywhere in town. The wall of windows overlook the street, and it is kind of nice to dine in an older neighborhood instead of in the sterile suburbs.
The bar, just to the right of the front door, is a gathering place for the locals, but there's always room for newcomers. It is a sophisticated little spot to relax and enjoy a martini before venturing into the dining room. If you allow yourself, you can become engaged in some stimulating conversation with the local movers and shakers that frequent the bar.
The food is, by and large, excellent. There are specials of the evening, and often it's difficult to choose among them. The specials aside, the menu presents a nice range of items sure to please almost any pallet. Oh yes, there are lots of pasta dishes and also homemade pizza, but a must-try is the Hudson Bay Chicken - a breast of chicken, stuffed with crabmeat, roasted red peppers, and onions, topped with a mild cheddar cream sauce. If you prefer seafood, choose the Long Island Scallops - sauteed or lightly breaded sea scallops finished with a seafood sauce of minced shrimp, clams, and white wine. The food is artfully prepared, and the presentation is a cut above. It is obvious that the kitchen prides itself on what leaves the serving area - something other local restaurants should take note of.
There are plenty of appetizers, so if you want to have a leisurely dinner, start with one of those. The soups are homemade, and if you like Manhattan Clam Chowder, theirs is delicious. The salads are always crisp and fresh. Try the optional Maumee Bay - grilled asparagus with strawberries, blue cheese, pine nuts, and a strawberry-vanilla vinaigrette.
Where Manhattans falls a little short is on decor. It is certainly acceptable, but it lacks a certain panache that you would find in New York. It is a little stark, and while simple is good, the interior needs a little warmth - something more upscale to equal the quality of the food. Perhaps it lacks a designer's touch, and it might be a candidate for a minor HGTV makeover.
The other major shortfall is the acoustics and the music. Often, their choice of music is just plain awful. The other problem is the noise level. The hard surfaces can make it almost impossible to enjoy your guests with polite dinner conversation. Even if you request a table in the farthest corner, the music can still be overwhelming to a point that you might reconsider another visit. If you want to avoid the cacophony altogether, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, you will have to bite the bullet and dine before 9 PM. At one time, the music was enjoyable, but recently they have some really questionable groups (read: lack of talent). In fact, on a recent visit, the music was so horrible, we left without drinking or dining.
On a final note (every pun intended), the waitstaff is experienced, and they are truly at your beck and call. You will not wait hours for another cocktail, and the kitchen is equally efficient. Although you will never feel rushed, you also will not have to play the waiting game, either.
Prices are more than reasonable for the quality and quantity of food. They run in the moderate range and you will not break the bank by becoming a regular.
The food was great and the Sous Chef there was very helpful on describing the food for me. I love the presentations and the lemon salmon pasta was the best. Service was good also. Sherry and Josh are great servers. On was there on a Thursday and Vytus is fantastic at what he does. I will keep coming back.
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