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Keens recent popularity due to Bourdain's No Reservations?

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mick Mar 25, 2009 02:03 PM

Im visiting in a couplde of weeks and always seem to end up at Peter Lugers for steak. I've noticed since No Reservations aired recemtly that Keens is getting alot more hype on these threads. Should I try Keens for steak or is there somewhere else you would reccommend other than Lugers. Thanks

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  1. Miss Needle RE: mick Mar 25, 2009 02:23 PM

    Actually Keens has been getting quite a bit of play on this board, way before the No Reservations episode aired. Perhaps you are noticing it a bit more?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle
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      mick RE: Miss Needle Mar 25, 2009 02:30 PM

      Could be a mind trick so if no other recos I'll do Keens.

      1. re: mick
        Miss Needle RE: mick Mar 25, 2009 02:35 PM

        I haven't eaten at the restaurant (only the pub room) at Keens. So I've got no opinion about the steak. But plenty of well-respected posters here love it.

        And if Keens doesn't work for you for some reason, DH liked Wolfgang's (two locations -- one in Tribeca and one in Murray Hill; he's been to both) more than Peter Luger.

        1. re: mick
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          ESNY RE: mick Mar 25, 2009 04:52 PM

          Keens has been highly recommended since long before No Reservations. The steak there is top notch. If not Keen's, I'd suggest BLT Prime. Great steaks, good sides and a fantastic popover.

          I've had nothing but subpar steaks at Wolfgangs and will never go back.

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        Simon RE: mick Mar 25, 2009 07:50 PM

        Keens is awesome, though i'd especially recommend the mutton chop and prime rib...not knocking the steak, but the chops and rib are sublime and harder to find elsewhere (i.e. you can get steak at Lugers or Sparks and you can argue the pros and cons of each, but Keens chops are special and unavailable at other steakhouses)...

        and, as many posters have said, the old-NYC vibe of Keens is a must NYC experience

        4 Replies
        1. re: Simon
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          sam1 RE: Simon Mar 25, 2009 08:50 PM

          for the last 3 years or so, ive firmly come to believe that keens beats peter lugers hands down.

          i stand by that statement.

          while i love the mutton chop...a 2 inch saddle of lamb...i prefer the porterhouse for two...medium rare of course.

          make sure you sit upstairs...i find the downstairs great but not as regal as the upstairs...

          the pub room is the perfect place for a scotch and a roast beef sandwich.

          1. re: sam1
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            mick RE: sam1 Mar 25, 2009 10:29 PM

            thank you sam1

            1. re: sam1
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              kathryn RE: sam1 Mar 26, 2009 08:52 AM

              The atmosphere of all the rooms is slightly different.... This means you should go back and try to eat in all of them!

              And ditto on the pub room. Flights of scotch, Miss Keens on the wall, really great place to grab a drink.

              1. re: kathryn
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                Simon RE: kathryn Mar 26, 2009 02:31 PM

                agreed...i love every room in the place...but between the main dining, pub room, and bar, i think the pub room is my fav...the coziness, the fireplace, the versatile menu (i.e. you can order the fried chicken salad off the pub menu or anything off the regular menu): it rocks...

                also, for Keens fans, read "The Havana Room" by Colin Harrison...it's a wonderful noir novel, and the main setting is a steakhouse that is based on Keens (the descriptions and the almost-address make it obvious to Keens fans)...(and despite the slightly misleading title, the novel has nothing to do with Cuba)...

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            MahatmaKanejeeves RE: mick Mar 26, 2009 05:28 AM

            I'm glad that they are receiving good PR. My first notice of them was about 10 years ago. The Times wrote an article to underscore how unfashionable red meat had become. They reported that Keens was changing its name from Chophouse, because nobody knew what Chophouse meant anymore. Some signs still say Chophouse.

