My parents are in town for a conference this week, which means Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night I get treated to dinner out at nice Manhattan restaurants! On Wednesday, we went to Keen’s Steakhouse- not my choice, and not on the bucket list, but I’ll write a review regardless because it actually ended up being a pretty enjoyable meal despite not being able to eat meat! (It hasn’t been that difficult for the most part, but I’ve definitely been getting some weird “I want a burger” cravings- and I don’t even love burgers!)
(Side note: Before we went to the restaurant, we sat down at the hotel bar where my parents were staying, and they had seriously addictive nuts out! Covered in salt to the point of being a little ridiculous, the cashews were spicy, the almonds were sweet, and it was so hard not to eat the entire bowl!)
(Salt alert, salt alert! Look at it all!!)
We got to Keen’s and you can immediately tell that this place has been around for a while. Since 1885 to be exact. Apparently, they’re known for their pipes. Old pipes decorate every inch of the ceiling and they have a display case at the entrance with pipes used by people like Herbert Hoover, which was pretty cool. It’s a big restaurant, but very cozy feeling inside. The tables are close together, the ceilings are low, the lighting is dim, and I was obsessed with the filament bulbs!
They have a HUGE bourbon list, if that’s your thing.
The bread that they brought to the table was so lame looking that I wasn’t even tempted to have any. But along with the bread, they brought out a dish that brought a tear to my eye (ok, not really, but my eyes DID light up with excitement). A plate full of carrots, celery, new pickles and olives! And a side of the most delicious, chunky, cheesy, creamy blue cheese I’ve had in a long time.
(World's most boring looking buns)
(That's more like it!)
My dad got clams on the half shell to start, and I enjoyed two of those bad boys immensely. There’s just something so great about a freezing cold clam topped with cocktail sauce. Mmmm!
My mom and I started with the lobster salad appetizer, which I spotted on the menu at the last second and THANK GOD because it was such a wonderful combination of flavors. The lobster salad came with greens, string beans, fennel (BLECH), and ready? Wait for it—avocado and grapefruit!
First of all, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the taste of the lobster despite the fact that it wasn’t drenched in melted butter. It was so sweet and delicious! The lobster + the refreshing grapefruit + the creamy texture of the avocado – my taste buds were LOVING IT. Seriously. I was obsessed. I can’t stop talking about it. The salad overall isn’t worthy of being added to the “life-changing salad” list, but the flavor combination of lobster, grapefruit and avocado is one that I’m definitely going to try to recreate multiple times this spring/summer. How amazing would a lobster taco with grapefruit guacamole and cilantro be?
My entree, though not as incredible as the lobster salad, was also tasty. I ordered the arctic char (after asking my dad, “What’s arctic char?”) and instead of getting the carrots and spinach that it’s usually served with, I was difficult, and ordered it with the seasonal market vegetable side.
(Fish & Veggies, always a favorite!)
To me, there was no discernible difference between arctic char and salmon, which was fine by me. It was incredibly flakey, yum. The seasonal market veggie side came with roasted red pepper, asparagus, a giant Portobello that could have been cooked a little more and delicious roasted carrots. Satisfying and tasty, I finished every bite.
I also tried my mom’s porcini mushroom cream sauce, which was KILLER and I may have dunked a couple forkfuls of baked potato in there. Also delicious was the creamed spinach side- I liked it because it wasn’t drowning in cream but was still rich.
Something else I noticed at this place while passing the bar on the way to the restroom- entirely populated by 30-40 year old businessmen. Go check it out ladies.
When the check came, I laughed. And when I left, I was grateful for chocolate mint candies!