As spoken in the voice of Sean Connery – “When you dine with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen you expect a feast of legendary proportions. No fussy appetizers or namby pamby minuscule entrees. Men of adventure demand large portions of mouth watering meat and the finest whiskeys to wash them down with. Trebek – your mother enjoyed a fine piece of meat last night too!”
I have always wanted to enjoy a meal at Keens Steakhouse with the company of good friends who appreciate a delicious slab of meat, a quality drink, and historic surroundings. Just walking into the front lobby you are greeted by a selection of age old pipes that belonged to iconic figures from the past – Abraham Lincoln, John Barrymore, Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, General Douglas MacArthur, Albert Einstein, and many others. These clay pipes can be viewed all long the ceilings and walls of Keens, as they own the world’s largest collection of churchwarden pipes in the world – close to 90,000. Each room at Keens breathes history and the past is well preserved here. Dark woods, brass accents, and old paintings adorn the walls. A bit decadent – yes – but modernly casual at the same time as there is no dress code here. Come as you are and be prepared for a meal among the ghosts of the past.
I swear the Upper East Side area that I live in will the the death of me. It seems as if Yorkville is quickly becoming a foodie hot spot north of 80th street. As much as I try to keep on a sensible eating plan along with frequent stints in the gym, the food in this hood now is like a bad habit! Sure, I love good food, and it doesn’t have to be all fancy-schmancy. I don’t have to pass the Grey Poupon to enjoy a good meal. Just give me some solid tasty vittles along with good service in a clean environment and I am a happy camper.
It seems as if we are receiving an influx of bars and restaurants popping up here, with more on the way from reports I have read. With the Second Ave Subway line getting closer to completion (planned for a 2016 opening) there are a bunch of new hot spots that have recently opened, and a few more I have passed by that are close to opening. When this new subway line arrives I gather we will see many more new businesses come up this way and take root. After all, we do have one of the most heavily populated residential areas in Manhattan, along with an ever growing younger crowd and gay community. It’s not just an area that has been falsely stereotyped as being where all the older generation lives. It’s way more diverse than that now. Plus, it’s still one of the more affordable areas to find an apartment in the city. Just head east of Lexington Ave closer to 2nd and 1st Avenues and there are deals to be found. Sure, it still needs some work around here, but it’s up and coming. Part of me hopes that it stays a secret and hidden gem!