A railroad room with a small bar on one end and a chef’s counter on the other, St. Anselm doesn’t look like much from the outset. But Joe Carroll’s reinvention of the classic steakhouse puts out some of the best food in the borough. Carroll, who also owns both the beer bar next door, Spuyten Duyvil, and the barbecue mainstay across the street, Fette Sau, has stayed true to his version of the steakhouse model by compiling a relatively robust collection of wines.
The list itself is more or less an unedited trip inside the mind of Carroll, who loves wine but has managed to keep enough distance from the wine world that his list is devoid of self-consciousness about the obvious culture clash it embraces. Here there is no dogma. You can drink big, fruity California wine or poulsard from beloved natural winemaker Ganevat; and regardless of your preference, the list, across the board, carries markups that are low enough that you can almost be sure you’re getting a deal. The list changes frequently and the staff is often well-versed and enthusiastic about helping you navigate it, whether you’re looking for some skin-fermented orange wine and a grilled salmon head and tail (yes, you want this), or an axe-handle rib eye and a jacked-up California cab.