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The Capital’s Best Bread Is Made Behind a Laundromat and Served at Le Diplomate

The Capital’s Best Bread Is Made Behind a Laundromat and Served at Le Diplomate


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If you’re a paniphile (which is just a $5 word for a bread-lover) and can’t resist a mystery, you will love The Case of the Hidden Bakery. I recently discovered that some of Washington, D.C.’s best bread is made not in a specialty shop but in a nondescript commercial production bakery behind 16th and U Streets NW.

There aren’t any signs to tell you where to go, but any day of the week, between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., if you stand in front of Jim’s Cleaners and Starbucks on 16th Street and wait, it won’t take long before the telltale smell of baking bread floats in the air. Then, just as quickly as it arrived, it is gone, leaving you perplexed as to the source, which I discovered is hidden in a dingy back alley to the left of Jim’s Cleaners. The alley is lined with parked cars, large trash dumpsters, and nondescript commercial spaces. If you wait long enough, a dark gray metal door will eventually swing open and release tempting tendrils of yeasty aromas.

A peek behind the door reveals a windowless kitchen and five bakers hard at work mixing, kneading, shaping, and baking, surrounded by racks of dozens of beautiful loaves of just-baked bread. The space is barely 900 square feet — but the kitchen’s diminutive size seals in earthy aromas of toasted nuts, wheat, rye, cranberry, and oats that are so intense you may get a little giddy and light headed from the close quarters.

The bakers’ synchronous movements are fluid and practiced, and each one displays an economy of motion acquired through years of quotidian handicraft. These are the people responsible for baking the signature bread served at Le Diplomate on 14th Street NW, owned by Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr. Le Diplomate is his homage “to the cafés in St.-Germain in Paris.” Leading Starr’s team of bakers is head baker Cody Brandon, who Starr says is “an artisan beyond his years and a stunning craftsman.”

Through the magic marriage of heirloom whole-wheat flour, a living levain starter, water, and a short list of stellar ingredients, Brandon and the other bakers are able to celebrate the French legacy of bread baking at the core of Parisian café culture, regional traditions, and French national identity.

Le Diplomate’s dedication to freshness makes it possible for diners to rediscover that there is nothing as comforting, mouthwatering, and pleasing to eat as a freshly baked loaf of bread slathered with butter, dipped in sauce, or topped with a rustic cheese. It’s an indulgence you rarely find in restaurants — few eateries tackle the challenge of making their own bread.

Many would if they could, but it’s virtually impossible for any restaurant to bake all of its bread on site — few can afford the necessary staff and equipment or spare the space. But artisanally baked bread is a hallmark of the Le Diplomate dining experience, so every day hundreds of guests eagerly await the bread baskets’ arrival on the table.

Despite the challenges involved in making every bread in-house, Starr took the risk, hired a team of rock star bakers, and built an off-site production baking kitchen stocked with the right-sized commercial mixers, bench tables, dough sheeters, racks, ovens, and walk-in refrigerators. Establishing a production bakery may have required a significant investment, but the effort has paid off. Every day from 3 a.m. to 7 p.m., the bakery produces buttery brioches, crisp baguettes, sesame-topped hamburger buns, honey oat sandwich bread, multigrain levain boules, and cranberry walnut boules. The demand hasn’t wavered since Le Diplomate opened in 2013, and the ever-popular loaves continue to serve a variety of purposes: the bread accompanies the cheese and charcuterie platters, it’s used to make French toast, croque madame and other sandwiches, and it’s a hallmark of Le Diplomate’s café menu.

Every Monday through Friday, Brandon and his cohorts bake approximately 129 to 150 baguettes and 45 to 60 levain and cranberry boules plus the hamburger buns. Just to cover the demand for the weekend, about 400 baguettes and approximately 120 levain and 120 cranberry boules are baked on Fridays to be ready for service during brunch, lunch, and dinner. It takes dedication, patience, and laser-focused attention to detail to consistently produce excellent bread, and Brandon is up for the challenge because the chemistry and artistry of bread are part of the allure. “Baking has a strong emotional attachment to me,” he explains. “It reminds me of my childhood. I was a curious kid, always into puzzles and problem-solving. Baking bread requires the same analytical thought process. Every day is a battle with the weather and the climate to control the living product in your hand and create this delicious item that’s really the foundation, culturally and literally, for Le Diplomate.”

Brandon has an active imagination and is always experimenting with new flours, ingredients, flavors, textures, and original ideas, and soon his latest bread will be available in the dining room. It’s a hearty muesli loaf made with pepitas, sunflower seeds, golden raisins, dried blueberries, oatmeal, and pistachios, and it will be a fantastic addition to the fall and winter bread basket and hearty cheese platters. So what’s next? Look for a polenta bread and seed bread shortly.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.


St. Anselm Opens in Washington, D.C.

Restaurateur Joe Carroll teamed up with Stephen Starr and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for a different kind of steakhouse.

St. Anselm never set out to be a steakhouse. "We got dubbed a steakhouse," says restaurateur Joe Carroll. "The idea was that seafood, vegetables, all of it, was going to be very important. It wasn't just about steak by any means." Now, he's preparing to debut a second outpost of his Brooklyn tavern in a town that used to be known solely for meat and potatoes.

