Originally built as a grocery store, the building at 1610 Main now houses Anton’s Taproom and Restaurant. The name is a misnomer because the owner’s vision encompasses so much more. Upon entering the building for the first time I was greeted by a waiter who offered us a tour of the “grounds”. We visited a second floor art gallery, a basement aquaphonic tank for raising tilapia, an outdoor bar and garden, a butcher shop and, oh yeah, the dining room and bar.
Meats on the menu come from the butcher shop which offers seating for overflow from the dining room, or perhaps for those who want a somewhat quieter ambiance.
Protein dishes come unadorned. No sauce, no sides; just the meat, chicken or scallops. Steaks are ordered by the ounce, though there is an 8 ounce minimum. There’s a choice of grass or grain fed beef, and dry aged in-house from 14 or 28 days.
I’m not much of a meat eater, but perusing the menu the short rib sandwich looked too mouth-watering to pass up. Piled high with meat, arugula, mushrooms and balsamic reduction on Texas toast style bread, I intended to only eat a half, but couldn’t resist finishing it. The French fries were better than they looked, but I always prefer a fry that still has the skins on and is a bit crisper than these were.
The only disappointment was the wedge salad, which was smaller than the oversized heads of lettuce I’m used to seeing at Capital Grille. That would have been fine had it not seemed small for the price as well.
We were very impressed by the very friendly and helpful staff. On our first visit, the bartender was more than happy to let us sample a variety of beers before settling on our favorite of the evening.
Anton’s is a hotspot of the moment, appealing to those wanting a full on meal or simply a drink in a “Cheers” kind of atmosphere. As more menu items are added and the butcher shop opens, I suspect that will continue.