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Ericandblueboy

St. Anselm - Steakhouse-Inspired Meats and Vegetables outside of Union Market, a Stephen Starr Restaurant

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On Friday, doughboy and I went to the new St. Anselm, a Stephen Starr joint located at Union Market.

Our server was friendly, and quite good at ass kissing.  We had him as a server before, but we can't remember where.

We started with beef tartare and blue crab deviled eggs.  The tartare was mixed with lots of herbs and seasoning, thus obscuring the taste of the beef itself.    The deviled eggs was good, adding crab made it different, but not better nor worse.

The best part of dinner were the grilled oysters (with smoked herb butter) and grilled clams, with a chartreuse sauce.  The oysters were the best since my first visit to The Ordinary in Charleston.  The clams were also excellent.

Unfortunately, the monster prawn was overcooked.

The Butcher's Steak of the day was a hanger steak.  It was cooked to medium rare as requested, and very good.  At $28, it might be not a bargain (or maybe it is, I don't order steak very often).  We also had the grilled salmon collar.  It was nicely grilled - a treat if you like simply grilled salmon.

I would go back just for the oyster, clam and maybe steak.

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“... aims to bring a slice of Brooklyn to Washington D.C.”

Jam packed since it opened in Williamsburg several years ago, we only got there once and liked it.  The owner (Starr’s partner in D.C.) has a great feel for creating places that are both trendy & good.  I assume that the D.C. branch will be gold as well.

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Friends shared some extra biscuits and pimento cheese they had gotten as carryout after brunch here. The biscuits were not the super high rise version but had the right flakiness, texture, and crumb. They're done in a particular not-quite-a square and not-quite-a-rectangular shape. The pimento cheese had exactly the right amount of heat. It hit that hot note and walked away (well, so to speak). They've been there several times and raved about pretty much everything they've had. Both of them really liked the burgers. The photos they showed looked quite appealing. That pimento cheese was really good.

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Open at 10 a.m. for weekend brunch.  We had some (i) monkey bread, (ii) two eggs with toast, hash browns and bacon, (iii) salmon collar, (iv) grilled broccoli, and (v) breakfast sausage.  Their first salmon came out raw in the middle, which I pointed out to our server ("oh, it's medium, do you prefer it well done?").  They then redid and comped the dish (not necessary but a very welcoming gesture).  With free parking at Union Market, this place is a gem.

ETA Chef Marjorie was in the house.

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Based on the reviews up-thread, we had brunch and were generally pleased.  Hits for us and the kids included the amazing biscuits with pimento cheese, the salmon collar, and the hash browns that came with the hanger steak.  One of our items came out way under-cooked too, which the manager rectified and comped (also not necessary but was welcome).  It's the kind of place where we'd try to eat if visiting another city.  Too bad nothing remotely like this exists in MD.

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The place wasn't crowded or loud this morning - hence I was able to discern the music as Ozzie Osbourne (Black Sabbath) and The Doors.  We had steak & eggs, french toast, and grilled broccoli.  We ate almost everything - the kids did not eat the french toast, in fact, my youngest gave Chef Marjorie a thumbs down (she was expediting right next to our table).   [facepalm]

Union Market itself is crowded as usual.  We just popped into to get some yogurt flavored soft drinks and sweet basil chips (by Lay’s) from Toli Moli.

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1 hour ago, Ericandblueboy said:

The place wasn't crowded or loud this morning - hence I was able to discern the music as Ozzie Osbourne (Black Sabbath) and The Doors.  We had steak & eggs, french toast, and grilled broccoli.  We ate almost everything - the kids did not eat the french toast, in fact, my youngest gave Chef Marjorie a thumbs down (she was expediting right next to our table).   [facepalm]

Union Market itself is crowded as usual.  We just popped into to get some yogurt flavored soft drinks and sweet basil chips from Toli Moli.

Is the BoBo Chicken named after the mildly mocking French term, Urban Bobos?

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We were in on Thursday and this has to be the hottest new restaurant in the city right now.  At 8:15 the place was absolutely packed to the gills, with only awkward standing room by the bar and all of the tables full.  It's loud in the bar area and not the most comfortable space, but the dining area was a big improvement.  

