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Sure, Smoke Modern Barbeque’s decor is sleek (concrete floors, abstract artwork) and its dishes are inspired. But make no mistake: The Basalt restaurant’s menu is firmly rooted in traditional Southern recipes.
Smoke’s bayou-style sides—oysters, cheesy grits, and fried okra—make excellent accessories, but just like any good, down-home cookout, the star is the meat. Each piece is delicately smoked, simmered, or grilled in the open kitchen. Impatient diners may get antsy waiting for the slow-cooked offerings but it’s worth the wait. Just don’t wait too late in the day to visit, a disclaimer on Smoke’s menu warns of running out of popular items. And it’s true, on past visits I’ve had to do without the superb pulled pork.
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Although chef-owner Jamie Theriot focuses primarily on Southern cuisine, he doesn’t discriminate in his barbecue techniques. This diverse approach manifests in a quartet of house-made sauces: a viscous Kansas City-style potion (try it on the tender brisket), a smoldering Texas variety, a vinegary Carolina variant, and the vibrant Georgia gold mustard (my personal favorite atop the pulled pork). If none of these on-table blends make you sweat enough, ask for the super spicy XXX—available by request only.
Bonus: Don’t miss the daily rotating meaty mac and cheese offering, delicious weekend brunch (with mega-hearty fare like pulled pork benedicts and burnt end hash) or the surprisingly large cocktail menu. I’m partial to the minimalist whiskey sour, blended with house-made sour mix forged from freshly squeezed lemons.
241 Harris St., Willits Town Center, Basalt, 970-927-5158
—Image via Shutterstock