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Minetta Tavern or Keens Steakhouse?

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Visting New York in December and looking for a place to have a nice steak. I have narrowed the interesting restaurants down to Minetta Tavern and Keens Steakhouse. Which one is the better and why? Do you have any other recommendations that I should consider?

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Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. Keens-Mutton chop and porterhouse for 2. i have heard the prime rib is also good. imo their sides and desserts are just alright.
    Minetta Tavern-cote de boeuf, appetizers-fois gras terrine and bone marrow. sides: pommes anna, desserts-souffles.
    i haven't tried the cote de boeuf but from everything ive tried at minetta tavern i think the food is at a higher level than Keens. But i can't speak for the beef, hopefully someone else will chime in since steak is a major factor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: daffyduck

      the prime rib at keens is a monster. and the mutton chop is delicious as well.

      i've only had the burger at minetta so cant compare

    2. The food at Minetta Tavern is far better. The cote de boeuf is superb.

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      Minetta Tavern
      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

      1. Seriously? Has anyone tried Keen's? That place is great food and you can't beat the smoking pipes from people like Walt Frazier and ABRAHAM LINCOLN? I mean Minetta is way better but Keen's is cool and worth it for the dough.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sean philipps

          I've been to Keens more times than I can count, over many many years. i like it a lot. But the food at Minetta Tavern is much better, it just is.

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          Minetta Tavern
          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            If you can get in to Minetta.

            The OP might not want to eat at the bar and the tables don't open up to non celebrities after 5:30 until 10:00 or 11:00PM.

        2. The food's better at Minetta. There's a difference in the crowd, as well. Imho, there's a little bit more of youngish and hip personalities at Minetta.

          3 Replies
          1. re: RCC

            What about decor at Christmas? Taking out of state guests in a few weeks, 2 well behaved teens too.
            Going to Rock of Ages and then some nice cozy , Christmas decorated restaurant. Price not important for this trip but decor and accessibility to Holland or Lincoln Tunnel. We have done Little Italy to Le Bernadin (not a favorite with this crowd). Did Scotto's (overated, probably the place to be seen at).

            1. re: Grace28

              I'd probably give the slight edge to Minetta Tavern, but like everyone says it's waaay more difficult to get into.

              I actually think that the porterhouse at Keen's has a very similar dry-aged flavor to the steak for 2 at Minetta. Yet the cote de boeuf at Minetta has the added benefit of a couple pieces of bone marrow. I recently wrote it up w/pics: http://lawandfood.blogspot.com/2010/1...

              You can't really go wrong with either though.

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              Minetta Tavern
              113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

              1. re: Grace28

                I've not been to either during Christmas. I'd suspect, though, that Minetta would have more decorations, I probably wouldn't expect overly-decorated ambiance.

            2. Both are great. Keens is more old school - and if you are into "historic" restaurants Keens has the history behind it. Minetta is a bit more showey, but their beef is surprisingly good (I really liked the marrow served with the beef).

              Both are on the west side so access should not be an issue if you need them close to either tunnels. Keens is very close to Penn Station should you prefer to take the train. It is true that Minetta is tougher to score a ressie. How about Quality Meats?

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              Quality Meats
              57 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

              1. I feel like they are two different types places. I like to go to Keen's a lot for lunch. Def great, almost colonial, vibe there (probably because of the pipes). Keens menu is a lot less fancy than Minetta. If I were an out of towner and a bit of a foodie, I'd say go Minetta.

                1. Neither. You should go to wolfgangs for steak. The best in the city. The one on 33rd and Park is very fun ( can be loud) and has the best porterhouse in the city. Strip house is also very good. Mineta is good but more of a scene and Keens has seen better days. Past it's prime.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Mcraz

                    Your nuts, Lugers is the best Porterhouse hands down. There is Lugers and then there are the Wolfgangs, Keens, Old Homestead's, (a few more), etc. Then after that class the Sparks, Palm, and others (aka the rest). Megu has probably the best Kobe beef in NYC.

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                    Old Homestead
                    56 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                    Megu
                    62 Thomas Street, New York, NY 10013

                    1. re: tkoby11

                      We can't say Luger, because this is the Manhattan board, but I would agree that Wolfgang's is better than Keens (not to mention Sparks, Palm, etc) as far as the steak goes. Keens has an interesting historical ambience if that's important.

                  2. Minetta Tavern is ok, really its more of scene, if you care about the quality of the food go to Keens! The burger is very good at Minetta, but that's about it. The lamb saddle at Minetta is pathetic compared to the lamb saddle at Keens. The wine list is MUCH better and divers at Keen's and get this more affordable (even by steakhouse standards). Will you see skimpy ho's and meat heads there, nah, go to a Meatpacking and a club for that, though those brainless and tasteless morons may be here aplenty as they HEARD its a good place to eat. My wife and I cook for ourselves and eat at plenty of fine dining establishments. We know true skill and passion when its in the food, at Minetta its just soul-less.

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                    Minetta Tavern
                    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tkoby11

                      Actually I am sure the wine list is better at Keens. That's one lame part of the Minetta operation.

                    2. Minetta is great, but it's Keens. Hands down.

                      Beautiful, dry aged steak, flawless service, and if you get there earlier than your reservation, you can have an expertly prepared cocktail at the bar. The best Perfect Manhattan I've ever had to drink.

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                      Keens
                      72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

                      1. These are two of my absolute favorite restaurants. Everyone on here knows how obsessed I am with steak so take it for what it is worth. You cannot go wrong with either. Keens has one of the best porterhouses in the city and is always consistent on every occasion. Minetta Tavern's cote de beouf is really a work of art as well. Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of the very best steaks I have ever had- and I admit I had my doubts after having several lackluster experiences with steaks at non-steakhouses.

                        Both will cook your steak according to your desired temperature. Both have a very charming ambience. Both have terrific service and incredible food but yes are very different. Keens is more old school steakhouse, while Minetta is more French and will offer some more unusual dishes.

                        To the posters who are saying Wolfgang's is better- I disagree. Wolfgang's while good, is definitely no Peter Luger (which is the best steakhouse regardless of the fact it is in Brooklyn). They are merely impersonators and they sent me an overcooked porterhouse on my lone trip there which is a big no-no for me. My requested rare has always been spot on at Keens and was perfect at Minetta as well.

                        My other steakhouse favorites include Strip House, Old Homestead, BLT Prime, Quality Meats, and Smith and Wollensky.

                        Among those I find overrated are Prime House, Porterhouse NY, and Del Frisco's.

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                        Minetta Tavern
                        113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                        BLT Prime
                        111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                        Del Frisco's
                        1221 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

                        Quality Meats
                        57 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

                        Old Homestead
                        56 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                        Strip House
                        13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                        1. Thanks for all the answers. Ended up at Minetta Tavern and loved the cote de beouf!!

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                          Minetta Tavern
                          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: annafriberg

                            Thanks for the update. Looking forward to that cote-de-bouef my next time at MT.