There were some hits and misses on the cocktails food.  We got Boulevardiers at the really crowded bar, I feel like I only comment on drinks if they are really good or really bad and unfortunately this one was really bad, too much ice, too much Campari, and not enough pleasure.  We found the Radish dish with foie butter to be somewhat uninspired and devoid of flavor if you didn't use the sea salt on the side of the plate.  The Beef Tartare was a different take on the dish, with no creaminess and some spice provided by calabrian chiles.  It was wasn't bad, but not something I would order again either.  Thankfully the meal got better as the night went on, as our last second addition of Day Boat Scallops saved our appetizer course, as these were two wonderfully grilled mollusks sitting in a small pool of blood orange curry that complemented rather than masking the flavor of the seafood, the only complaint here was that we wanted more!  We both went with steaks for our first time here, going with the Butcher's Cut and the Flat Iron, the 2 cheapest cuts on the menu, and they were well worth the price.  The Butcher's Cut was a hangar steak that brought me back to the glory days of Ray's before all of the expansion and fuss, a wonderfully grilled piece of meat that was precisely spiced and dressed with some garlic butter.  The Flat Iron was a little fussier, with some more spices and maitre d'hotel butter, but it was right up my wife's alley, a lean cut that was again perfectly grilled and a nice sized portion.

We will be back for sure, we will just order a bit more carefully next time and see if we can snag one of the booths on the quieter side of the restaurant.

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6 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

The place wasn't crowded or loud

Say hi next time. :)

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Just as well the owners have deep pockets. Accepting that wine is just one component of a larger budget, that's still a very adventurous wine list (50+ pages, 1,000+/- offerings) for an area of the city that doesn't yet attract much expense account business, and where two turns will probably be the best they can expect. Hope they weren't seduced by the stat that apparent per capita wine consumption in DC is double that of NY.

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We had dinner at St. Anselm last night. It wasn't bad, but I am not in a hurry to go back. The steaks were overly salty, and the dining room was so loud that conversation was difficult. On the plus side, our server was great, and the creamed spinach was delicious. The appetizer special, a hot crab dip served in a small cast-iron pot, was tasty.

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On 1/13/2019 at 4:36 PM, DIShGo said:

We had dinner at St. Anselm last night. It wasn't bad, but I am not in a hurry to go back. The steaks were overly salty, and the dining room was so loud that conversation was difficult. On the plus side, our server was great, and the creamed spinach was delicious. The appetizer special, a hot crab dip served in a small cast-iron pot, was tasty.

$49 for a .500 ml carafe of Carbonic Cabernet Franc, made at Old Westminster Winery.

wine-old-westminster-carbonic-cabernet-franc-cans.jpg <--- $49 for a .500 carafe is the same price-per-ounce as paying $36.75 for this .375 can.

Dining Guide

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Popped in for a quick appetizer and a drink on Monday evening - I will say that this was a more challenging solo bar seat than Rose's Luxury (with a one hour difference in arrival times).  The bar staff was friendly and eager to make an off menu cocktail (sweet/spicy with mezcal) - the resulting drink was too sweet, but to be fair I did ask for an on-the-fly custom drink.  The Kampachi Crudo with hearts of palm and grilled asian pear (16$) was fantastic - light and refreshing without being dainty.  The menu didn't mention the accompanying cucumber (?), which I was grateful for, otherwise I may not have ordered.

I drove home from New York on Monday shortly before going to the restaurant, and I do believe they have successfully out-Brooklyn'd Brooklyn.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just need to be in that mood.

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Forgot to write up a pretty good dinner we had at Saint Anselm about a month ago. We went with some friends of ours on a busy Sunday evening. I guess delays had piled up by the time our 7:15pm reservation rolled around because they opened their private dining area and seated us there. Turned out to be a nice place to sit as it was much quieter and conversation friendly than the main dining area.

Food standouts were the buttermilk biscuits with pimento cheese and the salmon collar. The pickled currants overpowered the lamb tartare, making us wish we had ordered the beef tartare or kampachi crudo instead. Unfortunately, the flat iron was a bust. Despite being cooked to a perfect medium rare, the steak was a bit tough. 

There were a few annoying service moments. We asked their wine person for recommendations at about $60 a bottle and every recommendation was above that price point. I think in the end, we went with two bottles of California wines, one a natural wine. When we got our bill, we saw that we were charged twice for the natural wine and had to wait a while for the server to come back around so we could have that fixed. 

Wish we liked it better but like @DIShGo said above, we are not in a hurry to go back. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 5:34 PM, eatruneat said:

Food standouts were the buttermilk biscuits with pimento cheese and the salmon collar. The pickled currants overpowered the lamb tartare, making us wish we had ordered the beef tartare or kampachi crudo instead. Unfortunately, the flat iron was a bust. Despite being cooked to a perfect medium rare, the steak was a bit tough. 

We almost ordered the biscuits. We will next time!

