Thursday, May 1, 2014

Keens Steakhouse

When it comes to NYC steakhouses, the most famous one I know is Peter Luger's. However, I have heard that it's full of attitude and the food there is overrated. So I am happy to discover this low key chophouse in the heart of Mid-town.

According to their website, Keens Steakhouse was a part of the Lambs Club, a famous theatre and literary group founded in London prior to 1885. Back in the day, Keens was a lively and accepted rendezvous of the famous. Actors in full stage make-up would hurry through the rear door to “fortify” themselves between acts at the neighboring Garrick Theatre.


I forgot to take a picture outside...
(Photo from the internet, no copyright infringement intended)

It's no wonder that Keens owns the largest collection of churchwarden pipes in the world.   These thin stemmed pipe was too fragile to be carried in purse or saddlebag so travelers' would "check-in" their pipes at their favorite inn. A pipe warden registered and stored the pipes, while pipe boys returned the pipes from storage to the patrons.  


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The membership roster of the Pipe Club contained over ninety thousand names, including those of Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Will Rogers, Billy Rose, Grace Moore, Albert Einstein, George M. Cohan, J.P. Morgan, Stanford White, John Barrymore, David Belasco, Adlai Stevenson, General Douglas MacArthur and “Buffalo Bill” Cody. (I even saw Chuck Norris' pipe here!)


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Can you spot Chuck Norris' pipe?

The chophouse opened in 1885.  It is the only survivor of the Herald Square Theatre District.  The chophouse is very charming and retained all of its character.  I love this place the moment I stepped inside and I felt as if I was teleported to old New York. (I felt underdressed almost immediately!)  The vibe was similar to Waldorf Astoria: it exudes the glamour of old Hollywood.

Since we didn't have a reservation, we went to the pub at the back to grab a drink while we wait. It's the perfect place for whiskey on the rocks :)  The wait wasn't too bad, around 45 mins tops.  Time flies when you have a drink in your hand too.

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Since boss is buying dinner, I am going for the surf and turf... XD  (I found out later they are popular for the muttons.  Maybe next time...)

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Steamed Maine Lobster and Filet Mignon

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Everything tastes better with butter!

We also ordered some sides:

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Sauteed Field Mushrooms
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Steamed Asparagus
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Mashed Yukon Gold

buttery goodness... so creamy!

I was full but I couldn't pass up the panna cotta!

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Keens Steakhouse
72 West 36th Street, New York, NY, 10018
Tel: +1 (212) 947-3636
Hours: (M-F) 11:45 AM - 10:30 PM; (Sat) 5:00 PM - 10:30 PM; (Sun) 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Open every day except Christmas Day

Keens Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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