Two new barbecue restaurants give the classic Southern-style of cooking a big apple flair. Zagat editor Kelly Dobkin filed the following report for NY1.
Barbecue enthusiast Bill Fletcher is the man behind a new Brooklyn eatery that puts its own unique spin on BBQ, with an emphasis on high-quality locally sourced ingredients.
"When we opened Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, our goal was to create a classic counter service barbecue joint," Fletcher says. "We’re in a urban setting here in Brooklyn, a little bit different than Memphis and Texas and Kansas City. We bring a lot of pork, brisket, ribs to the great neighborhood in Gowanus."
The wood used to make Fletcher’s smoky BBQ comes from a farmer in upstate New York, and the J and R pit comes directly from Mesquite Texas.
"It’s a full-on log-burning barbecue smoker with no gas and no interference between the wood smoke and the heat that comes with the fire and the interaction with the meat and the wood," says Matt Fisher, pitmaster at Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue. "So it’s as close to an authentic live-fire barbecue product as you can get. That’s what makes it special."
Another new BBQ hall is The Strand Smokehouse in Astoria, Queens, which serves up a mix of smokehouse classics.
"The feeling we’re going for is definitely casual, kind of roadhouse-y, but we left enough room for strollers for brunch and we wanted to be 'neighborhood,'" says Eric Miley, chef at The Strand Smokehouse. "The wood is reclaimed, found here and there, guy in the neighborhood this, guy in the neighborhood that, and that’s really what it’s all about."
In addition to serving up a variety of hand-carved BBQ meats, the restaurant also offers an impressive selection of craft beers, bourbons and signature cocktails.
"The cocktail program taken care of by a great guy Dan Bronson, and the whiskeys, I mean, they’re behind me and they speak for themselves," Miley says. "The artwork is great on the barrels. That’s what’s in there, and nobody else has that."
For more information on these and other restaurants, go to blog.zagat.com.