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i am bursting with pride that my neighborhood dominated ny mag’s  best of 2012…and also slightly worried too many people will overcrowd my favorites spots. but despite my fear of over exposure, i feel the need to share my favorites from the list. see full list of brooklyn spots from “brokelyn”

Best Steak: st.anselm

this is certainly a favorite of mine, not just for the wonderful steak but for the atmosphere, and all the other delicious food they serve. it’s cozy, the food is amazing, and it isn’t anything i would ordinarily cook at home. with dishes like, pan roasted mashed potatoes with truffle oil, wine braised octopus, grilled avocado with shrimp salad, grilled haloumi with pea greans and long beans, and axe handle rib eye (see in photo below), just to name a few…

review from ny mag best of 2012:

“They call it a butcher’s steak (you know it as hanger) because there’s only one per cow, and back in the day, butchers—greedy bastards to a man—would save it for themselves. Here, it’s the most popular item on the menu—a great beefy thing of beauty. It’s simply salted, expertly grilled, sliced across the grain, and loaded with flavor. A drizzle of garlic-steeped melted butter doesn’t hurt a bit. The coup de grâce, though, is the $15 head-scratcher price tag. Both Peter Luger and low-budget beefery Tad’s in midtown: Consider yourselves put on notice.”

hanger steak with garlic butter:

review from ny mag “underground gourmet”:

There’s a great new steakhouse in town—no, make that an amazing, wonderful, game-changing new steakhouse—and the funny thing is that it doesn’t even know it. The place is called St. Anselm, and according to owner Joe Carroll, it’s not a steakhouse at all but anunassuming little spot that serves simply seasoned grilled meats and seafood.

The beauty of this place, then, is not that it has everything a carnivore could ask for in a steakhouse—and more, including friendly service, tattooed cooks, and Led Zeppelin on the playlist. It’s that you can treat it like a casual neighborhood joint instead of a special-occasion expense-account extravaganza, and just drop in on a whim or whenever the craving for red meat strikes…”

“…Stools line the long bar and the dining counter opposite the open kitchen, which houses a newly installed grill, utilized by the cooks for everything from clams to avocados in their skins.”

grilled avocado with shrimp salad:

here’s a personal picture of a meal i had their recently. we ordered the steak au poivre (a special that night), giant prawns in olive oil, a side of cauliflower, and pan roasted mashed potatoes.

Best First Date: nitehawk cinema

what’s not to love about nitehawk? i love movies and i love food, and here i can find it all under one roof.

you can come here and have a drink, a snack, or a feast, you can even order it in courses. and this isn’t your typical movie theatre food, this is the best food you’ll ever eat in a movie theatre. you’ll be blown away by their menu. below are a few menu highlights…

popcorn: of course you can order your signature popcorn with seasoned salt and hot butter, but you can also have caramel popcorn, or popcorn with curry, cayenne, and fleur de sel.

small plates: seasonal vegetable tempura, such as broccoli rabe with honey gastrique, or if you prefer something simple, tater tots with house-made queso.

entrees: house blend burger, with a choice of gruyere, blue cheese or cheddar, fish tacos with cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo, or chicken sandwich served on a pretzel roll

desserts: root beer float with a shot of whiskey, or a sundae with pistachio rum ice cream , whipped cream, black peppercorn caramel, and pralines.

Best Third Date: maison premiere

i believe the new yorker described it best, when they explain this bar’s ability to carry you back, transporting you to an earlier time..

“to create an interior so convincingly bygone—from the horseshoe-shaped bar, with  its green marble absinthe fountain, to the print of Napoleon near the rest  room—that you may feel as if you’ve stumbled into the Belle Époque scene in woody allen’s “midnight in paris.”

recommended cocktails:

  • blind boy paxton: mezcal, white rum, lime, amaro, chile cinnamon syrup, egg white
  • chilcano reds: pisco, raspberry shrubb, creole spices, soda