Tag Archives: Keens

My favorite steakhouse of all time: Keens

1 Nov

I am a lucky lady. I have been to many of the best steakhouses in NYC.  And yet, my heart belongs to Keens.

I wrote about them quickly at the very beginning of this blog, but I somehow managed to not dedicate an entire post to my favorite steakhouse. I must rectify that immediately.

Keens is located on 36th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues and has been in that location since 1885.


The most memorable part of Keens, besides the food, is the pipe collection that adorns the walls and nearly every inch of the ceiling. (You can see them in the picture below, if you look hard enough, lined up all along the ceiling)


The pipes are specifically churchwarden pipes, which were too fragile to carry around, so people would join the Pipe Club and leave their pipe at Keens to enjoy their next time around.

It’s also has a historical footnote in women’s history: 

“In 1905 Lillie Langtry, actress and paramour of King Edward of England, took Keens to court for having denied her access to its gentlemen-only premises. She won her case, swept into Keens in her feathered boa and proceeded to order one of our famous mutton chops.” (Source


Keens is famous for their mutton, which I had never had before I went to Keens.


And right behind the bar is Miss Keens. She both seems to be looking over the place and luring you in. 


While the main dining room is fantastic (especially for a business meal), their Pub Menu is very reasonably priced for a steakhouse and has some absolutely fantastic dishes.


My alltime favorite is the Prime Rib Hash. This is one of those meals that I can have again and again. It’s like a giant potato latke with pieces of prime rib in it, topped with a fried egg.  The whole thing just combines so perfectly.  Magic in your mouth.


And the creamed spinach is always spot on. Not too dry and not too wet.  Just perfect.


We also had the pub-sized mutton chop.  It’s a huge serving, even though it’s called “pub-sized” and even though Mike and I split all this, we couldn’t finish everything. Not even close.


And on every table is some housemade mint jelly.  I don’t love mint jelly, but something about this one is quite good, especially with that mutton.


I absolutely love Keens and recommend it to just about everyone who asks for either a great steak house or a great meal near midtown. Everyone that has gone has agreed… Keens never disappoints.

Total Nom Points: 8.5 out of 10


Top 10 Noms of 2009

31 Dec

What is a New Year without a Top 10?  I have been blogging for exactly 325 days and have enjoyed every moment of it.  I love food… and I’m so happy that I have some very faithful readers who have joined me on this journey (THANK YOU!). With that said, here is my top 10 Noms from 2009:

10) Disney World stands out in my mind for a very memorable eating trip in 2009.  The dinner we had at Marrakash comes up often and I still can’t remember ever having a better sundae than the Ghiradelli one I had at Downtown Disney.

9) When Mike and I took the Culinary Walking Tour of Greenwich Village, we didn’t really know what to expect. It wound up being great for both food (we have gone back to these places a few times since then) and history. 

8) I actually wound up going to Becco twice this year (Becco 1 and Becco 2).  They are awesome for having an unlimited pasta tasting from their three pastas of the day and a pretty extensive wine list for under $25.  But their Osso Bucco is what dreams are made of.

7) Every time I go to Koi it is amazing.  It’s one of the very, very few restaurants I can go to over and over again (even multiple times in the same week).  The crispy rice is amazing and I credit the Miso Glazed Cod with having started me eating fish for the first time.

6) The short ribs at Charles were great (well… I thought so until I had #2 on this list). We first sampled them at a nice fund-raising food festival and then I won a gift certificate by bidding $60 for a $75 gift certiciate.  The braised lamb shank was exceptional and highly recommended.

5) Quality Meats had been recommended to me time and time again.  While the steak was great, but not my favorite, the corn creme brulee was so good that I dream about it.

4) Eating at Montenapo, especially on someone else’s dime so we could order multiple courses without guilt (well, except waistline guilt), was a HUGE treat.  It’s brand new and in the middle of an area that is known to wimp out on food.  The Osso Bucco was the best I’ve ever had (even though I just had a taste of someone else’s) and the desserts were sensational.  There wasn’t a bad bite in the entire meal. 

3) I have loved Keens Steakhouse since the first time I tried it, however, the bar is especially amazing and I’m so glad Lori joined me for my first time.  That potato and steak was heavenly and more restaurants should make merengue… especially if it’s that good!

2) The number two slot goes to a yet to be blogged about meal at Bottega (Michael Chiarello’s restaurant in Napa Valley).  Why was it so good? You’ll just have to read the blog to find out!

1) My birthday dinner at WD-50 was epic. It is hands down the best meal I’ve ever had.  We went whole hog and got the full tasting menu.  Each dish was a new adventure… and not just because it looked cool.  There were such wonderful flavors in everything and I really loved this place.  #1 for the year… probably lifetime #1 to date.

Runners up:

Happy New Year Nommers!

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

8 Mar

I absolutely love steak. It may not be very girly of me (though I’ve never been good at “girly” anyway), but give me a big hunk of beef over a salad any day. I try to eat well, but when it comes down to it, I’m happiest eating fatty, sweet, and starchy delectables.

I’ve tried a number of steak places in the city. From Peter Luger’s to BLT Steak to Smith and Wolensky’s, they’ve all been good. Some really good. And while I do sometimes dream about the Popovers at BLT and Peter Luger’s was a great experience, the steak place that has my heart is Keens. It just never dissapoints. Every meal I’ve had there has been flawless. The mutton (which is what it’s famous for) is fabulous and the prime rib is the best I have ever had.

Keens is a very old restaurant (124 years old to be exact) that looks like it was furnished by the antiques I only dream of one day putting in my home, but they were installed when they were new. In the entry-way there is a display of the “Dinosaur Sirloin” which looks about 100 years old. The sign says Keens thinks it is still not yet aged enough.

My favorite part is that there are old pipes hung on the ceiling. The story goes that when smoking was permitted, Keens’ regulars stored their pipes at the restaurant for the next time and they had a “pipe club” (both real and honorary) with members like Babe Ruth and Steven King. There are supposedly more than 50,000 pipes and I think it just adds a really cool look to the place.

Typically I go to Keens with a publisher for my job and the meal is on the house. The one time I went with Mike, it was more expensive than I realized, but well worth it. I observed the last time I was there that their pub menu is different and very reasonable (as far as steak places in Manhattan go anyway). When Lori and I were looking for a place to eat on a random Thursday evening, I was more than happy that she agreed to try to Keens Pub menu with me. The pub menu is served Monday – Friday, 11.45 Am To 10.30pm and on Weekends 5pm To Close.

It absolutely did not dissapoint. For a semi-small menu, it had more than a few options that sounded great. Lori and I each ordered a glass of wine and anxiously awaited our meals.

Lori had the Miss Keens Burger, which was a burger without a bun, fries, and a green salad. The burger had somewhat of a salt glaze to it. The meat itself TASTED like good meat. Even the salad had the perfect dressing and the fries were expertly crispy.

I went with the Prime Rib Hash. It had many of my favorite things in it. Fried potato hash with onions, prime rib, and topped with a fried egg. (Very healthy). It was absolutely phenomenal. It was like the best latke I’ve ever had but with an excellent meat and a perfectly cooked egg.

Lori and I moaned throughout the entire meal.

I had been tipped off the last time I was at Keens that the meringue was especially good. It’s greek yogurt with whipped cream, pieces of mirengue, and fresh raspberries and strawberries. I absolutely loved it and was all too happy to share it with Lori. I don’t think she liked it quite as much as I did due to the mirengue’s texture, but she seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.

We left with full, happy bellies.

Total Nom Points: 9 out of 10