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Aug 24, 2006 07:19 PM

Keen's Steakhouse - Don't Go!!!!

So last night I went out with a couple buddies for steak. We normally hit up the standards (Luger, Wolfgang's, Sparks, Strip House) all with their merits. Last night we decided to branch out. I had heard some good reports about Keen's so we made a reservation and went.

The room as fine and the service was acceptable (which is about all I would expect from a steakhouse), but the food was horrible - it was actually embarassing I thought for the price. We started with a crab dip, tomato and onion, and shrimp cocktail. The shrimp was fine although they are about 60% of the size you would get at one of the other steakhouses. The tomato and onion was pathetic. It was 5 small pieces of tomato and one tiny piece of onion. We actually had to ask for additional onion. The final straw was the crab dip. It was relatively tasteless, but the kicker was that they served it with Triscuits - yes, Triscuits. I cannot believe that we were served Triscuits when paying pretty close to $100 per person. The steak was mediocre at best. We had a porterhouse for 3 that lacked pretty much any hint of taste.

For the amount of money and calories that it will cost you at Keen's, do it right and go to Luger, Wolfgangs or Sparks.

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  1. What about for prime rib? I heard they were tops. If not, please somebody suggest a place, I'm jonesing for a big bloody prime rib which you can't find at most of the standard steak houses.

    2 Replies
    1. re: guttergourmet

      The prime rib has always been great there, although i haven't ordered it recently (i usually get: oysters, a tomato salad, asparagus, and lamb chops)...and overall, i'm surprised by the OP's review...i've never had a bad meal at Keen's...(but nor have i ordered crab dip)...the tomato salads i've had in the past were quite good, although the one w/ stilton could use more stilton...the small batch bourbon selection is the best in NYC...and the room/building has more old-NY atmosphere than any NYC steakhouse hands down...

      1. re: Simon

        Same here, I have always stuck with steak and mutton and they have always been great. I think at Keens if you pretty much stick to meat and potatoes you should do very well.

    2. The prime rib might be good, but just don't order any appetizers or sides!

      1. muttonchop at keen's rocks!

        1 Reply
        1. re: byrd

          according to frank bruni, the "mutton" chop is actually lamb, not sheep! but highly recommended nonetheless.

          read the full review here:

        2. Lamb and not sheep? What is the difference?

          1. Lamb is baby sheep...nobody eats full grown tough gnarly sheep in the US anymore...the mutton (lamb) chop at Keen's is supposed to be their specialty so that's what I would get if I went there. Actually, some ethnic communities might be eating mutton but I have heard the term used for goat meat (in India) so who knows what that stuff is in the halal butcher shops in Jamaica...

            4 Replies
            1. re: kenito799

              I’m so surprised at the original posters review. Maybe they were just having an "off" night or something. I've been there more then once (even for take out!) and never had one bad meal there. That being said, I haven’t been there at all this year, so (as we all know) things could of changed.

              Thanks for the info regarding sheep, lamb and Mutton kenito799. Its fascinating the things you can learn here.

              1. re: kenito799

                In Australia I learned that up until 1 year old, it's lamb, from one to two years it's "two-tooth lamb", and older than two years its mutton. Maybe the restaurant is using animals that are in the 1-2 year old range. Considered pretty muttony in this part of the world where "lamb" is usually less than 9 mos. old

                1. re: kenito799

                  Keen's "mutton chop" is, by their own admission, saddle of lamb. Frank Bruni of the NYTimes tracked down the story when he rereviewed the restaurant a couple of years ago.


                  1. re: kenito799

                    it's goat, always goat when eating desi (pakistani or indian) food...