Gleaming white subway tiles frame the mirrored bar at KEE in White Plains. They line the walls and the floors, giving the 18-month-old restaurant a Manhattan-moves-north feel. Here, six to eight oysters highlight the menu daily, and towers come two ways: raw, as is traditional, or served hot — think oysters grilled and lobster poached in butter sauce.
KEE may have “oyster” in its name, but it’s the lobster that really gets the royal treatment: It’s served whole and shelled tableside. The surf-and-turf features not a tail and an 8-oz sirloin but rather a whole lobster and a choice of five different “turf” proteins, from chicken to lamb.
During dinner, fish flies solo — sides are à la carte — and Executive Chef Lulzim Rexhepi says they aim for seven to eight ounces per plate, versus the traditional five-to-six ounces, plus sides. Main courses fill the plate, like a halibut roasted and swimming in a sherried broth, and beneath a scattering of stewed grape tomatoes that burst in the mouth. The sweet and sour of it all complement the buttery fish. Then, there’s the branzino, served whole and hot off the grill, its skin crispy and salt puckered, the flesh meaty and moist. A squeeze of the grilled half-lemon — a mix of salty and sour and caramelized sweetness — takes the experience to a whole new level.
Catch This: Oysters, of course, or the appetizer of two scallops, flash seared, on a rich bed of seafood-studded risotto, served atop the scallop shell.