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Keens Chop House-Horrendous

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Lisa P Mar 13, 2002 07:58 AM

Had a pre-Knicks game dinner at Keens Chop House last night. Steak was terrible. The sirloin was tough and flavorless. Side orders were bland and boring. The only redeeming part of the dinner was a dozen fresh oysters to start. The place was mobbed which we really didnt get as the food was terrible. We were warned to stay away but wanted to give this place a shot. Dinner for two without coffee or dessert was $150. Two drinks a piece...no wine. Only thing worse than the meal was another ridiculous Knick loss.

Lisa P

  1. j
    Jen G. Mar 23, 2002 08:32 PM

    I loved Keen's when I went in January. Although it was a bit on the expensive side, we thought it was well worth it. We even liked the potatoes!

    1. k
      K. McB. Mar 18, 2002 09:15 AM

      I've had nothing but grade A food and top of the line professional service at Keens'. I can barely order shrimp cocktails elsewhere, knowing it probably can't compare to Keens'. I especially enjoy it because there is NO PIPED-IN MUSIC to ruin my appetite.
      My single gripe has nothing to do with the place itself. It's that the bar area gets clogged by those young men of the cigar-bar/single-malt persuasion.

      1. b
        bigboy Mar 17, 2002 06:44 PM

        i once went to keen with ruth riechl (sp?). i was really excited about the whole thing. ruth was a friend of a friend and we were booked under a psuedonym, the whole shmear (though no disguise - dang). i hadn't had a decent meal in ages and had a great time - loved my piece of mutton, perhaps more for the experience than the food itself. i do remember that the service was slow. there were about 8 of us and we all shared. ruth was good company (not by any means a prima donna) and wanted to taste everything. but she ended up not reviewing the place (she was with the times then), which was disappointing because i was hanging out to see how an evening out becomes a review. i gathered on the night that she wasn't terribly impressed and i suppose her lack of follow-up confirmed it, so you're not alone, lisa.

        1. a
          Anil Mar 16, 2002 02:32 AM

          Lisa, I feel your pain -- Knicks and Keens :(
          The only thing Keens was left with was the bar with Cigar, but then a block east ginger-man opened and is beginning to rival in its single-malt collection (not qiuet there)

          1. n
            nypb Mar 15, 2002 03:10 PM

            Has anyone tried the sirloin hash at Keen's? I saw it featured in time out a few weeks ago..it looks delicious.
            Don't fret Lisa, you could be a Rangers season ticket holder like me! Knicks on ice!

            1. e
              Edward Aretz Mar 14, 2002 09:02 AM

              About 6 months ago, I wrote of a similarly bad experience there (and we had some terrible mutton chops too). The managment could care less. At least we did not have to suffer through the Knicks!!!

              In the mean time I have been there twice for receptions. The food that they served was tasteless.

              This place has a wonderful ambiance, but the food is really, really bad. I hope the next people who take over the place know something about food and service.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Edward Aretz
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                Hazelhurst Mar 14, 2002 12:28 PM

                Depressing news but not un-expected. These comments confirm some other rumblings to reach these shores. It is hard to foul up a mutton chop--unless one does not like mutton, of course, in which case it is moot, or if teh muttpon itself was lousy quality (the famous "alpine billy goat" seared in "curve grease borrowed from the street railway," to mix two earlier commentators)--but it seems Keens is shifting into that category of has-beens along with Gallagher's. Does not mean they cannot be saved, though

                1. re: Edward Aretz
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                  walter Mar 14, 2002 12:33 PM

                  I have posted on this restaurant before also. This is the only restaurant I know of where, when you order wine by the glass, rather than the bottle or half-bottle, they remove the large well rounded wine glass from your table, and serve the wine in a small wine glass filled about 1/2" from the top. (Rather than, as in all other restaurants, use the large red wine glass, but fill it up proportionately). I never went back after that.

                2. v
                  Vital Information Mar 14, 2002 08:15 AM

                  But what about the mutton chops?

                  1. n
                    Nina Wugmeister Mar 13, 2002 11:05 AM

                    I'm so sorry to hear that. I have had nothing but good experiences at Keen's. I've had some wonderful steaks (always rare, I will add), some truly good wines, and I've always found the service to be terrific. Maybe you went on an off night.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Nina Wugmeister
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                      MiamiChow Mar 13, 2002 12:54 PM

                      As a rule I stay away from popular places on sporting event nights...I think the places are more interested in "liquid" meals than serving serious food.
                      That being said I love Keen's...hope it was an isolated incident.

                      1. re: Nina Wugmeister
                        j
                        John M. Mar 14, 2002 10:32 PM

                        No. Believe it or not Nina. Keen's sucks. The food is bad. The service awful. I am forced to go there for work functions and it is consistently awful. Last time, 4 steaks ordered medium rare, each cooked differently. THey don't put any thought into the sides (unlike the Striphouse. Terrible.

                        1. re: John M.
                          s
                          silver queen Mar 15, 2002 02:04 AM

                          I tend to find myself at Keen's a couple of times a year, almost always for a late lunch of mutton chops (medium rare) and a bottle of Burgundy, and I really like the place. There's a ton of flavor in those chops, and the crowd who frequents the place at lunch is straight out of Being John Malkovich, if you know what I mean. A groove and a gas. Although the potatoes do kind of bite.

                          1. re: John M.
                            n
                            Nina Wugmeister Mar 15, 2002 04:37 PM

                            How about a slightly different, more polite tone? I'm sorry your experience has been what it is, but mine has been different, as has the experience of other people (right in this thread, even). Perhaps you could just talk about your experience, and not condemn people for theirs.

                            1. re: Nina Wugmeister
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                              Edward Aretz Mar 17, 2002 06:41 PM

                              Sorry, Nina. This is a board about opinions. Moreover, we hope that the opinions expressed are by those with a reasonably good palate and by people who know at least a little about restaurants.

                              While you are free to enjoy any restaurant that you want, especially one with as much history and ambiance as Keens, there are several experienced people, including me who think that the food is substandard at Keens and have been displeased by the service and the management on more than one occassion.

                              This cannot possibly mean that you have to dislike the place too. To the contary, we hope that you always have a great experience at every restaurant. The same dishes turn out differently from dish to dish and from night to night. The same can sometime be said aout servers.

                              But it is unexcusable for an expensive restaurant like Keens not to care when someone complains. This means that something is very wrong. While I would not necessarily use the term "sucks," I cannot disagree.

                              I hope that you enjoy all of your future meals at Keens. I will not be joining you, as I beleive that you can do much better elsewhere.

                              You are free to disagree.

                              1. re: Edward Aretz
                                n
                                Nina Wugmeister Mar 17, 2002 11:25 PM

                                My point was just that a more polite tone might be preferable and make people feel more inclined to share in the debate.

                                Your implication that I do not have a "...reasonably good palate and...know at least a little about restaurants" is condescension at its finest.

                                Of course this is a board about opinions, but one would hope that the spirit of such discussion would remain one which welcomes all such opinions, whether up to your 'standards' or not.

                                There are plenty of experienced eaters who enjoy Keen's a great deal. I am one. I personally would appreciate it if people would talk about their experiences in ways which do not seek to belittle the experiences and expressions of others here.

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