New York is known for being at the helm of everything new and exciting. Faster cars, taller buildings, and cutting edge restaurants. But what about those who don’t want pop rocks atop sushi-grade tuna, and cocktails that come out smoking with dry ice? Those people want a throwback, something refined and elegant, with nary a hipster nor foam on the menu. Luckily, we have plenty of these restaurants, too. From relaxed French bistros to steakhouses from the 1800s, this city has the restaurants to quell anyone’s desire for a blast from the past.
Keen’s Steakhouse has been in existence since 1885, when it was a gentlemen-only establishment. Since then, times have changed. Women are now allowed to dine there (duh), but the menu has remained mostly the same. Feast on huge steaks, decadent sides like creamed spinach, or the restaurant’s signature mutton chop. Blogger Hungry says that the chop is “Tender and delicious […] It was a nice tender meat with a slight natural funk.” Finish the meal with a hot fudge sundae, if you have any room.
The Lamb’s Club has only been in its current iteration for a few years, but Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian pays homage to the past with his traditional menu. The atmosphere is clubby and art deco, and the menu matches the retro feel. Try the steak tartare with pickled mushrooms and crunchy toast, or the roasted fingerling potatoes with chanterelles and fresh herbs. For dessert, treat yourself to the deep dish lemon meringue pie as you sip an expertly made after dinner drink and take in the elegant atmosphere.
Sel et Poivre is a family-run French bistro that transports its diners straight to Paris. From the garlicky bouillabaisse to the tender and buttery calf’s liver Lyonnais, everything here is traditional, no frills, and made with love. Don’t overlook the excellent and well-priced wine list to enhance your meal.