Clay pipes and mutton chops
It's not always easy to make a historic restaurant relevant. Some fall into the trap of relying on history and allowing the experience to falter. Others change so much from the original that history becomes almost irrelevant. But some, like Keen's Steakhouse in Midtown not only celebrate a long history but thrive as a vibrant part of the current dining scene. Keen's has been around since 1887, back when the theaters were closer to 34th Street than 42nd. They served meat, ale, whiskey, and allowed smoking aficionados to keep their pipe collections as part of a smoking club. And while smoking may be verboten at NYC restaurants today, the pipes still line the ceiling. The mutton chops are still impressive, the steaks are wonderful, and the dozens of pages of whiskeys will keep any night exciting. But most of all, Keen's pulls of the remarkable feat of being true to themselves and remaining a top flight New York City dinner for more than 125 years.
By Shawn Lynch
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For the classic New York chop-house experience, head to this clubby Herald Square restaurant, which has been serving thick, juicy porterhouses, chateaubriands and mutton chops to an illustrious clientele since 1885. It’s not cheap, but what would you expect at the favorite haunt of Teddy Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, Babe Ruth and Albert Einstein?