Tag Archives: filet mignon

Dinner: Keens Steakhouse

Things are great at Keens Steakhouse.  It won a James Beard “America’s Classics” award this year, and since then, business has really been booming.  Not that the 128-year-old steakhouse needed an award–it’s obviously doing something right.  And that’s steak…atmosphere…service…and dessert.

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Speaking of atmosphere, the first thing(s) you notice when you step down the steps, besides the dark wood, is/are the thousands of pipes, yes, pipes, hanging all over the ceiling.

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The history is that travelers would check their pipe in at their favorite inn because the pipes were too fragile to be carried.  They are hard clay churchwarden pipes, and famous names like Babe Ruth, Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein had pipes at Keens.  Right by the door, there’s a case, including an autographed pipe from Michael Jackson and other present-day celebrities.

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I didn’t know about this history before eating at Keens, so it was an interesting, fun history to learn.

My dinner at Keens was a belated birthday dinner with a friend.  I was instantly pleased that along with a bread basket and butter, we got veggies and spinach dip for a somewhat clean-eating snack.  (Hey, we needed some celery before this meal.)

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For appetizers, we got littleneck clams on the half shell.

clams

Tomatoes and onion salad with blue stilton cheese.  I like that there was just a sprinkling of cheese on the tomatoes and onion.  Just the right amount of flavor.

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Thick-cut smoked bacon.  My friend ordered this.  I’m not a bacon fan, but I decided to take a taste.  Oh wow, this was so smoky and flavorful.  This is definitely not your average bacon of bacon and eggs….

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Keens is known for its mutton chop, but I wanted steak.  I know I’m not a big steak eater, but lately, I’ve been enjoying it.  So I got the steamed Maine lobster and filet mignon.  The lobster was perfect and delicious.  The filet mignon was cooked to my liking.  It was very good–not as tender as the one I recently had at the Old Homestead, but still excellent.

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My friend got the prime rib of beef, king’s cut.

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For sides, we got mashed Yukon gold potatoes and creamed spinach.  I like mashed potatoes without garlic, so I was very happy with these.  I also liked the creamed spinach best of all I’ve had recently.

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We were pretty full after this meal, but our waiter talked us into a dessert.  Yes, the butterscotch sundae, with housemade butterscotch sauce made with real scotch.  They brought it with a birthday candle for me.

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OK, I usually find steakhouse desserts boring, like the standard cheesecake, chocolate cake, key lime pie…but this sundae takes the cake…er, ice cream.

This butterscotch sauce was sooooo good, we both want to come back and get our own.  I wanted to get a close-up so you could see it better.

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Yes, there is a reason Keens has been in business for more than a century, and that is because it serves classic food that is delicious.

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Dinner: Quality Meats

This weekend, I went out to dinner a few times to celebrate my birthday.  My favorite birthday dinner was at steakhouse Quality Meats in Midtown, a restaurant that lives up to its name.

Our amuse bouche was watermelon with Korean spices.  I took the watermelon plain, and it was a refreshing start to the meal.

QM watermelon

We didn’t get appetizers but we didn’t need to.  The waiter makes a steak sauce tableside by blending rosemary, thyme, tomatoes, roasted garlic, raisins, molasses and black pepper with a mortar and pestle.  Yes, tableside theater is a little cheesy, but it’s also fun and makes the dining experience special.

QM steak sauce

Yes, it’s for the steak, but it was also yummy dipping the bread into it.

QM bread

Restaurant drinks are getting a little crazy these days with concoctions that just don’t sound appealing.  I ordered a peach hibiscus tea which was refreshing and flavorful without being too out there.

QM peach tea

We also ordered sides of Yorkshire creamed spinach and herb roasted baby potatoes.  The creamed spinach was excellent, and in my opinion, better than The Old Homestead’s.

QM spinach

The herb roasted potatoes would’ve been great without the lemon flavor.

QM potatoes

I ordered the filet mignon for dinner.  It was cooked perfectly as I had asked, but it wasn’t as tender as the one I had at The Old Homestead, a fact you can tell if you look at the picture below versus this one.

QM filet mignon

My friend ordered the aged rib steak.  She said it was the best steak she’s ever had. It’s so rare (no pun intended) that both steaks were cooked just as we had ordered them.

QM rib steak

Quality Meats makes their own dessert ice cream cakes.  They are fun cups of cake and ice cream.  I got the strawberry s’mores.  How cute is this with the little chocolate bar?

QM strawberry

My friend got the blueberry ice cream and lemon chiffon cake.  Look at the adorable lemon meringue pie on top.

QM blueberry

These were yummy additions to the evening complete with a birthday surprise!

QM birthday

Dinner: The Old Homestead

For a friend’s recent birthday, we went to the Old Homestead in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan.  The Old Homestead is a classic steakhouse in New York, and a restaurant no guy will say no to.

I’m not a big beef eater–in fact, I rarely eat beef.  However, I did partake since I was at the Old Homestead.

For starters, I got the roasted beet, goat cheese and baby spinach salad with walnut vinaigrette.  I love a good roasted beet and goat cheese salad, and this one was quite good.

OH kale salad

My friend loved the bread presentation and happily dipped the fingers of bread in the cheesy sauce underneath.

Old Homestead bread
For an appetizer, we shared the rock shrimp tempura and the crispy calamari with sweet Thai chili sauce and roasted cashews.  I really liked the sauce on the calamari, and my friend thought they were both delicious.

OH appetizers
I got the 10 oz. filet mignon with the hashed brown cake and bordelaise sauce.  The menu says it was wrapped with applewood smoked bacon, but I don’t recall that and the photo doesn’t look like it is.  This was so tender and flavorful.  I loved the accompanying sauce.  I’m not a hashed brown fan, but it was good too.

OH filet mignon
For sides, we shared creamed spinach and garlic mashed potatoes, two classic steakhouse sides, and both are my friend’s favorites.  I thought they were average, but he loved them.

OH sides
My friend got the 32-oz. Gotham rib steak on the bone.  I can’t tell you how many times he said, “This is the best meal I’ve ever had.”

OH steak