HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Keen's or Keens Steakhouse?

  • a

Someone recommended it, but I never heard of the place.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    Steve Harrington

    Keens is one of the city's top steakhouses. Clay smoking pipes on the ceiling (it was founded in 1885), a fantastic bar that features one of the largest collections of single-malt Scotch in the city, and superb steaks aged in-house. Make a reservation, order the porterhouse for two and select an earthy Zin from the decent wine list. Afterwards, sip a Scotch in the bar and enjoy the artwork. Here's a link

    Link: http://www.keens.com/index.html

    1. it's a decent steakhouse with history. people go for the unique decor more than the quality of the steaks albeit the food's not bad. i'd say a decent second tier steakhouse... i've had better at PL, sparks, and even del friscos.

      1. It's actually most famous for it's mutton - year old lamb - which is far stronger (it's lanoline you taste) than spring lamb

        1. Ate there a few weeks ago - well known for their mutton. ordered the mutton - it was a tasty dish, but significantly undercooked. They of course volunteered to rectify the situation but ordering medium rare and getting it borderline raw is less than encouraging.
          overall better than average food - average service - not cheap.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Michael L.

            Keens's mutton chop is a saddle cut on the bone. Keens recommends that customers order it medium because the part in the center, right on the bone is always rare. It is less than encouraging that Michael L. is going to order an item rarer than he should have, and then knock it for being borderline raw. I personally value the opinions of diners who educate themselves about what they eat before they post complaints.

          2. I love this place. I've had great prime rib and lamb chops and even dover sole here. People will debate steak quality forever, but for old NY atmosphere, it's easily the best one in the City.

            1. I agree with most of the posts here. I first ate at Keen's last week. The decor is very classic steakhouse and the food is decent, but not the level of a Luger's, Sparks or other top steakhouses.

              1 Reply
              1. re: smokedgouda

                i like the free fried shrimp at happy hour... ;-)

                1. re: KittyK

                  seems kinda pricey but the pub menu looks alot more affordable.

                  1. re: ricky7

                    Keens is not more pricey than any of the other top-tier steakhouses.

                2. I never heard of Keen's til I start coming to this site. For those of you who have eaten there, did you know of it before you started coming to chowhound?

                  How does it compare to Lugers, Smith and Wolenski, Gallaghers and The Palm.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: BW212

                    Since Keens has been in its 36th St. location since 1885, I've known about it long before Chowhound came along. It was originally called Keens Chophouse and is famous for its mutton chop, something that no other steakhouse serves. I'm partial to the lamb chops, which are some of the best anywhere. The only steak I've had there is the filet mignon, and it is excellent.

                    1. re: RGR

                      If it wasn't for RGR, I would have never thought twice about Keen's. I took my parents there and all of us fell in love. The filet mignon was excellent, indeed. The service at Keen's is also fantastic, which I find a welcome relief compared to other big name places (ahem, Peter Luger's).

                      1. re: LeahBaila

                        ive been going to lugers since i was a kid with my grandparents and theyve always been totally cool to me and my family.

                        as for keens, best porterhouse second only to lugers. my favorite steakhouse in manhattan.

                        1. re: sam1

                          I also love the porterhouse. Delicious! And the atmosphere is pretty awesome too. Old school New York to the maximum, with old photographs, newspaper clippings, all those smoking pipes on the ceiling...As a bonus, you can also sit in the bar and enjoy a scotch flight as well as a view of Miss Keens.

                      2. re: RGR

                        But the mutton chop is $42.50! You and a friend can have a three course lunch at a three star restaurant for that.

                        1. re: Brian S

                          A belated thank you to the chowhound's (and RGR esp) re Keen's. Mom (who's in her 80's) made a last minute decision to go out for a steak dinner for her birthday and wanted my recomendation for a place (on Wed for a Friday night). Welll without time to post, I just recommended Keens. It was perfect for the occasion, and my 91 year father enjoyed telling everyone that he hadn't been there in 60 years.
                          As to price comment, remember these are large portions....I was eating leftovers for days.

                          1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                            Thanks for your post, Stuffed Monkey. So glad to hear your mom and dad enjoyed going to Keens. More power to your 91-year-old dad, and best wishes to your mom on her 80th birthday!

                            We were just at Keens last week and had a thoroughly delicious meal. Sharing is definitely the way to go. Not only does it mean better portion control, but it also keeps the check lower. As always, there was the on-the-house tray of crudite with a tasty blue cheese dip + very good rolls and plenty of butter. We shared a Caesar salad, a filet mignon, creamed spinach, and the coffee cantata. (Just thinking of that luscious dessert now is making me drool! lol) My husband had a glass of wine and an espresso. Our check before tip was $103.23.

                            1. re: RGR

                              RGR, just curious, is there a "sharing charge"?

                              Also, what are the options like for non-meat eaters (beyond the fried shrimp at happy hour TBird mentioned and the veggies you had)? Better than Luger's? Mark Joseph had several non-meat entrees. After reading this thread, I was thinking about steak and I haven't had one in over 20 years!

                              1. re: financialdistrictresident


                                No sharing charge.

                                For non-meat eaters, in the main course dept., Keens offers Dover Sole, Wild King salmon, sauteed jumbo shrimp, and steamed whole Maine lobsters. Last year, when we had dinner there with my husband's brother and his wife, she orderd the salmon and was very pleased with it.

                                1. re: RGR

                                  For the record, seafood is meat--it certainly isn't vegetation of any sort.
                                  Having finished my rant on the irritating semantics of seafood and (usually) poultry, this vegetarian went to Keens last night with colleagues (including another lacto-ovo vegetarian). There was a vegetarian--not vegan--crispy polenta option which was very good and VERY reasonably priced. Not superb, but this is a chop house after all and the fact that they could accommodate us with an entrée was lovely and considerate. The vegetable sides--the hash browns and sautéed mushrooms in particular--were delicious (I often make a meal of appetizers and sides when out with my meat-eating friends) and the unpretentious desserts were good, too. For those whose meat consumption is limited to seafood, someone in our party had the aforementioned shrimps and enjoyed them and for what it's worth, I was an avid meat eater from the time I could eat solid food until 1987 and the cuts served to my colleagues were gorgeous and accurately broiled. I especially liked the fact that this was solid, well-prepared food, nothing "cutesy." The atmosphere was wonderful--a cheerful buzz pervaded with friendly and attentive service and I was delighted that it was packed on a Thursday evening in this economy. I've been their neighbor for 22 of their 124 years and hope they continue to prosper for at least another 124: it's a delightful, clubby link to the past.