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Manhattan Steakhouse

Umberto's Clam House / Keen's Steakhouse....disappointment and delight

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Restaurants & Bars

Umberto's Clam House / Keen's Steakhouse....disappointment and delight

Will Baier | Nov 10, 2003 11:59 AM

First time dining at either, this past weekend was Umberto's on Friday night followed by Keen's on Saturday night.

Umberto's Seafood/Clam house was the greatest disappointment of the weekend. Lobster bisque was tasty although fairly devoid of lobster, the fried calamri entree had a sweet sauce covering the 17 calamari rings and accompanying linguini that was dark, murky, almost bitter/musky in flavor. The house rolls were very average, service was barely adequate, and we left feeling as if we had missed an opprtunity for a much better meal in Little Italy....I'm certain we had.

On Saturday nite, Keen's was everything and more than I had heard....from the exceptional rooms to the finest standard after dinner coffee, there was nothing lacking, nothing wanting, nothing to improve on. The lobster cocktail was an entire half a lobster, with a wonderful whipped butter/tartar/lemon dip should you choose. The lobster bisque was asking for a touch of cracked pepper, nothing more. An easy 9.5 on the bisque-o-meter. The two cuts of beef we had were the porterhouse and the filet mignon. The filet was large, 2 1/4" thick and quite possibly the most singular outstanding morsel of beef I've encountered. The porterhouse, indeed, was it's equal..not as thick but more than twice the size. It's filet side was heaven, it's strip side was heaven's second coming. Both cuts were ordered rare but not a cold center, and both were right on target. There truly was no need for the side dishes, although they were also superb. A splendid Pinot Noir was the beverage of choice, and as mentioned the after dinner coffee was the perfect partner to a slice of their triple layer chocolate cake. As a side note, we will not be ordering either appetizers or multiple side dishes next time....there's no need. Choose and split one if you must. The fresh vegetable and olive assortment left early on, subsequently followed by exquisite dark and light rolls negated the need for "fillers" or to be more accurate "distractions" from the beef that will be soon to follow.

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