With its homey vibe and simple yet flavor-packed menu, St. Anselm at Union Market is waving its culinary flag high.
The cozy bar is built out of the legs of (yes) old bar stools & is outfitted with fraternal banners, among other kitschy pieces.
You can feel it before you step inside—it’s in the glow emanating from the cafe lights that sparkle around its cozy space at Union Market. It’s in the wooden sign bearing its name, the distinctly warming smell of a grill, the faint sound of music that escapes whenever someone enters or exits—a frequent happening, considering its popularity since opening.
Indeed, St. Anselm achieves a definite sense of place—not surprising, given that it’s the second iteration of Joe Carroll’s award-winning Brooklyn, N.Y.-based steakhouse. Carroll partnered with iconic restaurateur Stephen Starr (whose Le Diplomate remains one of the hottest spots in town) on the eatery, and their attention to the smallest detail borders on the obsessive—in a good way.
Once inside, the neighborhood eatery is alive with Americana-style decor. Tchotchkes are nearly everywhere. A bear skin hangs on the wall near the restroom, and an intentionally faded American flag (the original was replaced because it wasn’t quite worn enough) commands attention in the brick-lined main dining room, where a 13-strong chef’s counter offers a prime view of the open kitchen. Here, Marjorie Meek-Bradley (a former Top Chef contestant who maintains her girl-next-door mentality despite experience at the likes of Thomas Keller, José Andrés and Starr restaurants) deftly creates her signature rustic cuisine—nearly everything kisses the grill. This is one of the best seats in the house. Equally good: the alcove booths near the lively bar. The velvet curtains can be pulled together for more privacy, should you want it. Though why would you, when the restaurant is filled with such bonhomie that you are tempted to chat with the folks around you about what they’re eating or, perhaps, that bottle of wine that landed on their table?