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“Full-on steakhouse with a side of American history.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Keens Steakhouse

Keens Steakhouse
72 West 36th Street, New York City, NY 10018 (Midtown)
+12129473636
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Ranked #15 of 11,180 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $31 - $100
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Entertaining clients, Local cuisine, Doing business, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dessert, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Midtown
Cross street: 5th and 6th
Transit: N, R F, Q, B, D A,C,E & 1,2,3,9 on 34th Street
Description: Keens Steakhouse, a classic New York chophouse, was already famous for its steaks and chops at the turn of the century. Founded in 1885, Keens has 90,000 clay pipes that line the ceilings – pipes once smoked by customers after dinner. Today Keens legendary mutton chops and dry aged prime steaks are still without equal in the city.
Ware, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Full-on steakhouse with a side of American history.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Keen's is the sort of place that the other steakhouses are trying to be. But you just cannot fake the atmosphere that 150-plus years of operation can provide, nor franchise the kind of eccentricity that Keen's preserves. The dark-wood interior is animated by tens of thousands of old clay pipes, the kind you imagine Rip van Winkle smoking, most of them hanging from hooks in the ceiling. The restaurant began as a private club (Lamb's) and members kept their personal smoking equipment on hand for an after-dinner smoke in this once exclusively masculine preserve. It was a Republican hangout from the days of Lincoln, and the huge collection of clippings and portraits on the walls attest to this. The ceilings are still visibly darkened by the smoke of days gone by, although in these modern times smokers are exiled to the sidewalk and wreath the doorway with a cloud of cigar smoke. Pipes belonging to Keen's most famous guests (Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, just to name some of the the presidents) are showcased in the lobby. A boisterous bar occupies a good chunk of the ground level, full of distinctive Manhattan bonhomie. Several dining rooms occupy various floors of the building. Some reviewers have complained about noise, but we found the top-floor Lily Langtree room quite calm. The menu is traditional steakhouse with lots of raw-bar offerings and a nod to chicken and fish; notwithstanding a vegetarian entree special, this is a carnivore's lair and there's simply no point in eating here if you wish to eat lightly. The much-ballyhooed "Legendary Mutton Chop" is not overrated: it's a vast cut of slightly more mature lamb garnished with strips of its own crispy fat, much like bacon. Portions are quite simply huge, and the menu honors the ancient ways of the steakhouse, including the massive wedge of iceberg lettuce dripping with blue cheese dressing. Keen's is much patronized by men and simply will have no appeal to a client who cherishes delicacy; I do not see it as a date-night place at all unless your gal is very comfortable in a man's world. Expect to spend at least $75 per person exclusive of alcohol: this is not a bargain, nor is it overpriced. Attentive and professional service, although not quite up to what one might expect at a more foodie-oriented place in the same price range. (The bathrooms are also unaccountably grim and offer only the loathsome blow drier for one's hands.) Keen's may not be for the elegant, but it does offer an unforgettable experience and a very strong sense of a time and place in New York's history.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Traditional clubby feel - food is good but not inspired, worth a visit.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

I was a walk up on a Tuesday at 7:15 dinner for one - the staff were very helpful and found me a table in the pub room - the feel of the place is like a 17th century coaching inn - wood panelling and clay pipes all over the ceiling - it's charming and as long as you like the dimly lit atmosphere and clubby feel. The food is OK - the appetizer was over priced - (I felt) crabcakes perfectly OK but not outstanding needed more mayo to make them softer and moist. The main was well cooked (although I ordered med-rare - it was more like medium for me but that could be my european taste) - the beef was good flavour and very tender, the roasted vegetables included fennel, asparagus, pepper, carrots and mushrooms - the red pepper was excellent and the fennel was a rare treat. I was too full for dessert - just an expresso. Certainly worth a visit - I liked the atmosphere and decor and the service was excellent - prompt but not pushy. It's an iconic place and worth a visit just for that but you won't be blown away by the food but it's good. Pricewise it's as I would expect for midtown NYC.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic would go again if in NY”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Amazing food best steak I have ever had. Staff lovely atmosphere perfect, only little thing tables a little too crammed in but food perfect. Side of carrots in sugar yum.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Durham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“World Class Steak !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

While visiting New York we managed to get a table at Keens Steak House, New York.
Early seating at 18.30 is best because it does get very busy.
The whole dinning experience was absolutely amazing.
I had what was possibly the largest T Bone steak and was cooked to perfection.
The waiting staff were great and very helpful with recomendations for the food and wine to acompany while the restaurant was decorated ...... well you must go to see and believe, check out the ceilings ;-)
If you only eat once while in New York i implore you to eat at Keens Steak House, but hope your hungry.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Bristol
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“I want to go back tonight!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013 via mobile

Last night I went to keens .. After finding on TA. It was absolutely amazing! I enjoyed every mouthful!! I has the 12oz fillet mignon... Which was huge and cooked to perfection! Melt in the mouth steak!

The atmosphere was great in there, it was a bit dark but actually made you appreciate the age of the steakhouse.

Highly recommend!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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