Tag Archives: Anthony’s Steakhouse

Obviously Omaha

July 9, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

For many food lovers, there’s nothing like a good steak. A steak with plentiful marbling and a ton of flavor. A steak perfectly cooked with a seared crust and tender, juicy center. While local gourmets and gourmands have embraced an influx of new restaurants, many still crave the city’s long-standing steakhouse tradition. For a timeless dining experience, it’s hard to beat a classic steakhouse dinner at one of these 10 spots (listed in alphabetical order) exclusive to the Omaha metro.

Anthony’s Steakhouse
7220 F St.

The family-owned-and-operated business has been satisfying steak lovers since 1967, when the late Anthony “Tony” Fucinaro Sr. opened the restaurant. A giant fiberglass steer hangs out front. Inside, diners savor tender, flavorful cuts of Nebraska beef, which the restaurant expertly dry-ages and hand-cuts. Pasta, seafood, chicken, and pork are also on the menu. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Anthony’s gets better with age.

Brother Sebastian’s Steakhouse & Winery
1350 S. 119th St.

Opened in 1977, this West Omaha eatery boasts some of the best rib-eye steaks in town, as well as an extensive wine list and classic steakhouse sides. Skip the baked potato and get the mashed spuds—they’re ridiculously good. Adding to the restaurant’s appeal is its monastery theme. Gregorian chant music echoes in the parking lot, and servers wear monk-inspired garb. The dark interior is divided into multiple dining rooms warmed by fireplaces and adorned with casks, bottles, and books.

Cascio’s Steakhouse
1620 S. 10th St.

The sons of Italian immigrants, brothers Al and Joe Cascio opened the steakhouse south of downtown in 1946, and a third generation of family members runs it today. Cascio’s uses certified Angus beef that’s hand-cut and aged. High-quality steaks, scratch-made soups and salad dressings, breadsticks baked on-site, and spaghetti sauce simmered for hours have kept the local landmark filled with faithful diners for decades.

The Drover
2121 S. 73rd St.

Generations of steak lovers have walked through the heavy wooden doors of this rustic, cozy central Omaha spot. It opened as a Cork ’N Cleaver in 1969 and became the Drover in the late ’70s. Featuring cowboy/Western decor, the restaurant is known for its whiskey steaks, which are soaked in a secret whiskey-based marinade for 15 minutes. A warm loaf of bread and a trip to the salad bar, complete with chilled metal plates, prime the appetite.

Farmer Brown’s Steak House
2620 River Road Drive
Waterloo, Nebraska

Located on Omaha’s outskirts, this popular Waterloo steakhouse has been wooing diners with slow-roasted, tender, and flavorful prime rib since 1964. That’s when Charles and Daphne Stenglein opened the steakhouse, which their sons now run. Customers love the no-frills, homey atmosphere and menu of comfort foods. For several decades, Daphne Stenglein and her identical twin, Dagmar Luenenburg, were fixtures at the restaurant, lending a hand and greeting guests. The sisters were inseparable and died 10 months apart in 2001 and 2002. A second Farmer Brown’s operated in Papillion for a number of years before closing, but the original is still going strong.

4917 Center St.

A meat lover’s mecca since 1944, Gorat’s is among Omaha’s old-school Italian steakhouses. Louis N. Gorat Jr., known as “Pal,” the son of founders Louis and Nettie Gorat, sold the business in 2012 to Gene Dunn. The beloved midtown spot—one of Warren Buffett’s favorite local restaurants—continues to attract locals and out-of-towners, including Berkshire Hathaway shareholders who dine here during the company’s annual shareholder weekend in May.

Jerico’s Restaurant
11732 West Dodge Road

Diners have been sliding into the button-tufted booths and digging the old-school vibe at Jerico’s since 1978. For many Omahans, this is the go-to spot for prime rib. There’s also New York strip, filet mignon, rib-eye, porterhouse, and sirloin. Bacon-wrapped shrimp makes a great starter, and a slice of house-made chocolate, banana, or coconut cream pie is the perfect finish.

Johnny’s Cafe
4702 S. 27th St.

An Omaha landmark, a time capsule, and one of the city’s oldest independently owned restaurants, Johnny’s has been operated by the Kawa family since the early 1920s. Guests love the succulent steaks, well-made cocktails, and kitschy décor, such as saddle-shaped bar stools. The longtime dining destination was featured in Alexander Payne’s 2002 filmAbout Schmidt.

Omaha Prime
415 S. 11th St.

