In a secluded rural area in an unincorporated section of Fairfield, California is a spot called Mankas Corner. It used to be a pretty important junction in the late 19th century. Check out Wikipedia for the historic relevance of this unique location. I’ll leave it to you to check out its place in history but this post is about what sits there, Mankas Steakhouse.
The front of the restaurant has that wild west feel to it paying tribute to its roots of being a general store back in the day. Can you hear the horses neighing and the spurs clanging against the boardwalk?
Though the boardwalk has been replace by concrete, it now has some functionality other than just a place to walk. The front of the restaurant has a little table for two. Probably a place to chill while you sip on some wine wait for your table. There’s also a metal-man sculpture out front which reminds me of Robots – the Robin Williams animated movie about, well, robots.
Inside feels rustic. Lots of bronze, stone, metal, and dark wood.
The decor of Mankas Steakhouse gives it a cozy, soft, romantic feel. I don’t have any pictures but they do have outdoor seating with an outdoor stone fireplace as a centerpiece. Wine glasses and cloth napkins adorn the tables. White tablecloth and metal sculpture topped our table.
Mankas is a fine dining restaurant but the prices aren’t so out there like one might expect. And for the money you get pretty good food coupled with ambiance for you and a date (mine happens to be my wife!) to share a lovely dinner together. Or in our case a nice family dinner with our kids to celebrate Mother’s Day. I was surprised that Mankas wasn’t fully booked and that we were able to secure a reservation on Mother’s Day.
Side story. We were short on funds and so for Mother’s Day our kids pitched in so their mommy could have a nice dinner out.
For appetizers we chose the Yelp recommended lobster bisque and it was pretty good. Used it as a dip with the fresh bread which has a crunchy crust and moist center and that made it even better. The bowl it came in was different. High at one end it looked like a nice artsy piece of tableware. About the bread…it’s really nice to get bread that’s really good. It sets the tone for an enjoyable dinner or one that’s just blah. Mankas’ bread is baked fresh and brought to you straight from the oven with butter that’s just so good with it.
For the main dishes we had mac and cheese. Really! Not for us! For the younger kids! Seems that it’s what they look for no matter where we eat.
But for us older guests, Ribeye and Filet Mignon. I can’t say much about the Filet Mignon because our eldest ordered that about which he commented “It’s a filet mignon” when asked how it was, but I can tell you the Ribeye is prepared wonderfully. Tasty, juicy, and tender. We had creamy horse radish and that is a must for us when we order ribeye or prime rib. The creamy mashed potato was shaped like a flower and the petal edges were crispy. Nicely done. The creamed peas with cipollini onion had a nice flavor to it as well. Taken altogether made for an enjoyable palette experience.
We really enjoyed our dinner at Mankas Steakhouse in Fairfield, and it’s a great place for fine dining and even though it feels like you’re out in the middle of nowhere, you’re really only 10 minutes from i-80.
And for a nice romantic dinner or a nice dining experience with your entire family, it’s worth the little drive to come here.