keenan house kitchen & tap room- ossining
My husband have had dinner 2x at the bar and have had favorable experiences. The beer list is truly extensive for No. Westchester and they are served cold and in proper glassware, which is very important to the beer geek crowd, ourselves amongst them. Randy is a good and professional bartender from White Plains beer-centric establishments. The pretzel roll starter with honey mustard was tasty, if a tad pricey, for the portion size. The grilled octopus salad was a winner as was the crab cake appetizer. The latter was almost entrée-sized and filled with fresh crab, not lots of breadcrumb filler that often plagues alleged crab cakes. My husband had the roasted beet, arugula, date and goat cheese salad as an appie on our first visit, which was both incredibly tasty and beautifully presented. My first entrée was a Berkshire pork chop special that was outrageously flavorful and tender - a rarity these days when so much pork is bland and dry. The more recent entrée was salmon with Israeli couscous and broccoli rabe sides. It was all fabulously prepared, fresh and delicious. My husband opted for the Gorgonzola chicken sandwich and fries on our most recent visit and was quite satisfied; he was not so thrilled with the prior sausage and broccoli rabe sandwich as the meat was more ground up in texture when he was expecting more of the classic Italian sliced sausage. But, in all, we are very happy with our two experiences at Keenan's and will be back for more. Great to have such a nice option in Ossining! Long overdue.
So we went last night for dinner around 7:30. The bar area was pretty crowded and there was a party of 4 waiting for a table, but there were a couple tables for 2 available so we were seated right away. It's lively but not deafeningly loud.
The inside looks soooo much different from the restaurant's previous incarnations. I like it. Modern, with an exposed ceiling and interesting decorative woodwork, really loved the local art and photography of Ossining, it made it seem a little less "anonymous." It's now one level (doesn't appear to be an upstairs seating area), very long and pretty narrow, with a small bar area up front as before, and about 15-20 tables in the rear. Only real downside is that it's pretty dark and cavernous since the only light is coming in through the front window, so that's why we waited till 7:30 on such a nice night to go.
The hostess was wonderfully welcoming and the waiters and waitresses were all friendly. Service was a bit slow/forgetful but I'm sure they're still ironing out some kinks.
The menu is not thrilling, but it hits all the basics. Quite a few salads to choose from, some pretty typical bar-type appetizers to choose from, a selection of pizzas, a few different sandwiches, and a handful of entrees. The waitress described their approach as "American with a twist," which I'm not sure accurately describes the food since nothing we had was particularly out of the ordinary. I also think they are light on interesting vegetarian options which is disappointing, and I would love it if they took their obvious pride in Ossining and the area a step further and were sourcing more ingredients from the Hudson Valley. But that's more of a personal quibble. :)
BUT, that said, I am really thrilled to have an option like this in Ossining. I wouldn't tell someone coming from downcounty that this is a destination, but as a resident of Ossining, I have been craving a nice neighborhood watering hole with a great beer list and some good food to eat with the beer (a la Birdsall House, which I found myself comparing it to). And this definitely hits the mark.
The beer list, though not as well curated as Birdsall House, is pretty vast, but it more than satisfied my beer loving husband. I had a really great pinot grigio that was only $7 BTG so that kept me happy. They also have some interesting sounding cocktails.
The bread they brought out was crusty and warm and served with rosemary herb butter. We shared a caesar salad, which for $10 was a sad little portion, but was fresh and tasty and served with great homemade croutons. The cheese plate came with 3 excellent local cheeses, but it too was lacking a bit, not in size but accoutrements-- it only came with grapes and spiced walnuts. I guess I am spoiled by Birdsall House's jams and mustards and other cheese plate extras and this one was almost $10 less than BH's so for the price it was good. I do prefer crackers with cheese plates because I hate filling up on bread.
My husband had the buffalo burger, which he enjoyed a lot, and we shared his large portion of fries. I got the appetizer portion of the mussels as my entree, which were steamed in a delicious Thai curry sauce. They were fresh but some of the mussels were puny. I would pay a few dollars more for a bigger entree size portion of these.
They make their ice cream in house and we had to try the cannoli ice cream, so we swapped out the vanilla ice cream in the sticky toffee cake for cannoli. The verdict on the cannoli ice cream was that it was tasty but not exactly reminiscent of cannoli. The sticky toffee cake was delicious.
Overall, we had a great meal and were so excited we only had a 3 minute drive home after. It seems that locals young and old are already supporting this place and they seem very open to feedback. I hope they do well and help revitalize the tired downtown area a bit. We'll be bringing friends and visiting often.
Yeah I passed by this place the other day... I think you meant Guida's ;-) The old layout was long and narrow and the bathrooms were upstairs. I wonder if they changed that. Parking was always a problem too. I looked at the beer menu and I found it interesting that it is being billed as a "tap room" with only a dozen or so taps. Additionally, their beer prices seem a bit high compared to other similar places. Looking forward to your report!
Haha sorry it's been so long that I guess I forgot the name! And wasn't there something there after Guida's too? The only photos I could find show just the bar, which does look the same, long and narrow. If I recall correctly there were a couple tables downstairs and the rest upstairs?
I'll post after we go.