Saint Anselm overall score: 77
This small Williamsburg joint has gotten wildly popular among meat aficionados on a budget, due to their highly affordable $17 hanger steak. See how it stacks up below.
This was a tough one. My wife and I came here with a friend of ours, so we ordered an “axe handle” rib eye and the well-known hanger steak, to give it all a try. As it turns out, the axe handle was about a six or seven in flavor, but the hanger steak was a nine. So I split the baby here with an eight. The hanger was simply prepared. Salt, pepper, butter and grilled like a mo-fo. It was perfectly medium rare, super juicy and tender.
The rib eye was a bit overcooked. We ordered medium rare, but it was more like medium to medium well. The flavor was good, nicely seasoned, and not much waste or fat at all. There wasn’t much in the way of fat cap, but the eye was tasty. The main loss of points here was due to improper cooking.
Choice of Cuts & Quality Available: 6
This place only offers strip, hanger and rib eye. Lack of a filet or porterhouse really cut into the point score here, but the hanger is an excellent and welcome addition to the repertoire.
Portion Size & Plating: 8
Portions here are pretty substantial. the hanger steak is definitely good enough to fill someone, with a side item or app. The rib eye is served in sizes of 39oz, 47oz, and upwards to giganto-portions. We went with 39oz.
The apps and the hanger are nicely priced, but the rib eye is a bit overpriced in comparison to the rest of the menu. At $2.70/oz, that comes out to midtown prices or higher. Anyway here’s the full bill. As you can see the other items all seemed pretty reasonable.
This seems like a great place to hang out. However, I don’t think you’re allowed to sit at the bar unless you are getting food (see “service” comments below). I was a little bummed out by my experience on that angle.
Specials and Other Meats: 8
There were three specials and a substitution menu item (grilled clams were grilled mussels instead, which we actually ordered and enjoyed). They also serve multiple veal, pork, lamb and chicken dishes up in this bitch, so good on them for that!
Apps, Sides & Desserts: 8
I was saddened to see that the bacon item was no longer offered on the menu, but we still had some decent side items. We started with the grilled mussels ($7). These were fantastic. A simple lemon and butter sauce with some bread for dipping. The flavor was clean and crisp, really nice.
Next we had the sardines. I was glad to see that there were three in the serving, so we could each have our own. These were a little rough to navigate given the tiny bones, but the meat itself was really delicious.
Last, we tried the spinach gratin. The spinach was nice: not overly creamy. It was on the dry side, which I wasn’t sure that I liked at first, but it grew on me. The cheese on top was hard and didn’t really mix into the spinach too well. It was more of a crust on top.
Seafood Selection: 8
There’s just as many fish items as any other type of meat, whether it’s pork, beef, veal or lamb. We didn’t try any (aside from apps), but one of the specials was a salmon head that sounded great, as did the wine braised octopus. I’m not positive, but I think I also heard that this place serves dollar oysters as well. WIN!
When the place first unlocked its doors at 5pm, I walked in alone and said that I would be a group of three. They wouldn’t sit me until everyone arrived. I can somewhat understand that kind of policy, typically when a restaurant is very crowded or only has limited seating. But the place was literally empty. Okay. No big deal. I asked if I could sit at the bar. It was about 90 degrees outside and I was sweating. It was cool inside. I was told that the bar seating is reserved for dining customers. I looked around, shocked. I didn’t see any customers. She said she could check for me if it was okay. I said nah. Fuck it. I will wait outside. That shit just put a bad taste in my mouth. Fucking dead empty and I can’t sit at the bar to wait for my other two party members? I totally would have ordered a drink! Assholes. Anyway our waiter was awesome, and we had absolutely no complaints about the actual service during our dinner. By the way: the bar was still empty halfway through our meal. Toward the end, it was starting to fill up, but still plenty of space for one guy to sit and wait for the rest of his party to arrive.
Despite the fact that this is a small, narrow bar type joint, they’ve really done a great job with what they’ve got. Brick walls, olde tyme sigils and banners all over the walls, etc. Very cool. It’s tough to compete with big budget steakhouses in the ambiance category when you’re a mom and pop type place, but this was one of the better mom and pop joints that I’ve been to.
355 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211