Blue Smoke, New York, has Closed

I first learned that Blue Smoke has closed via Ryan Cooper of Smoke Sheet fame’s Facebook feed. To be precise, Blue Smoke first closed back in March at the beginning of the New York City lockdown. The owners now have announced that it will never reopen.

Blue Smoke is – or was – remarkable in a number of ways. It was and remains the only barbecue place I’ve ever tried in New York City. (I need to get up there.) It was easily the most expensive meal I’ve ever had at a barbecue place ($128 for two with tip). And it had, on their outstanding chicken wings, perhaps the best white sauce I’ve ever had.

Blue Smoke also remains the only place on the face of the earth in which I’ve ever seen people eat barbecued ribs with a knife and fork. And Blue Smoke is the only barbecue place in which I’ve ever seen people drinking cocktails with umbrellas. The world is full of bizarre folkways.

Robert Moss has a retrospective on Blue Smoke in the current issue of the Cue Sheet. It turns out that after I ate there, Blue Smoke shifted away from their ground-breaking but ultimately losing effort to match the various traditional barbecue styles, an effort that John Shelton Reed styles the International House of Barbecue, to a more New Yorkish place, with things like cured duck, chicken liver pâté, and Cajun court bouillon. I really hope they saved that white sauce recipe.


As always, you can click “follow” on our front page and receive blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.


2 thoughts on “Blue Smoke, New York, has Closed

  1. I regret that I never got to Blue Smoke, but my buddy Vince Staten (the *Real Barbecue* Vince Staten) did. He was not impressed, except by the prices. “My taste is mostly in my mouth,” he said.
    Still, they did their research before they opened, which is commendable, and we shouldn’t forget their role in starting the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.
    Thanks for linking to my article.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s