The award-winning former executive chef at the well-regarded (but now closed) Fournou’s Ovens in the Stanford Court hotel in San Francisco, Larry Vito, has just opened BBQ Smokehouse, and “I honestly haven’t tasted anything as good since I attended South by Southwest last year in Austin,” raves PauliBee.

Pork ribs are meaty, trimmed St. Louis style, and permeated with smoke, says Melanie Wong, who tracked down this place after trying some of its ’cue at a contest. That smoke comes from applewood, which Chef Vito says he prefers for a finer, sweeter smoke. His own style is close to Memphis, but with some latitude for personal expression. Barbecue chicken may even appeal to those who aren’t usually fans. It’s pink, moist, and “so delicious from the apple smoke, dry rub, and a light glaze of his own non-sweet tomato based sauce,” says Melanie. The chef wants his meats to stand alone, and indeed they do.

Brisket shows the influence of Vito’s classical French training, served with a sauce that’s a reduction of the beef drippings and aromatics. It’s supertender, says rworange (well, it did get smoked for 14 hours) and delicious even cold.

If you’re still hungry for dessert, the OD Cookie next door at Patisserie Angelica may not send you to the hospital, but it does have cracklike qualities. Hounds tell themselves they can have just a little, but then end up eating “another… and, another–until there was none left” (Cynsa).

BBQ Smokehouse [Sonoma County]
6811 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol

Patisserie Angelica [Sonoma County]
6821 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol

Board Links: BBQ Smokehouse in Sebastopol – Opens June 16, 5pm
BBQ Contest Winners – Celebrate Healdsburg
Patisserie Angelica’s OD (overdose) Cookie

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