Tag Archives: lobster

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: Delta Grill

New Orleans-themed Delta Grill on 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen is one of the avenue’s more popular haunts.  From the outside, it looks like a dive bar, but the menu is surprisingly more upscale with prices to match.

For starters, we got the lobster mac and cheese, which was delish.

lobster mac and cheese

For my entrée, I got the shrimp and grits. The grits were cooked just the way I like them–creamy. Of course, they were New Orleans style, so they had a hot kick to them. I’m not a huge fan of spicy food, so I would’ve preferred them without the heat.  However, this dish was very good.

shrimp and grits
My friend absolutely loved the ribs.

Delta Grill

Lobster, Lobster, Everywhere

Now that it’s summer, everyone is thinking seafood.  Lobster shacks haven’t lost their popularity.  I went to one recently that ships in fresh lobster from Maine, but I was underwhelmed.  I’ve had lobster rolls in Maine and Long Island, and the one I had just didn’t do it for me.  I did, however, find a great lobster dish at an unlikely place:  Lillie’s Victorian Establishment in Times Square.  Basically, Lillie’s is a Victorian-themed pub.  Lillie’s is worth visiting for the decor alone–plush red seating, stained-glass windows, large columns, statues, old photos, art and clocks.  Wall sconces with colorful, slanted candles give a bit of macabre to the otherwise bright, manor house feel.  I had the warm beet salad with goat cheese and arugula.  I also had the organic chicken breast sandwich, which was served on very good bread.  Usually, pub food is palatable at best, but Lillie’s is good.  My friend ordered the shepherd’s pie, a dish he orders at pretty much every Irish pub.  He said it’s the best around.  Finally, the showstopping dish:  the homemade mac and cheese topped with lobster.  Creamy, with plenty of sauce and just enough lobster so it didn’t overwhelm the mac and cheese.

lobster mac and cheese