Blue Smoke

Editor's Note: The original Blue Smoke closed in 2020, but Blue Smoke’s Battery Park City location is open.

When I moved to New York in 2002, I did so in part because I wanted to eat in all the restaurants here. One place in particular was top of mind, mostly because I had read about it in Food And Wine or Readers Digest or some other “magazine” - a new BBQ spot from some young hotshot restaurateur named Danny Meyer. Two years later, fate had me living across the street.

To say that Blue Smoke is an Infatuation favorite would be an understatement. This restaurant is woven into my own personal history, and therefore the history of this website. I used to eat here at least twice a week, including on the first snow of every season, and for good reason. For the majority of the last decade, this was New York City’s best BBQ restaurant. That, and I apparently have a weird obsession with weather-related rituals.

Since those days, I have moved out of the neighborhood, Blue Smoke has had a chef change and a menu overhaul, and the NYC BBQ scene is a whole different thing. There are now at least five other viable BBQ joints around NYC, many of which only exist because Blue Smoke and the Big Apple BBQ Festival paved the way for them. Is it still the best in town? We’re not interested in having that conversation. All you need to concern yourself with is that the food here is still very good despite all the change. There’s still nothing better than walking through that door, smelling the smoke, ordering up a bourbon from their extensive selection, and eating meat until you want to die a little. Or at least until the snow gods have been appeased.

Food Rundown

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Deviled Eggs

My mother makes an amazing deviled egg, so I am tough to please when it comes to other people’s versions. This one may be better. Sorry mom.

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Warm Barbecue Potato Chips

Homemade chips, served with a blue cheese and bacon dip. You’re going to want some of these on your table.

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Macaroni and Cheese

This is and has always been one of our absolute favorite mac and cheese dishes in the city. None of that bread crumb nonsense, no bacon, just smooth and creamy goodness in a hot iron skillet. Get some.

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So yeah, this is jambalaya, in pasta form. I’m not sure when they start handing out Nobel Peace Prizes this year, but I feel pretty confident about this being the first one ever awarded to a plate of food.

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Big Beef Short Rib

A huge, meaty rib. Know that this is not a Texas beef rib like they used to serve here, but more of a pot roast on a bone thing. It’s good, and it also costs $30. That said, it could probably feed a family of four for several days.

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7 Pepper Rubbed Beef Brisket

A nice plate of brisket with a lot of flavor.

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Pulled Pork Shoulder

We’ve always loved the pulled pork at Blue Smoke, thanks to the liberally applied vinegar sauce on top. She won’t let you down.