The D.C. location of St. Anselm is slated to open in the Union Market neighborhood on September 17. It's a joint venture between Carroll and restaurant mogul Stephen Starr (who also owns Le Diplomate a couple of miles away), and it will be helmed by Top Chef alum Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Smoked & Stacked and the late Ripple.

While St. Anselm is more than a steakhouse, they do take a reverential approach to steak. Along with the expected rib eye and New York strip, the menu also features several unconventional beef selections. But Carroll doesn't like the term "off-cuts." "They're just not the famous luxury cuts that people usually go crazy about at steakhouses. But I think they're incredibly flavorful and approachable, price-wise," he explains. There's the famed hanger steak that gets rave reviews in Brooklyn, as well as the flat iron. "It's really flavorful and tender and just eats so well," he says.

The heritage breed meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free and comes from local farms whenever possible. In most cases, it is grass-fed and grain-finished. "It's like the best of both worlds. It's what the cow should be eating for the most part, but then the grain at the end—the corn—adds a lot of flavor and fat," Carroll says.

"The philosophy was to source really great ingredients and just make them taste really great without doing too much to them, without getting too in the way," Carroll adds. This applies not just to meat, but everything that enters the kitchen. Meek-Bradley works with local producers like Seven Hills Farms, Autumn Olive Farms, Earth 'n Eats, Path Valley Farms, ProFish and Elysian Fields.

When it comes to the menu, "I'm over swooshes," Meek-Bradley says. "I just want a good piece of meat, a good sauce or a beautiful vegetable with some nice olive oil." She and Carroll have developed a menu that reflects this—a majority of dishes are grilled and simply dressed, like clams with herbs and Chartreuse butter or pork porterhouse with apricot chutney.

"The grill is the heart of the restaurant," Meek-Bradley says. Both on the menu and in the design—it's in the center of the dining room behind a long chef's counter. "Everything kisses the grill at some point or another." That's even true for raw plates, like the grilled peaches that garnish kampachi crudo and the grilled flatbread to accompany lamb tartare.

Sides are also far from traditional steakhouse fare—pair your protein with pan-fried mashed potatoes (like a mashed potato pancake), cauliflower with tahini and puffed amaranth or creamy kale.

Carroll had a hand in putting together the wine list, which has a mix of classic Old World producers, established American producers as well as young, up-and-coming producers. "It's in no way an obvious steakhouse wine list at all. We're going to have way more light-bodied, high-acid, chillable reds on the list…than typical Bordeaux, Cabernet," he says. "We'll probably be one of the few steakhouses in the world I think that would recommend Champagne or Chablis with steak [in addition to] reds." There will also be a concise selection of beers and cocktails.

Even though St. Anselm doesn't fit the steakhouse stereotype, the concept takes inspiration from it. "The general idea behind the design is to play into this sort of clubby steakhouse thing, but kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way," Carroll says. You'll see the classic curtained booths with gold tasseled rope tie-backs. But inside, the booths are Naugahyde instead of leather, and the portraits on the wall are of history's worst presidents as determined by a panel of historians and political scientists. Each has a lightbulb protruding from their face. "I just thought it was a really funny thing to do," Carroll says of the lighthearted irreverence.

The space has a vintage 1880s feel to it, with warm wood paneling, ornate chandeliers and intricately patterned rugs, but Carroll was careful to keep it playful. "If you take it too seriously, then it seems silly. It's one thing if we had been around here for 80 years or something like that."

Embroidered fraternal order banners adorn the brick walls, and Carroll even had a banner made of the restaurant's logo—a fish strapped to a baby chicken's back, which was adapted from a defunct chicken feed company's logo.

The onyx u-shaped island bar is framed by black shelving stacked with fezzes, a taxidermied raccoon and a clock that has masonic imagery and livestock instead of numbers. The tap handles are made from deer antlers. Underneath the bar top are not just bag hooks, but outlets with USB ports. "It's a necessity," Carroll says. "You go into bars and there's like 20 phones behind the bar that people are charging." Booths are also equipped with power stations.

The dinnerware is a combination of vintage items, old stock plates from the U.S. Navy mess hall and custom plates with images of grouse and stags.

While much of the design is an amalgamation of touches that intrigued Carroll, the fraternal paraphernalia is a nod to the old eating clubs frequented by theater actors and producers, like Keens Steakhouse in New York.

From there, it's just one more jump to beefsteak dinners. These political fundraising events took place in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the 1850s. Guests wore aprons and tenderloin was served on pieces of bread, sans utensils. "Nobody really eats the bread, they kind of stack it up as a marker to see how much meat you've actually eaten," he explains. In the 1930s, the dinners died out, except for in the New Jersey town where Carroll grew up.

St. Anselm's beefsteak room is modeled after the originals, with folding chairs hung on the wall (these were standing affairs). They plan to host regular beefsteaks, but the menu will feature much more than tenderloin. The space will also be available for private events. "I've wanted to do this for a long time now," Carroll says.

St. Anselm will be open for dinner on Monday, September 17, followed by brunch later in the month and eventually lunch.