In this city, restaurants come and go faster than you can say "ethically sourced ramen burger." And even though there are great new additions to the culinary landscape popping up every week, you've gotta give kudos to anyone who can stick it out for over a year. With that in mind, we bring you Still Got It, our tribute to establishments that continue to serve mouthwatering meals and drinks long after the buzz has faded—or where the lingering hype is still justified.
Long wait times have me turned away from St. Anselm in Williamsburg on a handful of occasions; waiting two hours for steak—even exemplary, incredible steak like the ones offered here—are usually a deal-breaker for me. But I saw my opening during The Blizzard That Wasn't, betting that freezing rain-bound folks wouldn't be making the trek through the unshoveled sidewalks of Brooklyn to stuff their faces with meat. I was right and richly rewarded.
Joe Carroll opened St. Anselm in the spring of 2010, completing a triumvirate of dining establishments—BBQ joint Fette Sau and beer mecca Spuyten Duyvil make up the trio—at the intersection Metropolitan and Havemeyer. The restaurant quickly established its dominance over animal flesh, a reputation it retains today with its steakhouse-style chops of beef, lamb and pork; whole grilled poultry and fish; and smaller fare like grilled clams and other mollusks. The restaurant is routinely awarded best steakhouse distinctions.
Butcher's Steak (Yelp)
On previous visits, I dabbled with the NY Strip Steak au poivre ($42)—I don't have the intestinal or financial bandwidth for the Piedmontese Ax Handle Rib Eye, though it looks pretty spectacular on the grill through the open kitchen. But for my taste buds and my money, it's all about the Butchers Steak, ringing up at a reasonable $24. Hanger steak isn't as fatty as a rib eye or tender as a filet mignon, but in the care of the St. Anselm chefs it's tender and flavorful—the garlic butter certainly doesn't hurt.
Get the Grilled Clams (MP) if you're a fan of garlicky butter; they come with some soft bread for sopping up every last drop. My steakhouse go-to has always been creamed spinach, but their Fingerling Potatoes ($8.50) are the standout from their sides. The soft tubers are coated in a charred scallion aioli that I'd eat with a spoon (I probably shouldn't be allowed to eat in public).
You don't need to wait for the next snowstorm to stop by, but arriving early helps your chances of eating before 10 p.m. You can whet your whistle with shots and beers across the street at Commodore while you're waiting and then enjoy a superb Division "Casse Croute" on tap to go with your steak.
St. Anselm is located at 355 Metropolitan Avenue, (718) 384-5054; stanselm.net