Despite “smoke” being part of its name, this contemporary new bistro in the Cultural District’s shadows defies any comparison to barbecue joints as we understand them. Yes, a wood smoker out back is employed to turn out tender, peppery beef brisket, but those slices are accompanied by white truffle-infused potato salad; likewise, sweet-sauced baby back Duroc ribs come with celery root slaw; and medium-rare prime rib slabs arrive cozied up to fingerling potatoes. The fiery Korean-spiced double-cut pork chop with crunchy, charred broccolini proved a winner, as did tots smothered in queso and crushed bacon. Lighter in effect, a schooner filled with shrimp-and-avocado cocktail hit all the right notes. Rounding out the experience, the stylish bar, with its stools covered in a smart houndstooth fabric, serves up an irresistible pickle-juice martini and a smoky old-fashioned, among other clever libations. Next trip, we’ll get the ribeye French dip and the brûléed banana pudding.
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A contemporary spot offers plenty of delicious surprises--this is not your dad's barbecue.