Classic Tables: Keens Steakhouse

This 125-year-old steakhouse hasn't missed a bleat

Though it's almost 125 years old, Keens Steakhouse is surprisingly on top of the latest trends. Taxidermy and 19th-century portraits adorn its dark wooden walls, its whiskey selection outdistances its wine list and its kitchen excels at the meat-of-the-moment: lamb.

Yes, lamb. What puts Keens at the top of our steakhouse list—its self-proclaimed "Legendary Mutton Chop"—is actually a 26-ounce saddle of lamb (a substitution made decades ago, and no big secret). But don't hold it against the restaurant: This brick-size piece of protein ($45) is legendary and worth the trip on its own, especially for the crispy curlicues of belly meat (lamb bacon!) that protrude from its sides.

But Keens also gets the steakhouse standards rights. The equally massive prime rib ($50) is impressively tender, and the surf crowd can pick lobsters from a tank for steaming. Need starch? Keens' french fries ($8) are some of the best in town.

All of this is best eaten in the company of Scotch, and Keens' 200-plus whiskey list is full of it. Ask your server for pairing advice, or try a flight of four tastes ($31 to $140) and raise a glass to your epic meal—finishing it is an undertaking that deserves a toast.

Keens Steakhouse, 72 W. 36th St. (near Sixth Ave.); 212-947-3636 or keens.com