2017-05-24 / Restaurant of the Week

Salt & Bone Smokehouse

Just in time for summer, Salt and Bone Smokehouse opens on 30th Avenue for all to enjoy. Let’s face it…you can’t smoke meat in your apartment in New York City, at least not without a neighbor calling the fire department. Thankfully, there’s no need to, because Salt and Bone Smokehouse, which opened two weeks ago, has it covered. That is, covered and smoked!

The concept of Salt and Bone is simplicity: Take free range, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and poultry, season it simply with salt and pepper, and smoke it for hours over white oak until the meat just melts in your mouth. The rustic interior with hefty wood tables, benches, and open garage doors that face the street set the perfect mood for the ‘no frills’ service. The triangular shape of the restaurant has a raised dining area with a separate bar for your convenience, in case you’re having a beer emergency.

It starts when you check out the menu which includes succulent ribs, brisket, sausage, rotisserie chicken rubbed with Moroccan herbs, and smoked turkey. Next, place your order at the counter and give them your table number. While you wait for your order, which comes miraculously quickly, order some of Salt and Bone’s unique cocktails. We tried the “Roadie” mixed with quality tequila, citrus, and a touch of honey. The “Carolina” is rye, amaro, and grapefruit juice for a refreshing concoction. Other clever cocktails include the “Cadillac,” “Flaps,” and “Georgia.” What goes better with these juicy cuts than beer? There are over a dozen available on draught, all from New York State, and another dozen in bottles in cans.

By the time you’ve taken a sip, your outrageous platter of meat is delivered to your table, on a metal tray lined with butcher paper. Your mouth will start watering as you slice into the tasty brisket and dip it into the house made sauce. Mike, the professional smoker, said it take 14 hours to render brisket this good. You rarely find smoked turkey in restaurants and I couldn’t believe how juicy and tender it was. Next, we sank our teeth into Fred Flinstonesized, hefty beef ribs, smoked for five hours. The meat just came off the bone. Their signature ribs smoke for four hours and the accompanying tamarind-molasses sauce is the perfect complement to the toothsome, smoky meat. Half racks are available for $22/full rack for $42. Pulled pork smokes for eight hours to impart the wonderful, woodsy flavor, and the beef sausage is great too–oh, and there’s even a vegan chorizo sausage.

Man cannot live on meat alone, or maybe you’re the vegetarian in the group, so order a bunch of sides. The crisp green beans are served cold with a garlicky sauce, while the broccoli roast is topped with asiago cheese and curry. I loved the red cabbage cole slaw, and the spicy mac and cheese is a must, served bubbling hot in a cast iron skillet. Pickles, pickled vegetables, and Mexican style corn on the cob are popular as well. Order “Family Style” to stay or to go and share a Trinity of three meats, or take a whole rotisserie chicken to go, with its savory herbs that make it so juicy.

Salt and Bone Smokehouse is a simple, unpretentious restaurant serving high quality, naturally smoked meat and poultry. Most notably, the meat is very lean, and not greasy or fatty. Even after the large portions we ate, we felt sated but not guilty, so we ordered a slice of pecan pie to share. Still, a walk home is a good idea. Salt and Bone is a great place for groups of friends, or a casual family dinner. They’re open seven days a week; Monday to Friday from 5pm to 10pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from noon. Bring a big appetite and roll up your sleeves for a great meal at Salt and Bone Smokehouse.

32-07 30th Avenue
Astoria , New York 11102


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