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The Smoke Joint

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The Smoke Joint

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Address: 87 South Elliott Place (at Lafayette)
City: Brooklyn, NY
Zip: 11217
Phone: (718) 797-1011
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Chef: Craig Samuel
Cuisine: Barbecue
2nd Cuisine:
Area: Fort Greene
Entree Price: $10-15


In recent years, New York has become an oasis for barbecue lovers, who simply refer to it as "cue." In fact, since the arrival of Blue Smoke, smokers have been cropping up all over the place. There's R.U.B. in Chelsea, Daisy Mae's in Hell's Kitchen and old Favorites like Virgil's and Sylvias, along with chains like Brother Jimmy's and Dallas BBQ in between.

But the road is paved with those that tried and failed, like Smoked and RIB. Yes, barbecue is tough business. You need the right cut of meat, the right rub and just the right amount of smoke. Daisy Mae's leads the pack on all fronts, but a Brooklyn newcomer is making a serious challenge. The Smoke Joint, owned Craig Samuel and Ben Grossman, is now dishing out solid barbecue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

First, what not to expect. There are no waiters, only counter service. Tables are in short supply, and the house favorite beer arrives in a can. And, oh yes, there's no dessert.

Now, what you should expect. The night we visited all the beef ribs, short ribs and chicken wings were sold out. We took that as a good sign. We settled for a rack of pork ribs ($20/$10 half) which was not settling at all. The ribs proved meaty, flavorful and smoky. A "hollapena" sauce added some extra heat. The "Hacked Chicken" ($8) in a "jointsmoke" sauce was finger-lickin' good. The only disappointment was the angus dog ($3) which failed to live up to all the hype, although my 5-year-old seemed to like it just fine. Sides fared well from mac-and-cheese to fries dusted with rub mix and baked beans with "hunks o' meat." The standout - delicious smoky greens with chunks of garlic. Fish lovers have a choice of 'cued shrimp or crispy catfish.

The Smoke joint is a welcome addition to Brooklyn's bbq scene. The staff is friendly and the ribs first-rate!

Review By: Thomas Rafael