Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke BBQ NYC Opens in Battery Park City
Restaurateur extraordinaire Danny Meyer has already conquered great swaths of our fair city: the Flatiron and Madison Square (Shake Shack, Blue Smoke BBQ, Eleven Madison Park); Union Square and Gramercy (Union Square Cafe and Maialino); the Whitney and the MoMA (Untitled and the Modern) and, really, everywhere in this town that he's set down his trademark blend of impeccable, friendly service and first-rate food, prepared with love. Last week Meyer launched the second wave of his invasion of Battery Park City and, judging by the crowds we saw the other night, the area's populace couldn't be more happy about their new food king.
Danny Meyer's first foray into this one-time culinary wasteland was the Battery Park City Shake Shack, which was initially, and remarkably, line-free, but has now been fully "discovered" by the locals (the line's not Madison Square Park-sized, true, but now that it's too cold to sit outside, tables are at a serious premium). Then a few days ago Meyer opened TWO additional restaurants basically across the street, the high-end North End Grill (still just open for lunch only) and, most exciting for us, a spanking-new outpost of Danny Meyer's great barbecue joint, Blue Smoke Battery Park City. We stopped by early on a bitter cold night recently and the place was jumping with families, couples, and people like us, who are always up for big stack of ribs piled high on a plate.
We've eaten at the Flatiron Blue Smoke BBQ a couple of times before, and pretty much loved everything, so we tried to order a few non-usual suspect. (That said, from days past we can recommend the Deviled Eggs, the Chipotle Chicken Wings, the Baked Pit Beans, and anything with Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip.) Take the Pickled Ruby Red Shrimp starter, a Battery Park City Blue Smoke menu exclusive and consisting of six sweet, briny crustaceans swimming in a jar of vinegar along with fennel, onions and coriander: maybe could have used some crackery bread to add another textural note, but it's an invigorating snack nonetheless. Also solid was the bucket of Salt and Vinegar Pork Rinds, which were surprisingly airy and are guaranteed to go well with whatever you have in your glass. The only disappointment of the night was our plate of Roasted Root Vegetables, mostly because because said vegetables (and accompanying radicchio and Brussels sprouts) were sadly un-roasted, with none of the caramelization that make the method so appealing.
But you don't go to Blue Smoke NYC for shrimp or veggies. You go to Blue Smoke restaurant for barbecue, and MEAT, and in that category, they deliver. We had the more-than-enough Rib Sampler For Two, which features four Memphis Baby Backs (lean, covered in Magic Dust), four Kansas City Spareribs (saucy, sweetish, juicy as all get-out), and two huge Texas Beef Ribs, the best of the bunch, dry-rubbed with salt and pepper, deeply smoky, tasting like your dream-come-true jerky were also moist and tender. The room at Blue Smoke Battery Park City is crowded but convivial, with a long bar good for walk-ins who don't want to wait 40 minutes for a table, like us. And the service, of course, hits all the right notes. We'll be back… as, it seems, will everyone else.
Blue Smoke Barbecue Battery Park City details
Danny Meyer's Blue Smoke BBQ in Battery Park City is located on Vesey Street near North End Avenue (and right around the corner, by the way, of the rarely-crowded, eleven-screen Regal movie theater), and is for now serving dinner on Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday until 11:00. For more details and a look at the complete Blue Smoke Battery Park City menu, please see the restaurant's website, here.