Mutton Chops

February 24th, 2015 § 0 comments

If you are a happy carnivore with a taste for robust red meat, there is nothing better than a big, rare mutton chop. Oddly, it is not a celebrated menu item in New York or Paris. (If you search, you can find mutton chops in London). In times past you could find mutton chops at two locations in New York: Keens Chophouse on W. 30th Street and at Gage & Tollner on Downtown Brooklyn’s Fulton Street. Gage & Tollner was founded in 1878 (closed in the 1990’s) and had a mellow antique interior with 38 gas lamps, wood paneling and mahogany tables. The mutton chop was medium in size and served with corn fritters sweetened with a bit of maple syrup. (The combination seemed unusual but it worked). Thankfully, Keens is still in business and their legendary mutton chop is still giant. Prices however are a different story: In keeping with present day oligarchy-influenced New York the chop now fetches $51.00. HG/BSK enjoyed Keens often when they lived on the Upper West Side during the 1960’s.(Prices were much more modest then). Once, during a Boston-type blizzard, HG/BSK ventured out at night, found an intrepid cab, and supped on Keens’ mutton chop, skillet sized golden hash browns and wine. Only two tables in the restaurant were occupied. Keens (founded in 1885) was not only a cold weather choice. On a blazing July day, HG/BSK shopped for baby furniture at Macy’s (baby daughter Lesley was due in August). HG and very pregnant BSK left summer heat behind and had an early dinner of roast beef, fiery horseradish and Yorkshire Pudding at Keens. The beautifully aged restaurant interior was cooled by very modern air conditioners. HG/BSK felt they were dining in late autumn London. Keens now charges $58.00 for its prime rib.

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