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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
Posted by latillin on 02/19/2006
Went to Blue Smoke tonight. The waitstaff was friendly, even if the last sip of my beer was whisked away without so much as an "Are you finished with that?" Had the baby back ribs, with a side of fries, mac & cheese and hush-puppies. The remoulade that comes with the hush-puppies makes this dish a real specialty. The mac & cheese was creamy, to put it mildly; very tasty, but for the hint of chemically Velvita-esque after-taste. The fries - excellent: they arrived fresh, hot, with a crispy exterior (no batter on these little critters) and with the genuine taste of potato without the sometimes overwhelming soil taste skin-on fries. But what about the ribs? Well, they're tender, meaty, juicy, and pack a good deal of flavor. But when they're tasted at room temperature, at the end of the meal. there is a little hint of bologna to their flavor. They're pink all the way through; no smoke ring to see, exactly. They arrive at the table dressed in Blue Smoke's lighter bar-B-que sauce, which, if one tastes it on its own, has a distinct air of smoke as well - liquid smoke perhaps? One wonders whether the complexity of the ribs' smokiness is built up from several layers of flavorings, rather than from, say, actual long smoking - you know, the sort of smoking that leaves a distinct ring of pink just under the outer edge of the meat. A general impression? If you want an impressive "cloth napkin" restaraunt experience with a menu that focuses on traditional bar-B-que type dishes, Blue Smoke is your man. If you're serious about smoked meat, cloth napkins be damned, you can do better elsewhere in this great city of ours.
Posted by Fooder on 02/19/2006
I'm a huge BBQ fan and I find the ribs decent but overly smokey tasting. They finally got a usable sauce. Was not fond of orange colored vinegar base sauce. Really like some select items. Burger is outstanding if you like medium-rare and juicy. Wings are solid and nice change from standard buffalo. Brisket sandwich is good. Mac & cheese is the best. Potato chips and blue cheese/bacon dip is a great beer drinking snack. Toffee bread pudding is killer desert. Service is spotty and they seem to have so many hosts that no one knows what going on.
Posted by Elizabeth on 02/16/2006
I was expecting the Southern Hospitality that is touted by their signs all over the restaurant. However, I got either stuck up or clueless staff, a suboptimal table and very little flexibility. The place is way too crowded to enjoy yourself on a weekend and no one you ask can accomodate you as they should in a restaurant that isn't cheap!
Posted by Anonymous on 02/11/2006
My husband and I were excited to try this bbq place. The service was average, at best. The baby back ribs were not very good, and the brisket was dry. We were pretty disappointed. We've had better ribs at lots of other places, mostly outside of the city. The atmosphere was fun.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/09/2006
It was a really nice, spontaneous visit to blue smoke. no reservations on a saturday, so the line was long. but basically everyone was nice, and the food was really, really good. if not toned down for the new york picky palate. i've had memphis bbq, among others, so i know. the mac and cheese will be the best you ever try, and even the iceberg wedge salad was great. i didn't find it too expensive either.
Posted by Steve on 02/05/2006
Incredible quality. I have loved bbq my whole life, from memphis to k.c. to texas and the carolinas. Blue Smoke is the most consistent and superb quality I have had. The sides are incredible, burgers are awesome, and the Blue Smoke Ale should not be missed.
Posted by Jennifer on 01/25/2006
Every Danny Meyer restaurant I have dined in has been exceptional. The wait staff at Blue Smoke is perfectly trained as you would expect for FINE dining, but the atmosphere is casual so you can hang out and have fun. An interesting menu/wine list with lots of unusual options -- fabulous Mojitos -- my favorite Murray Hill restaurant. This restaurant never disappoints . Days after eating there I am still thinking about how much I enjoyed my dining experience.