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Meh. I'll echo @DIShGo above: not bad but not in a hurry to go back. It may be that slabs of meat on a plate just aren't that exciting to me. I went Saturday night. We were seated in a booth in the area to the right of the host stand -- I think this is the quieter part of the restaurant. I certainly didn't find the atmosphere too noisy as some mentioned above.

Three of us shared the buttermilk biscuits, the beef tartare, the cucumber salad, the monster prawn, the flat iron steak, the lamb sirloin, the crispy beef fat potatoes, the cauliflower, and the creamy spinach. Standouts for me were the buttermilk biscuits (I'm a biscuit freak but these were amazing) and the creamy spinach. The flat iron steak was tough. Even though the crispy beef fat potatoes sounded amazing, they were meh, especially the pieces that didn't have any Parmesan on them. The cauliflower was certainly interesting and also tasty but not that exciting in the end.

Our waiter was nice enough, but he tried a little too hard to move our meal along. We were early for our reservation and they seated us, so I would have thought we'd be able to have a leisurely meal (unless there's something I don't understand about how restaurants work). Not the case.

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3 hours ago, dracisk said:

Meh. I'll echo @DIShGo above: not bad but not in a hurry to go back.

Yes. DIShGo and I may have different approaches, but we inevitably come up with the exact same conclusions, especially after a few moments of discussion. She has an incredibly gifted palate, and an even better mind - and an even better-still approach towards human kindness, which is really all that matters. She could never be a critic, because she's too nice to be one - and that's about the highest compliment I can pay her, or anyone else.

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I had a very enjoyable dinner at St. Anselm last night. Service was outstanding right from the start. The delicious biscuits are a great way to lose your appetite. We had king crab leg, beef tartare, oysters. All very tasty , except the oysters. They had shrunk on the grill and were very small. For a mid course we shared the salmon collar, which was enormous and beautifully cooked and seasoned. For main, I had the NY strip, a good steak done perfectly. Creamed spinach was creamy. Don't miss the mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert. I was quite surprised to see a packed restaurant on a Monday night.

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I wanted to order the ax-handle rib eye but the smallest came at 48 oz (with 12 oz of bone & other nonedibles).  At $3 per oz., it's a $150 steak and I didn't want to spend that kind of dough and not be able to finish it all.  So we went with the prime ribeye.  Chef Majorie was there (on a Saturday morning) and the steak came out perfectly - great sear, nicely seasoned, and cooked medium rare as requested.  The sides were grilled broccoli and hash browns (I told our server they were super salty and were thus taken off the bill).  I think the only reason this place isn't packed all the time is that it's listed as located in Mt. Vernon, VA on Open Table.  

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18 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I wanted to order the ax-handle rib eye but the smallest came at 48 oz (with 12 oz of bone & other nonedibles).  At $3 per oz., it's a $150 steak and I didn't want to spend that kind of dough and not be able to finish it all.  So we went with the prime ribeye.  Chef Majorie was there (on a Saturday morning) and the steak came out perfectly - great sear, nicely seasoned, and cooked medium rare as requested.  The sides were grilled broccoli and hash browns (I told our server they were super salty and were thus taken off the bill).  I think the only reason this place isn't packed all the time is that it's listed as located in Mt. Vernon, VA on Open Table.  

That and Union Market is a PITA for MoCo residents to get too.

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Was there with a group of 6 late on a Tuesday night. Crowded even on a Tuesday and we had to wait, but they then put us in the back room which is much quieter. The biscuits were great and the variety of dishes we had received no complaints. The service was excellent. Would definitely return.

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On 7/11/2019 at 8:36 AM, vsrnlr said:

Was there with a group of 6 late on a Tuesday night. Crowded even on a Tuesday and we had to wait, but they then put us in the back room which is much quieter. The biscuits were great and the variety of dishes we had received no complaints. The service was excellent. Would definitely return.

The one time we were there we were in the back room, too. It is indeed quieter - you can actually carry on a conversation.

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Mr. BLB and I went last night.  The salmon collar and blue crab eggs were the winners of the night, along with the grilled broccoli. The Swiss chard was too salty and they removed it from the bill.  For mains we had the pork porterhouse and the flatiron. Both were prepared well.  I think we would happily go back and do more appetizers and sides and skip the mains though. 

We walked around union market because we arrived early.  It’s such an interesting collection of options. 

And even after the worst of the storm was over, it took us forever to get home to upper MoCo 

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We love brunching here.  Steak & egg, monkey bread, salmon collar, grilled broccoli.  All delicious, well prepared.  The salmon is damn near raw in the middle but I guess that's just how they do it - I'm getting used to it now.

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