by Matthew Schneier, 05/01/2012
Courtesy, Peter Luger
Steak snobs and food tourists speak the name Peter Luger with hushed reverence. The restaurant has been broiling since 1887, and its mammoth porterhouse is the stuff of legend. Luger bottles its own steak sauce, issues its own credit card and plays by its own rules: it's not the place for substitutions or dietary restrictions. But for a piece of meat that a Tammany Hall politico would recognize, it's in a class of its own. It is not, however, the neighborhood's only destination steak house. Luger now shares that designation with St. Anselm, part of restaurateur Joe Carroll's Metropolitan Avenue archipelago, which also includes neighboring beer bar Spuyten Duyvil and across-the-road barbecue pit Fette Sau. St. Anselm skews old-timey like Luger—there are lamb saddle chops and a butcher's steak, aka hanger steak—but the cool crowd and reasonable prices are a breath of fresh air. Metaphorically speaking, that is. The scent of St. Anselm, not the neighborhood's largest or most ventilated establishment, is pure fat and smoke. If local perfumer Christopher Brosius knew what was good for him, he'd bottle it.