Best restaurants of 2011

As the year comes to a close, TONY's Food & Drink team recalls the year's most memorable meals. What were yours?

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    St. Anselm

    St. Anselm

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    St. Anselm

    St. Anselm

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    St. Anselm

    St. Anselm

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    St. Anselm

    St. Anselm

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    St. Anselm

    St. Anselm

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Grilled sardines at St. Anselm

    Grilled sardines at St. Anselm

Photograph: Noah Devereaux

St. Anselm

St. Anselm

Jordana Rothman, editor

St. Anselm
Grilling—over coals, smoldering timber or gas-fueled flames—was a breakout restaurant trend in 2011. Hotly anticipated newcomers such as Tertulia and Mas (la grillade) opened their doors flaunting fire-grazed goodies, but my favorite of the bunch was St. Anselm. Owner Joe Carroll eighty-sixed the spot's previous premise (his Jersey-style hot-dog joint), bringing in a gas grill and a chef, Yvon de Tassigny, to work it with virtuosic finesse. As a matter of principle, it seems, the chef shows restraint at the garnish station, allowing his masterful char to do the heavy lifting. A few moments over the blaze sealed in the sweetness of a summery tomato on one visit, the vibrant fruit plated with a few quivering hunks of cool, creamy burrata. Blistered sardines were simply dressed in ponzu and pickled lotus root; a whole trout arrived with lemon wedges and an austere scattering of garlic and torn parsley. But as with any great feast, what really made my meal was the dazzling company—in this case, my Food & Drink coconspirators. Passing unfussy eats around a wooden table, glasses brimming with quirky beers and local wines, we hatched ideas that would later play out in the pages of Time Out New York—ephemeral reminders of one convivial August evening. 355 Metropolitan Ave between Havemeyer and Roebling Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-5054)


Jordana Rothman, editor: St. Anselm
Chris Schonberger, associate editor: Robataya NY
Jay Cheshes, critic: The Dutch
Mari Uyehara, writer: Isa

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