116 E 27th St, New York, NY | Directions 1001640.742258 -73.983806
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Kips Bay
There are two things to know about Blue Smoke, both of them good. The first is that this isn't a barbecue restaurant; it's a restaurant that serves barbecue, a sister to legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer's venerated restaurants like Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. So you can't compare the hospitality and service aspects to any of its rivals. Secondly, although the actual barbecue was a weak point for the first couple of years here, owing to legal difficulties with the air exhaust system, they have since been fixed and Blue Smoke now produces barbecue with the robust smoky flavor it was meant to have all along. Go for the barbecue, but stay for the service, the sides, and a bourbon list that just won't quit.
If you like to chew on rubber – then Blue Smoke is the place for you. After reading mixed reviews and visiting their very well maintained and appetizing website, I decided to try the place out for myself. Although my party was seated right away, the service was quite speedy, and the employees were fairly respectable, the food can only be described as putrid. My friend and I ordered ribs for two which included Memphis Baby Backs, Kansas City Spareribs, and Texas Beef Ribs along with Mac and Cheese on the side. The food came within minutes and looked very appealing, causing my mouth to water instantly.
I began with the Mac and Cheese, having very high hopes. However, after shifting the top layer of golden melted cheddar, what laid beneath seemed to be a smear of dairy diluted by a gallon of hot water. Instead of Macaroni and Cheese, it should have been called, Macaroni con Agua. After biting into the dry, rough, and bland meat of the ribs, my friend and I were taken further down the path of disappointment. Forget about fall of the bone, melt in your mouth, the texture was so dreadful, I felt as if I was chewing on rubber. By the end of the meal, my jaw felt sore from all the rigorous exercise that I had put it through. It is a good thing I had ordered something to drink or the mountain of salt used to preserve this ancient slab of meat would have caused severe dehydration. At least now I know why they put so many different sauces on the table; to compensate for the lack of taste of their food. Maybe the service is so fast because everything has been sitting there since the place opened years ago. Giving this restaurant more than a star would be a crime against taste buds everywhere!
Great Beef Ribs – at least once a month I stop bye Blue Smoke for 1 1/2 racks of their Texas Style Beef Ribs , I call for pick-up when I leave the gym on my walk home that gives me a reason to drink a beer at the bar as I continue on my walk I have the pleasure of walking as I smell the ribs in the bag. My wife loves the ribs as well as myself and our Bulldog Bull.After all of us polish off the ribs my wife freezes the bones for Bull for days to come.
Great NYC BBQ – I always have a great time at Blue Smoke but this time seemed even better. The night I was there proved how much of a difference great service can make to a meal. We had an awesome server who made perfect suggestions and took great care of our table. The manager came over and asked how our meal was and then handed his card out and said if we needed anything to reach out. It was impeccable service in addition to an amazing dinner. We started with hush puppies which have an accompanying sauce that has a bit of a kick. We split the salmon, chicken and pulled pork alongside some mac and cheese. Oddly enough, for being a BBQ place, I'm not a huge fan of their ribs, but their other items more than make up for it. Their wings are seasoned to perfection and their mac and cheese is so rich and delicious. For dessert we had this bread pudding that had bits of bacon in it which sent us into a salty sweet food coma. Had a great night here!
Hit or Miss – I've been to Blue Smoke a handful of times since it opened and the ribs are definitely well above average for NYC. It's in the same league as the other popular city BBQ places...Dinosaur, RUB, Hill Country and probably better than Brother Jimmy's. The decor and atmosphere is a little unusual for a "rib joint" being a tad upscale but that has nothing to do with the food. Service is good as well as the bar but the quality of the food seems inconsistent. One night the food is great and another afternoon, it seemed leftover and dry. When it's good it's very good and when it's bad, it's not worth it and definitely over-priced. I even tried some of their ribs at a Mets game at Citi Field and was quite surprised at how good it was considering I was at a baseball game. For New York City, it's still well above average BBQ and worth a try...but if you're from Texas, Kansas City, Memphis or Carolina, you may be disappointed.
DMANBURGER "Blue Smoke" – DMANBURGER “Blue Smoke”
February 14, 2010
Ever since I started writing about burgers, people have harped on me to try Danny Meyer’s contribution to the burger world. I doggedly avoided patronizing the obvious invention of Shake Shack, opting not to anguish in long lines and potentially overrated smash burgers. Today I decided to sample his other beef emporium, Blue Smoke.This mouthwatering St.Louis natives BBQ joint features signature “cue” favorites such as ribs,beef,fowl, southern vegetable sides,mac and cheese and home-style desserts and pies. Their Blue Smoke burgers are on the list as a must try on many restaurant critics lips and today was my privilege to give Chef Kenny Callaghan and the genius restaurateur Danny Meyer’s creation a shot to see what the boys have learnt.