An Old Market fixture since 1995, this upscale spot offers USDA Prime beef, the highest rating. Operated by local restaurateur Mahmood “Mo” Tajvar, Omaha Prime features an extensive wine list, attentive service, and an elegant ambiance. From the second-floor dining room, guests can enjoy their meal while taking in lovely views of the Old Market Passageway below. Seafood, chicken, and lamb are also on the menu, but steaks are the star. The restaurant’s star clientele includes Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett and retired New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who dined here together in 2006.

Pink Poodle
633 Old Lincoln Highway
Crescent, Iowa

It takes a bit of a drive to get here—about 20 minutes from downtown Omaha—but diners don’t seem to mind. Steak lovers of all ages have been coming to the Pink Poodle for more than 60 years. The casual, independently owned spot offers unfussy food in a modest setting. The longtime Crescent restaurant is known for its slow-cooked, deeply flavorful prime rib, but there’s also rib-eye, sirloin, seafood, chicken, and numerous side dishes. While waiting for a table, take a few minutes to check out the décor—an eclectic collection of dolls, pianos, knick-knacks, and, of course, pink poodles.

This article appears in the July/August 2017 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore?

July 16, 2014 by
Photography by Sarah Lemke

Peony Park closed 20 years ago. A wrecking ball followed shortly after to make way for a Hy-Vee grocery store.

Arlene and Dave Beber don’t miss the roller coaster. And they don’t much think about the cotton candy, arcades, and corn dogs. They do, however, long for the days of dancing under the stars at the park’s alfresco band shell, The Royal Grove.

But it doesn’t mean that the couple who have been married for 62 years have given up on cutting a rug. The pair dubbed “Fred and Ginger” for their dancing prowess can be spotted most every Monday night at the Ozone Lounge at Anthony’s Steakhouse. That’s when Mike Gurciullo and His Las Vegas Big Band hit the stage.

A recent visit to the Ozone found Dave and Arlene at their table, the one closest to stage right.

“Life is too short and too many people take it too seriously,” Dave says. “Dancing is a great way to lighten up, feel young, and have fun.”

“We’re here to dance,” adds Arlene, “but there’s more to it than that. Everybody here, including the staff, is like family to us. The people are warm and welcoming.”

Bandleader Mike Gurciullo is a virtuoso trumpet man who goes by the handle of Gooch. He’s toured extensively, including, as his band’s name suggests, gigs in Las Vegas. Gooch was also featured earlier this year in accompanying Kathy Tyree in her title role of Ella at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

“It’s great to see the same faces every week,” Gooch says. “It’s an honor to play for them. It’s almost a spiritual experience to be able to play here,” he adds, before also complimenting the staff of the club. “Everybody knows everybody. And Dave and Arlene are crowd favorites. They are an elegant couple and beautiful dancers.”

Gooch, who announces every song title played by his 16-piece band, engages the audience with more than just his tunes. A night at the Ozone is chock full of friendly banter from the stage. He addresses most of the dancers by name in his little asides, and even included a shout-out that night to the table known affectionately as “The Wine Ladies.”

While most of the crowd is middle-aged or well beyond—the Bebers politely demurred when asked how old they were—youth is also served on big band night.

Eric and Diana Powell, now of Lisle, Illinois, are 25-year-old Omaha natives who are self-described “band nerds.” They met in jazz band while at Millard West High School.

“I played keyboards,” Eric says, “and Diana played the trumpet,” just like Gooch.

“We love this music,” Diana adds. “We’d be here every Monday night if we could.”

The Bebers say they love all kinds of music. “Even Hip Hop,” says Dave before Arlene jumps in with “Polka? Not so much anymore.” And the Beber’s favorite dance number? “Oh, too many to mention,” Arlene says as Dave puts his two cents in by crooning the lyrics of Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable.” Arlene nods in agreement. “At Last” [Etta James] is another one,” Arlene continues. “We have so many favorites. And we had so many favorite places to dance. Do you remember the Red Lion? Or the Leopard Lounge? And the Music Box?”

The lifelong Omahans who worked together in operating their own medical billing company while raising six boys were the first on the dance floor that recent Monday night as Gooch and his boys opened their first set with Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”

But the irony of it all is that the Bebers still do get around. Quite a lot, as a matter of fact. The hopelessly romantic couple even return on occasion to the Royal Grove, or at least to the slab of parking lot concrete on the site where they danced so many nights away over the decades,
“We’ll park the car, roll down the windows, and turn up the radio,” Dave explains.

“And then we dance,” Arlene adds. “We don’t care who sees us or what they think. We get out of the car and dance right there in the parking lot.”