Bill Fletcher and Matt Fisher slap a heap of bold flavor onto their bird at this Gowanus ’cue cafeteria. Before a four-hour smoking over red oak and sugar maple, the poultry is covered in a dry rub of 30-plus seasonings (allspice and thyme are in the mix). It gets a glistening glaze of tangy Red Hook Red barbecue sauce at the finish.
The smoked brisket is the pièce de résistance of Hugh Mangum’s critical darling. Simply seasoned with a salt-pepper-paprika rub and lovingly smoked for up to 22 hours in the J&R, the beef is a minimalist masterpiece, moist with a hefty top cap—request slices from the fatty end—and charred, flavorful bark. The only thing more delicious than the generous pile of meat is the bargain-bin price.
Brisket may be in the name of Food & Drink winner Daniel Delaney’s Williamsburg joint, but his pork ribs—pepped up with a paprika-and-cayenne rub—are just as top-notch. Attentively smoked in an oak-fueled fire, the glistening meat are so tender and juicy, it won’t take long for you to blow through the roll of paper towels at your table. $13.00 for ½ lb.
Onieals Grand Street
A former brothel, speakeasy and gambling parlor, Onieals had quite the heydey during the Prohibition era. Though imbibing is legal once again, some of the vestiges of the bar’s nefarious origins still survive; the tunnel that bootleggers used to use to smuggle in booze now serves as the wine cellar. With an extensive menu of beer, wine, spirits and inventive cocktails, the bar has something for anyone looking to take the edge off. These days, Onieals also serves an upscale menu of classic American dishes with hints of influence from other cuisines. At brunch, try the shrimp and grits ($15) or the omelette with goat cheese, shiitake mushrooms and asparagus ($14). For dinner, start with the filet mignon carpaccio with parmesan and horseradish creme ($19) or grilled oysters on the half shell ($15), then move on to sesame-crusted tuna with tempura green beans ($26) or hammered chicken in a shallot wine sauce ($23).
Venue says: “Wednesday's Happy Hour 4-7pm, $1 Oysters all night. Late Night Food Menu until 1am.”