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Manhattan

Blue Smoke--my 2 cents (a bit long)

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Restaurants & Bars

Blue Smoke--my 2 cents (a bit long)

Stephanie L. | Apr 5, 2002 08:28 AM

So, I gave Blue Smoke a try last night. I had reservations for 6:00 PM and was seated promptly even though I was a little earlier. The bar was already crowded and by the time I left around 7:20 every table was taken and the bar was three-deep. The hostesses were friendly and the service was amiable--always a good sign when one is dining alone. I sat far in the back, right by the big skylight window. The room is big with high ceilings, but you could still smell the barbecue (don't know if this a good sign or not). Crowd consisted of nicely dressed professionals for the most part, with many women who looked like they didn't eat a lot of BBQ, if you know what I mean.

Drink selection was impressive. They had about 8 beers on tap and 25-30 at least in bottles. The tequila, whiskey, and scotch selection was large, with a good mixture of moderate & pricey choices, and they did have a wine list of about 20-25 bottles (though I can't imagine having wine with BBQ).

And the food? Well, I think they've worked out some of the opening day kinks. Fry bread was absolutely addictive, even without the jalapeno mayonnaise side. You get 4 big, greasy-in-a-good-way pieces, which is a lot for one person (I had to add that to my doggie bag). The St. Louis ribs were moist and tender, and I appreciated the not as sloppy dry rub. There's a whole bottle of sauce on the table if you like your ribs wet. I got the small size, which was $12.95 for a rack of 8 ribs plus coleslaw. The slaw wasn't drowning in mayo, but I personally wasn't terribly impressed (just my take--there was nothing _wrong_ with it). Got the pit beans with pork as a side, and it would have been very good if it hadn't had an undertone of charcoal. Dessert was apple crisp with vanilla ice cream--crisp was tasty but ice cream was blah even for vanilla.

The price is definitely not as cheap as Big Ed's BBQ Shack, but _very_ reasonable for a Danny Meyer place. With tax, the bill came to just under $34 for appetizer, entree, side, dessert, and one mug of beer, and boy was I stuffed. My only suggestion is they give you moist towelettes--the napkin was too small to do full-on BBQ duty.

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