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steakhouse - please help me choose

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my wife and i will be in manhattan next weekend and are meeting friends from ct. for dinner on friday.

my friend suggested del frisco's because "it's the best place in the city to get a great steak." i nixxed his choice because i was there last time i was in town on business and want to try something new. it was good, i didn't think that it was "the best." (his alternate suggestion was tao, but the reviews are mediocre at best).

so it's going to be steak.

no tables available at peter luger's.

so i have searched previous chowhound winnowed my list down to:

strip house
keen's
sparks

i am leaning toward keen's (but strip house is close) but want to make sure. i would appreciate your opinions. thanx.

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  1. what kind of vibe are you looking for? sparks is certain to be a mad house tonight.

    1. Strip House and Keen's both have great steaks. Atmosphere is totally different. Strip House has a bordello/sexish vibe and keens is old world NY with thousands of pipes on the ceiling.

      Regarding the food, I like Strip House slightly better mainly because of the truffled creamed spinach which is my favorite preparation of creamed spinach.

      I'd skip Spark's. I used to love it but I've had poor experiences there the last two times. Plus it might be a big boys scene there on a friday night.

      1. Strip House's NY strip is top notch and like ESNY said, it definitely has a very unique vibe. We've never been disappointed and it's definitely our fav.

        1. I dont think you can go wrong with either Strip House or Keens. Strip House is definitely a fun stylish environment, but Keens is by far the most under-rated steak house in the city. I love Keens and highly recommend it. Their muton chop is outstanding. But on the other hand, Strip House has these duck fat fried potatos that are out of this world.

          1 Reply
          1. re: howardthefoodie

            I think its GOOSE fat fried potatos, even better!!!

          2. At the end of the day, the madhouse atmosphere/chaotic service at Sparks makes it barely worth a trip. Strip house is a winner, but definately a very different vibe than Keans, which is much more Old School NYC than swank.

            1. Striphouse is the way to go. Though frightenly exspensive, it is the best in Manhattan Service is first rate. Great wine list and the steak is right there with Lugers. Also it is the one steakhouse that does not have the"For Men Only Club" vibe the others have.

              Everytime I ate at Spark's I was glad I wasn't picking up the tab. Way too much for what you get in the end.. Keen's is a bit of Old New York, but the meat is not great just good.

              1. Do not go to the Old Homstead.. Went there yesterday and the place is just so mediocre, it was a pitty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Daniel76

                  Sad how bad The Old Homestead is now. And exspensive

                2. Strip House
                  Craftsteak
                  Quality Meat

                  Cant go wrong.

                  1. All 3 are great choices. Keen's will be your least expensive option and still great.

                    Sparks is easier to get to for your friends in CT. Strip House is a major rip off in the wine area (over 3x markup, compared to Sparks which is customary 2x)