I would strongly suggest that people wait until the fuss simmers before going to Danny Meyer's new place on East 27th Street called Blue Smoke. Sorry to say but I've had better ribs at Dallas B.B.Q for 1/5 of the price with sides thrown in at no extra cost.
I arrived at 5:30 because I figured I wouldn't get in otherwise. The restaurant was pretty empty at that time. The fellow at the front desk offered me a seat either in the front (where people arrive) smack in the middle of the room OR at the bar. I didn't want to sit at the tiny table because it would have been like being in a goldfish bowl and chomping on ribs. So I sat at the bar and ordered a draft beer. The bartender/waitress was surprised when I asked for the menu.
The bar has tacky hanging lights and the room is okay but nothing spectacular. No sooner had I settled at the bar stool when I was flanked by six guys with loud voices. It was just like Sorority House. I spotted an empty bar stool at the other end and moved there. I told the same front desk guy that it wasn't so great to sit at the bar with Frat House. He seemed surprised and said "Oh, I love sitting at the bar." Good, you go sit there and have an elbow shoved in your ribs! The rest of the people at the bar were drinking; men that looked like they were from the neighborhood and after-work types: starry-eyed and happy to be in this new 'hot' spot.
The ribs tasted like liquid smoke and there was hardly any meat on them. It was served with a small saucer of so-so cole slaw (cabbage and shredded carrots). I ordered a side of collard greens which had the same salty smoked taste as the ribs and was served in the same portion-controlled saucer. The size of the saucer is about the size I give to my cat when she gets a milk treat. Trust me, Sylvia's has nuthin to worry about. No cornbread was offered or any kind of bread. I guess this is also extra.
Well, I'm not going back -- Danny Meyer's restaurant or not. Go see for yourself but wait until the hooplah dies down a bit.
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