Brooklyn’s narrow neighborhood tavern St. Anselm just expanded to Union Market, complete with similar playful patriotic references, oriental carpets, and 1970s playlists. But for its second home, the bigger D.C. sibling packs in twice as many wines, triple the seats, and way more seasoned grilled steaks than its nine-year-old New York counterpart.
The sexy new Northeast restaurant (1250 5th Street NE), which opened in a corner lot opposite the shopping hub on Monday, September 17, is a joint effort between founder Joe Carroll and James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr (perennially packed Le Diplomate; other critically acclaimed restaurants up north).
Two years ago, the duo picked Union Market — now home to Michelin-starred restaurants, local distilleries, homegrown bakeries, and more — as the second location for St. Anselm. Carroll tells Eater the biggest delay in opening stemmed from D.C.’s slow permitting process.
The anticipated restaurant, finally open for dinner service daily starting at 5 p.m., features a 120-seat dining room, 13-seat chef’s counter, a 19-seat U-shaped bar, and an 18-seat patio.
“I took inspiration from the menu in Brooklyn and added my personality to it,” executive chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley tells Eater.
She imported the popular beef tartare dish from Brooklyn, for instance, but the lamb lover also added a lamb tartare to the D.C. menu. And its much-bigger kitchen, lined with 13 front row seats overlooking the cooking action, also enables the Smoked & Stacked founder and Top Chef alum to make sausages on-site.
She tried out about 200 cuts of beef to create St. Anselm’s opening menu, and the chosen ones hail from a handful of U.S. farms, like Maryland’s Roseda Farms and Texas’ 44 Farms. Vegetables are also a big focus, and she’s plucking from producers like Maryland’s up-and-coming farm Mustard’s Greens (where reimagined Mirabelle also sources from).
Here’s a look at the opening menu:
Design details throughout the 7,000-square-foot space are aplenty, down to old school bricklaying techniques to intentionally make the walls look worn-in and lighting fixtures accented by circular metal saws.
Banners from old fraternal organizations, which line the walls in Brooklyn, also act as wall art in D.C. In the nation’s capital, though, they’re meant to represent Americana as a whole and “the history of where we are as a country,” says Carroll, noting he has no affiliation with a fraternity (nor does the restaurant). There’s also playful references to the country’s past, like booth alcoves donning portraits of “unpopular” presidents (think: Franklin Pierce).
Other off-beat accents include a dedicated “Beef Steak” room, as an ode to communal meat dinners that originated in 19th-century New York. Guests can reserve the dressed-down room for the all-you-can-eat finger food experience that requires aprons (but not utensils).
The industrial-meets-modern space — formerly an Army Navy store — also features vintage items collected by the team up and down the East Coast, including aging books stacked above the bar and a taxidermy bear rug and deer head leading guests to the bathroom.
St. Anselm hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and until 11 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, with weekend brunch arriving soon. Stay tuned for more intel about its bar program, which boasts about 450 wines and 16 cocktails out of the gate.
Status: Certified open. 1250 5th Street NE; website.
- Restaurateur Stephen Starr Teams With Keith McNally to Reopen Pastis [NYT]
- Brooklyn’s St. Anselm Grill Expanding to D.C. in 2018 [EDC]
- D.C.’s St. Anselm Will Be Bigger, Meatier, and Boozier Than Brooklyn’s [EDC]
- ‘Top Chef’ Alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley Adds Airport Dining to Her Growing Resume [EDC]
- The Most Anticipated Restaurants in D.C., Fall 2018 [EDC]