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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
Posted by culinary critic on 10/29/2009
Went to Blue Smoke a couple weekends ago with a friend after hearing it had good bbq. Restaurant space was big enough and staff was friendly. Seems like it gets a bit crowded downstairs so was happy to be seated in upper seating area. Started off with a lynchburg lemonade which had a good amount of spirits and sweetness while my friend had love for sale but she said she's had better. Skipped an appetizer and moved directly to the main course. Price was a bit up there especially since it doesn't come with sides but because I wanted to try a bit of everything I ordered the rhapsody in ’cue and my friend had the rib sampler. We decided to share a few sides - mac n' cheese, coleslaw and collard greens. For my plate, the sausage was tasty but you get about half a link. Been to a few bbq places that fail to put even a minuscule amount of salt and pepper on their meats so I was thankful that at least here the chicken, ribs and pulled pork had seasoning. Even though it had good flavor I didn't think it was extra special and I wouldn't consider it the best bbq I've ever had. My friend thought her ribs were just okay as well. The mac n' cheese had a very thick sauce which gave a peanut butter like consistency in your mouth. The slaw is vinegar based and I mean vinegar based. This was the first time I had to pucker while eating coleslaw. Collards had no flavor and the leaves were left whole. Never seen that before. I must say though that dessert was really good. I had the sticky toffee pudding which was warm and yummy and I sampled my friends pear and cranberry crisp which had a tasty crumb topping and crisp fruit. Overall, there were some hits and misses. Bbq meats weren't anything to right home about (wasn't the worst nor the greatest) and the sides had some faults as well but they redeemed themselves somewhat with my cocktail and dessert. Since it wasn't a horrible experience I'll probably give Blue Smoke one more try and sample other sides and entrees.
Posted by Not So Much on 09/17/2009
This place is way over rated!!!! When the best thing a bbq restaurant makes is a burger, its got to make you think. The pulled pork is not edible. PEOPLE, This is not real bbq. Anyway, enjoy
Posted by Rit on 08/23/2009
To be fair it is very good food. I mean, seriously it is good. My problem is I usually get take out and this is the second time I ordered take out and found out once I got home that I was missing a side. When I alerted them about this they were accommodating but making the mistake twice is going into the shame me once territory. I will give them one more chance (even though I shouldn't but they are good) but may have to go to Hill Country if they screw up again
Posted by Caroline on 08/09/2009
We had a delicious birthday celebration here. Fried chicken was delicious. Mashed potatoes --- to die for. They were wonderful with kids - gave us a pig-shaped uncooked cookie for kids to decorate with sprinkles and returned to us cooked after the meal. Kids sugar snap peas were way overcooked. While we ate too much, it wasn't decadent.
Posted by anonymous on 07/06/2009
This place is great for the casual "no frills dining", and it really is not suppose to be anything else, food usually very good and I have never complained about it - the only problem I have ever had is the entree coming out way to fast after the starter.....really annoying! Certainly reccommend sharing entrees unless you have a huge appetite!! P.S. Tim you gotta stop ordering those ribs numerous if you are continuously not happy with them!
Posted by Tim from NYC on 06/11/2009
Being a Danny Meyer restaurant, Blue Smoke gets most things right--the atmosphere is smart but not pretentious, the beer list is outstanding, prices are reasonable by New York City standards, and, most importantly, the BBQ is authentic and represents the most important BBQ traditions in the US (Memphis, KC and Texas). However, in the most important aspect--the rack ribs--the restaurant continually comes up short. I've had the KC, Memphis and Texas ribs numerous times, and they suffer from the same shortcoming that all other ribs in the City share: they're dry. Rack ribs should be tender and juicy and fall right off the bone. You can only accomplish this by agonizingly slow cooking, usually 8-10 hours. No NYC rib restaurant, Blue Smoke included, is willing to go through this basic but all-important step to get the ribs perfect. New York is unique in that you can get very good food of all kinds in the city, but even at the most expensive establishments the food--be it sushi, Italian, Chinese, French or BBQ--is never as good as it is at an above-average restaurant in the places where that food originates. While an above average establishment in every way, Blue Smoke is no exception to this unfortunate fact.
Posted by anonymous on 06/10/2009
I've been to a few BBQ places in the city and this one definitely takes the cake. The tables aren't on top of each other, like most of the other restaurants, and it's not too noisy. The Kansas ribs and mac n cheese were really good, and the all side sauces are a nice little something extra. For all of the food (and a beer each), the bill only came to $60, which is pretty reasonable for a solid mean in NYC.