As I followed the manager to my table, I admired the factory/abattoir chic decor, surrounded by red-hot oversized booths, steel and concrete fixings and large close-up photos of pickles, potato, and various other historic nostalgia. The bar was a giant man perch, perfect for sampling the many home brews, while watching sports and gnawing on pork and beef treats. My table was in the back of a lively dining room in which the sound of jazz, jovial conversation and rib bones clanking in galvanized tins provided as makeshift BBQ spittoons filled the room. I ordered my Blue Smoke burger medium with good old American cheddar cheese and maple-cured bacon. The patty was a ground sirloin and arrived on a freshly toasted homemade brioche bun. After fixing an annoying wobbly table with a stack of coasters, my waiter proceeded to execute the story of the creation of my anticipated beef pleasure. He explained that my burger would be seasoned and char grilled with a secret mix of herbs neatly packaged and labeled “Magic Dust”. Although the name scarily reminded me of the other less legal kind of dust, I was confident that I was safe and secure with his description! After a short while my burger arrived with a mountainous portion of crispy French Fries and fresh lettuce and tomato. The taste of the burger was flavorful but, unfortunately was overcooked and left a dry aftertaste following a few bites. The bun was an excellent complement to the burger with its firmness and texture.
Despite all the state of the art high-tech barbeque grills,smokers and other pit masters essentials that are present in kitchen, the Blue Smoke burger was sadly disappointing. Hopefully Mr. Meyer and Chef Callaghan have targeted their talent here more toward their BBQ, because their burger skills were lacking this day. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the extensive menu and live jazz music which makes Blue Smoke a fun and entertaining pig-out spot. Try the ribs, brisket and home-style desserts and maybe leave the burgers for some of Mr. Meyers other restaurants!
what happened to this place? – What has happened? This place was once the BBQ restaurant to be. Just went there and seriously had one of the worst meal I had in years. Ordered babyback ribs, beans, mac' cheese, and creamed spinach. The ribs has the texture and look of dessicated corn beef and I had to spit out a lot of the meat licking that saltlick. Any reheated frozen ribs would taste so much better. And I'm not exaggerating. The side dishes are equally awful. The beans are unsurpassably pedestrian. The mac' cheese is a pile of goo of condensed butter I felt I just gulp down a bottle of tacky glue. The creamed spinach has astronomical sodium level. I walked out of the place very bewildered, and as I walked away I was infuriated by extremely low quality of the food. Any deli counter can whip up a more tasty combination. This place is hopeless if they keep serving this kind of food. I will never go back.
A Jewel to be Discovered – Entering this must stop-over for most native New Yorkers, you would think you were going to sit in a familiar bar. Instead, your lead to a sprawling rear area, in-where people are laughing, eating and enjoying this spectacular experience. I began my meal will an appetizer of Fat Back with a peanut butter & jelly vinaigrette. I know, but it was one of the most amazing app I have ever tasted and I'm quite a table hopper in this town.
Then, me and my best friend had an assortment of ribs that were to much to finish and overwhelming in fantastic taste. Not only was a doggy bag prepared, we added ribs and dessert for the road.
If you haven't dined here, do it now!!! I don't care what anyone tells you, find out why the place stays packed, the location is convenient and the experience haunts you to return. If at all possible, bring an inflatable bed to sleep it off before leaving, they will feed you into a coma.
Great food and Perfect City Hot Spot – I choose this restaurant because I wanted to try a new place and what better time to see what NYC has to offer than Restaurant Week 2009. So I was a little nervous when I saw a packed bar and restaurant but graciously planned ahead by making a reservation. Reservations are recommended so that the tension of waiting is void. Once seated I was blown away by the food and the service. I had the BBQ spare ribs with collard greens and the ribs fell right off the bone. The drinks were pretty good and the staff was friendly. I will def go back with a crowd and have some more of that homegorwn sauce. Check it out for yourself and enjoy!
My new favorite restaurant – This place was awesome. We ordered the chipotle wings, spicy cheese fries and fried calamari. Everything was so good. The restaurant decor is really cool as well - wide open space with a city-meets-southern BBQ Pit kind of feel.
Huge fan of Shake Shack, and Danny Meyer is equally as impressive here. No drawbacks - this place is a ust go.
Olive Charge for Martinis - unheard of! – I just came back from a $400+ client dinner. When the bill came, which was already over the top, I noticed there were ITEMIZED olive charges. The restaurant charged us for olives that were in the martinis. I will NEVER go back. I am a New Yorker, and consider myself pretty forgiving, but to have "olive" charges on the bill for all of the martinis is ridiculous and appalling, and I would not recommend Blue Smoke. In addition, I told the waitress that this was unheard of, and she still did not remove the olive charges from the bill. Too many great restaurants in NYC that serve great food and service, to ever go back.
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