“Stephen thought a steakhouse would be really cool in Union Market specifically, but in DC in general, and I agreed,” Carroll says. He adds that many of the steakhouses in this steakhouse town tend to be big chains or more corporate-type places. “I thought it would be just really a perfect place to do something a little cooler, a little more off-the-beaten path… geared to a slightly younger clientele.”
While, yes, it’s yet another steakhouse in a city awash with them, the Williamsburg location, created by Carroll, features much more than beef on the grill. In fact, when Carroll first opened the restaurant he didn’t call it a steakhouse, even if everyone else did. (New York magazine, for example, has called it an “amazing, wonderful, game-changing new steakhouse.”)
The DC menu will be similar to the Brooklyn one, which features grilled sardines, artichoke hearts, monster prawns, lamb chops, whole fish, and more. “The basis of the menu is get really great, high-quality ingredients and do very little to them, let the grill speak volumes,” Carroll says.
As for the beef, St. Anselm will use heritage breeds—no commodity meat—and utilize less popular cuts in addition to some of the classic, luxury cuts. The top-seller in Brooklyn is a hanger steak, and Carroll says they’ll also use flat-iron and sirloin steaks “that you don’t really see often in steakhouse menus.”
The 7,000-square-foot space—located at 1250-1274 5th St., NE—will be around triple the size of its New York counterpart, which means an expanded menu and the addition of a raw bar. It will also have a full liquor license, although the the focus is on wine. (The Brooklyn location has 350 bottles.)
One of the other cool features of the DC restaurant will be a room devoted to beefsteak dinners—”a very old-style of political fundraiser from New York City,” Carroll says. People pay a flat price, don an apron, and then eat with their hands from big, passed-around platters of meat and bread. “This is the kind of thing where you just kind of stand up and eat and walk around and talk and socialize,” Carroll says. “It will be an endless supply of different meats coming out and pitchers of beer and wine.”
While the exact details haven’t been ironed out, the dinners will likely occur just a few nights a week. Ideally, groups could rent out the room for their own dinners, or individuals could buy tickets to attend.
The DC restaurant will not be the first collaboration between Carroll and Starr. The two are also partners in Fette Sau, a barbecue restaurant in Philadelphia.
For St. Anselm, Carroll says Starr Restaurant Group will supply the financial and operational support—”they are the ones actually running it on the floor day-to-day”—while he’s driving the creative and menu decisions. So far, Carroll says, it’s been a good partnership: “We’re both from Jersey, we both have music industry backgrounds, and we’re both really restaurateurs before chefs.”
The restaurant is set to open in early 2018.
This story has been updated after an interview with Joe Carroll.