            1. tbear RE: mick Mar 26, 2009 02:37 PM

              My favorite SH in NYC and it has been for ten years. I will also vote for the pub room, by the fire. Glass of Oban, Oysters Rockefeller and a Mutton Chop w/ sauteed sorrel. Wait, can I be there now? Please?

              5 Replies
              1. re: tbear
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                mick RE: tbear Mar 26, 2009 03:39 PM

                Are reservations difficult, say midweek ina couple of weeks and can you reserve a particular room if so which is best for first time and lastly is it the same menu no matter what room?

                1. re: mick
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                  mick RE: mick Mar 26, 2009 03:51 PM

                  Sorry just viewed Kenns website and I see the Pub room does not take reservations. Question is the pub mutton chop the same as the restaurant with the exception of size and price?

                  1. re: mick
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                    sam1 RE: mick Mar 26, 2009 05:05 PM

                    'the pub room' is effectively the bar room and the room next door...in good times, on weekend nights, the pub room would only serve the regular menu. these days, ive had dinner in the pub room on friday and saturday nights.

                    as i said previously, i love the pub room but if im eating from the regular menu, i prefer the upstairs...just compliments the expensive meal a bit more.

                    you can usually get a reservation night of...though its usually 85% crowded most weekend nights.

                    the pub mutton chop is around $25 and is exactly one half the regular mutton chop...its 13 ounces versus 26...

                    if i was going for the first time with 2 people, id probably do the porterhouse with the pub mutton chop just to taste it. its fantastic but i prefer the steak.

                    1. re: mick
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                      Simon RE: mick Mar 26, 2009 05:22 PM

                      there is a pub room-sized cut of the mutton chop available in the pub room: it's 25 dollars and comes w/ some sauteed escarole: it's a smallish but-reasonably sized chop by normal (i.e. non-Keens, non-macro-steakhouse) standards...there are two sections to the chop (a filet side and a regular side) as well as a bacon-ish side-strip...it's delicious -- simply perfect...i had one a few weeks ago and i'm still craving a return visit...

                      the regular mutton chop is about 49 dollars (same price as steaks, etc)...it's probably four+ times the size of the pub mutton chop (though it's unaccompanied by sauteed greens, i believe)...so, the regular is a better deal, especially if you have a large appetite and/or budget and/or you like leftovers...the regular mutton chop is available in either room...

                      to be honest, i've so far only ordered the pub chop...but i've seen the regular chop on other tables and it looks great and humungous...the pub chop, however, was simply perfect in terms of outer-crispiness and inner-bloodiness...so i can't be sure that the regular chop is as perfect, though i'll give it the benefit of the doubt...and i plan to return and get the regular mutton chop soon...

                      side story: when i was there a few weeks ago (eating the pub chop), a man at the table next to me ordered the regular mutton shop...when the waiter delivered his chop (which was about the size of a slightly undersized frisbee), he called over the manager and (very politely) told him that the mutton chop was significantly smaller than usual: the manager graciously told him that he'd be happy to bring him a larger chop and did so within a few minutes...the replacement chop was also frisbee-sized in diameter but much thicker...what was also somewhat amusing was that the man's female companion was eating a vegetarian plate...note: the diner was clearly a Keens regular...he seemed very nice, as was his female friend, as did all the staff...the point of the story is simply that Keens serves large and wonderful portions and both the customers and the staff seem committed to quality and quantity...

                    2. re: mick
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                      stuartlafonda RE: mick Mar 27, 2009 07:32 AM

                      In re reservations, be aware that when the Knicks or Rangers are at home the place will be very busy for pre game meals.

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                    foodwhisperer RE: mick Mar 29, 2009 10:48 AM

                    Keen;s mutton chops are amazing ( even if they arent really mutton as i;ve been informed on this board). You cant get that at Luger. However, you can go to Wolfgang in manhattan and get a porterhouse as good as Luger from Wolfgang who worked at Luger for 30 years or more. If you want a sense of history go to Keen's ..

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