Blue Smoke (New York)
Forgive me if there's another thread on this place, but I couldn't find one.
This past weekend, I ate at Blue Smoke (116 E. 27th Street, between Lexington and Park avenues) for the first time. Blue Smoke is a Manhattan ribs place owned by Danny Meyer, a chef whose name that might be familiar to some of you. Unlike his other restaurants, this one is modestly priced (relatively speaking -- we came in at about $32 a person, plus tip).
Armed with a full understanding that discussing New York City BBQ is somewhat like discussing the best bagels in Des Moines (no offense to any Iowans), I really enjoyed it. In fact, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would, because the initial reviews were so bad when it opened more than a year ago. Apparently, it has improved.
Three of us had KC style ribs (they also have Memphis style), which I thought were quite tasty and moist. I entered the place wanting to try the KC ribs, and tried in vain to persuade someone else to get the Memphis style.
My wife had shrimp creole which she loved. A fifth person had a BBQ chicken that she liked very much.
As far as sides...I'm the only one who liked the mac and cheese; it was too creamy for the others. The collard greens and mashed potatoes were good if not necessarily memorable. I didn't eat the brown beans, but heard no complaints.
We ordered a dessert sampler afterward...and I also had my own piece of banana cream pie. I thought the latter was good, but everyone else seemed to think it was much better than I did. But, no doubt, I liked it.
Downstairs, by the way, is a small blues club. We went there for a drink while awaiting our table. We were tempted to stay for a show after dinner, but one of the folks in our group was a 14-year-old, and it was agreed all around that she'd get too fidgety.
The PS is that everyone else walked out feeling overly stuffed, but I felt great even though I clearly ate more food than anyone. I was kind of surprised. Then, around 2 a.m. -- four hours after my meal -- all of a sudden my stomach said, "Hey, numbskull. Don't eat that much." But, I only felt that way for around 15 minutes or so and fell back asleep. Definitely worth it.
You can read more at www.bluesmoke.com