Blue Smoke

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85 Very Good

Blue Smoke is a dependable Manhattan barbecue joint from the city’s preeminent restaurateur.

116 E. 27th St., New York, NY, 10016


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Known For

The lowdown

The historian Jonathan Bass has written that the three kinds of barbecue restaurants are black-owned; white “joints”; and upscale urban white. Blue Smoke is this last. But the restaurant’s chef, Louisiana native Jean-Paul Bourgeois, is clearly respectful of sacred barbecue traditions, and the food here is terrific. Try the five-pepper brisket, which at lunch can be ordered as part of an $18 special with a biscuit, one side, coleslaw, and a pickle. Choose the rich baked beans to accompany the supersoft brisket, charred nicely, not quite to candied-edge level, and served with hot sauce. Also: Other Southern sides are lovely, like pimento cheese. It’s the kind of place you might visit with your parents for a graduation dinner, or maybe on a Sunday night with 6-year-olds in tow (there’s a kids’ menu, and the Danny Meyer service is, natch, smooth and gracious).

What you need to know

Insider Tips A Whole Pit special — “every meat and every side with pickles, jalapeños and biscuits” — runs $40 per person and is excellent for groups.

Recommended DishesBaby back ribs; five-pepper beef brisket; mac ‘n’ cheese; banana pudding.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelBring earplugs!