Omaha is a changing town...er, city. There is more money in the town and more folks from elsewhere, and consequently business here, notoriously slow to react to potential market value, has nevertheless been moving glacially toward fleecing a willing public of their hard-earned or in some cases, unearned, dollars.
An exception to this Johnny Come Lately in the restaurant biz is V Mertz. This reviewer has been here since 1987 and it was here then and doing quite well. I think there may have been a management change in the interim, the quality is not what it once was (and could be), but for local eats in quality of food, prep, and style, this is the place in the...ahem, O!
Found in the bottom floor of an Old Market building, you are drawn in by the enormous flower spray at the entrance, then you are immediately met politely and seated (do make reservations when you can).
Service: impeccable hardly ever happens but it is common here at all levels, not only service.
Wine list: deep and good, bottle and by the glass, uncommonly so for Omaha and generally in the Midwest (and hey! Chicago is NOT the midwest...)
Bar: tops, great drinks, stand up area if you wish to drink and wait for guests
Dessert: they have a dessert chef, ok? 'Nuff said.
Menu: changes regularly, chefs come and go but slowly, nearly all from top culinary schools in the country. Starters, main plates, desserts, all are well represented but not over done: the menu is not endless, but on a single piece of paper for the day. A few standards (pepper steak for one, from Omaha beef...sorry, K.C., Omaha beef is the main product of any note from NE) and several poultry and fish rotate.
Price: good and high. A pair eating the menu and drinking, can easily push 125-200 without much effort. But is it worth it? OK, you want chain places which Omaha has plenty of or a very good to excellent meal (depending upon your experience)? Your choice. Rated against good places in San Francisco or New York, about a B to B+ where A+ is tops. Not too shabby for a town people usually fly over and wonder what those round circles are in the fields......If you stay in the downtown area on business or pleasure, easy to get to and worth the expenditure if you crave a long and gracious, well-done meal with attentive service. French Cafe across the street is a good second choice for similar reasons as above, while around the corner a pub is M's Pub which is cheaper, noisier, smokier.
Plating: beautiful and well done.