Our family of five visited Keen's on the recommendation of someone back home in Belfast during our visit last month to NYC. We had checked out the menu on-line prior to arriving in New York and decided to go for the bar menu as the main dining room menu is quite pricey. Our hotel was only a few blocks away from Keen's which was another factor in deciding to eat there.
I called Keen's to check if we needed to make a reservation for the bar and was told that they could give us a table at 9.30 pm that evening but that it wouldn't be in the bar area as this was fully booked. The guy at the other end said that he would put us in the main restaurant and that we could still have the bar menu which was great to hear.
We arrived at the restaurant and were immediately shown to our table in the main restaurant, which simply oozes with charm and an historical ambience. It has wood pannelling throughout, cosy, intimate lighting and the ceiling above us was covered in hundreds of tobacco pipes, which was a really quirky and eye-catching feature. Service throughout the meal was excellent even though we were eating from the bar menu - we certainly did not feel like second-class citizens, however, it was the food that truly stood out in our opinion. Be warned, this is a carnivore's paradise so vegetarians should look elsewhere. The meat at Keen's is outstanding. We all ordered different dishes ranging from a hamburger (12-year old son) to short rib beef with various cuts of steak in between. Everyone raved about their choice of dish which is unusual in our family as we normally have at least one dissenter or complainer! The portions were generous but not tthe extent that you didn't know whether to eat them or climb them as is the case in so many US restaurants. Tender, tasty and cooked to perfection just about sums up our gastronomic experience, which combined with courteous, unobtrusive and efficient service left us feeling that this meal which cost significantly more than our other NYC meals was absolutely and totally worth it. Go and enjoy!