A couple of weeks ago, a few old work buddies were coming into New York and I needed to find a place for us to sit down for some good food and drink. Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke had always been on my list of “need to go there” restaurants, and this occasion seemed just right. We needed a 7-person table, and Open Table told me we could only have 6. In typical USHG fashion, the staff was able to accommodate.
As soon as we walked in the place, we felt like we were going to have a great time. Front and center was a huge bar, with a wide selection of beers, bourbons, and the other usual suspects. The lively young crowd, vaulted ceilings, huge contemporary chandeliers, greenhouse windows and red diner-style booths all came together to make this BBQ joint seem uniquely New York.
For the meal, we got off to a great start with some Blue Smoke Original Ales (a delicious restaurant branded amber brew) and a few different bourbons for tasting; our palettes were primed for some serious BBQ. Next came the Crispy Chili Crusted Calamari ($12.95) that was light, and as advertised, crispy. Next to the squids at Parm, this was some of the best I have ever had. We also had the Chipotle Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip (10.50), nothing too outrageous there.
For the entrée, I had the “Rhapsody in ’Cue”- a blissful plate full of Kansas City Spareribs, Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken and Sausage (23.95). It was….incredible. The ribs, chicken, and sausage were flowing juicy, and had that thin pink “smoke ring” characteristic of a long, slow smoke. Flavor was bursting out of everything on the plate.
Overall: You can go with a friend, but if you are looking for a place to have a great time with a group, I would highly recommend Blue Smoke. The food and drink was affordable and delicious, the atmosphere was friendly and inviting, and the service was impeccable. A Friday night dining experience I would love to have again.