Thursday, September 22, 2011

Keens Steakhouse: Terrific Mutton Chops. Porterhouse Could Be Better. Now with Bacon! (food)

I love taking people to Keens Steakhouse. It's conveniently located on 36th street and 6th avenue, close to Penn Station and close enough to Times Square. The food is very good, the single malt list is extensive, and the really old school environment is something to behold. I was actually mildly surprised when I took a friend there recently to discover that even a place this old and steeped in history still tries to come up with something new on occasion.

I'm talking about bacon. A slab bacon appetizer was added to the menu about 4 months ago. While it wasn't quite as meaty as the bacon at Luger, it was still plenty flavorful. The accompanying tomatoes and greens went perfectly with the bacon, adding some nuttiness, bitterness, and acidity to counteract the feeling of shoving pure grease into your mouth.

Nice aged Longmorn, neat. The single malt list is truly impressive.

The mutton chop is my favorite thing to get here. Cooked to a perfect medium (it still gets really red next to the bone), the meat is flavorful, the fat from the "chops" is luscious, and the homemade mint jelly goes great with it. As I was splitting this with a friend, they were nice enough to slice it off the bone for us.

This was my first time ordering the porterhouse for two. While the meat flavor was there, there wasn't really enough of a minerally, dry-aged tang to it. Also, serving it sliced and resting on a cutting board allowed it to dry out and get cold quickly. This is significantly inferior to the way Luger serves it, on a super hot plate and resting in its own drippings to stay moist.

While offering a range of steakhouse staples, the desserts manage to be fairly strong here. My friend loved his red berry bibble, shown here without the ice cream that usually accompanies it.

I had to have the coffee cantata. It's basically a sundae with coffee ice cream and some raspberry, and some very good fudge sauce. I mentioned to our server that I used to like their indian pudding, which they took off the menu a while back, and he replied that I was probably one of about five people who did.

I always highly recommend Keens, but I would definitely suggest sticking with the mutton chop over the porterhouse.

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