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Wildwood BBQ

225 Park Avenue South

New York, NY 10003

(between 18th and 19th Avenues)

(212) 533-2500

 

 

categories: New York City BBQ, Big Lou Elrose,

Matt Fisher, BR Guest BBQ

 

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Behind the Scenes at Wildwood BBQ

(04/22/08)

 

On Sunday I got a chance to poke around Wildwood BBQ, scheduled to open for business later this week. Despite it being closed to the public, the kitchen was a whirlwind of activity, with meats being pulled out of the Ole Hickory smokers and holding bins for mock service (a dress rehearsal for the servers and the kitchen).

 

The open space is the work of noted restaurant designer David Rockwell, famous for his creative use of materials. Nearly half the room is allotted to the bar area. There's aged wood everywhere, unique seat constructions and slanted garage doors above the bar.

 

The menu was still unavailable, but executive pitmaster "Big Lou" Elrose promises there will be plenty of variety. Ribs will include spares, babybacks, beef short ribs andlamb ribs. Salads and seafood entrees will offer an alternatve for the non-barbecue fan. After the opening, the menu will expand to include more variety, with some specialty items like Kansas City style barbecue spaghetti. Cornbread isn't usually one of the main attractions at a barbecue joint, but I'm predicting some of the early reviews will give Wildwood's cornbread some focus.

 

Each table will have a condiment caddy with Wildwood's classic barbecue sauce, Big Lou's secret sauce (raspberry chipotle), Dirty Dick's hot sauce and Wildwood's rib dust (dry rub).

 

I sampled a few items and was impressed by the juiciness of the meat and—surprising for me—by the quality of the sauces. The rib I sampled had a sauce that tasted like a more refined version of Blues Hog, the sauce that's very successful on the competition circuit. I'm looking forward to ordering a rack on my first visit. The chicken with apricot BBQ sauce has definite crossover appeal.

 

It's obviously very early in the game, but Wildwood BBQ strikes me as that rare place where there's enough sophistication in both the food and the space to draw the non-BBQ crowd, with high caliber authentic barbecue that will still impress the purists. I'm guessing it's going to be very successful.

 

 

 

other opinion/info:

White Trash BBQ's review of Wildwood BBQ

Beef Aficionado's review of Wildwood BBQ

Wildwood Menupages listing with online menu

 

 

 

A nice looking sign that's clearer from further away.

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The bar encompasses nearly half the space. Those are garage doors above the bar.

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The list of beers in a pig drawing.

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Chickens in one of two Ole Hickory smokers.

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A pile of barbecue chicken.

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Pitmaster Matt Fisher plates the chicken.

 

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A good looking leg quarter.

 

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Executive pitmaster Big Lou Elrose hoists a brisket from the smoker.

 

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Here's Big Lou again with a rack of ribs.

 

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Racks and racks of spare ribs.

 

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A thick cut with your choice of sauce.

 

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Wings.

 

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A good assortment of condiments. If Sammy Davis Jr was a cowboy, he'd be on the jar of Big Lou's Secret Sauce.

 

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Cornbread, served in a cast iron skillet and drizzled with honey.

 

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Pitmaster Matt Fisher and executive pitmaster Big Lou Elrose.

 

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Montana graces the front of the house.

 

 

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