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Keens dilemma - Mutton Chop or Steak?

Taking some nephews out for a celebratory dinner at Keens. Having just recently started eating beef again I'm not sure which route I want to go, the legendary mutton chop or just a good ole' hunk of USDA Prime.

Any suggestions? And if so, the reason behind it.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Good steak you can get in plenty of places. But that mutton chop (which is not actually mutton by he way) is a one of a kind, and it's good. That's what I always get at Keens (especially since I've had some disappointing steaks there).

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

    7 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Thanks. So now I'm a little concerned because I know at least two of my nephews will be ordering steak, is there a particular cut they should avoid?

      1. re: Spiritchaser

        I'm sure the steak will be fine. I've just found the quality of the steaks somewhat inconsistent over time. I've been there many, many times.

      2. re: gutsofsteel

        >> But that mutton chop (which is not actually mutton by he way) is a one of a kind, and it's good.

        I'm curious, what is it actually?

          1. re: Cheeryvisage

            The mutton chops are the way to go. I think it might be an Urban Legend that it is lamb and not mutton. Everyone I've asked at Keen's swears it is mutton. I guess based on the nytimes article by frank bruni, it used to be mutton and now it is saddle of lamb.


            1. re: foodwhisperer

              A bartender at Keens told me it's lamb saddle.

              1. re: ForestHillsFresser

                Mutton is to Lamb as Beef is to Veal Sorry for the SAT type answer.

        1. This is referred to as a high class problem...

          But as Guts points out, steak is everywhere... the mutton (lamb) chop at Keen's is unique.

          1. My first trip to Keens was in November before a Town Hall comedy show. 4 people shared 1 Mutton and a Porterhouse for 2. Perfect amount of protein.

            3 Replies
            1. re: phantomdoc

              Duh, how stupid of me to not think of that option! I can get my much loved mutton (RE: Lamb) but steal tastes of steak from the nephews. I have my plan.

              Thanks everyone.

              1. re: phantomdoc

                Follow up question - Do they charge for plate sharing?

                1. re: Spiritchaser

                  I don't think so. I was not charged when I did it.

              2. As others have said: mutton...and for the others, they might consider the prime rib rather than steak...

                1. I would also second the prime rib. It's huge. But know that it's not "aged steak" like the porterhouse.
                  I was rather disappointed with the porterhouse on my last visit, but that's in comparison to some other great ones in the city.
                  The mutton chop, which is really a saddle of lamb, is truly unique in the city.
                  They do a pretty good dover sole as well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fooder

                    i've also enjoyed the dover sole there...three people sharing a mutton chop, a prime rib, and a dover sole would be a very filling, yummy, and decadent meal...

                  2. Just the mere mention of Keen's "mutton" chop has me salivating. Dont give it a second thought.

                    1. I'd also go with the prime rib or the mutton chop. i like em both so i usually alternate. prime rib/prime rib hash/cobb salad or mutton chop/prime rib/cobb salad for lunch. Just remember to get the regular versions, the smaller versions give you much much less. Seemed like it was about half the price but only a third of the size. In the case of the english cut prime rib, the smallish slices also aren't the same thickness as the big slab and you dont get the edges, so the experience is sort of different too. For the mutton chop, the smaller one doesn't give you the bone. I like my meat really rare. the way they do rare, the meat closest to the bone comes out almost raw, which I love.

                      1. I treat myself to the Keens muttonchop (actually the lamb saddle) every year for my birthday. It's glorious, all the way down to the "wings" of fat. It's my favorite piece of meat in the city, hands down.

                        1. First of all, great choice. It is the best steakhouse on the island of Manhattan.

                          I always get a steak (their porterhouse is better than PL) and mutton when going to Keen's with a group, ask them to slice them up to serve.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: AliHajiSheik

                            I usually have the chop there but this has me thinking about the porterhouse next time I am in town. A NY strip is also a favorite cut but no one in town can do one as good as the late Christ Cella. After it went down and then closed I tranferred to Luger and have never had a bad steak there (although some have been better than others).

                            The really good news is that Keens survived. I remember its decline years ago and it saddened me greatly

                          2. Order three different cuts and have a *MIxed Grill* for the table.

                            1. Just wanted to circle back around and complete this thread.

                              Keens was spectacular! We started with the seafood platter because there was something for everyone. We then collectively decided we would go the "meat sampling" route and we opted for a mutton chop, a t-bone, and a prime rib. The waiter, Scott, was fantastic, knew we were going to be sharing it all and asked if he could have the kitchen slice it up for us, which we did. I was concerned 2 of my nephews would care for lamb but the carnage that follwed made me wish we had ordered another chop, it was the hit of the evening. I will say though the prime rib and t-bone were almost equally enjoyed, the t-bone being my close second place finisher to the chop's 1st place. Our sides were the classics, string beans, mushrooms, and insanely good creamed spinach. Every bit of meat was eaten and no one felted overly stuffed just very nicely full, one nephews asked for the bones at take home because he was certain he could find something to gnaw on.

                              All this paired with a really nice bottle of Plumbjack red which the waiter said he felt he didn't know enough about to comment on so he sought out others opinions and reported back (nice touch).

                              Can't wait to go back, I'm actually salivating a bit thinking about it.

                              To all that offered their opinions/suggestions I thank you.

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

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Spiritchaser

                                What a fine celebration it must have been...thanks for reporting back!