On a frigid night, any restaurant seems inviting. (I can recall negotiating the merits of getting into a bar fight in lieu of abandoning central heating; I chose the latter). But The Saint Austere draws you in with a different kind of warmth—also, thank god, the actual kind.

Run by brother-sister duo Fabrizio and Jackie Pirolo, The Saint Austere is a slip of a restaurant tucked into Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  And “austere” really has nothing to do with what’s inside. A long, gleaming silver bar runs the length of the space, with a few high communal tables in the back to accommodate neighborhood crowds and encourage general chattiness.