There’s a beast in the kitchen of Paris’s very first smokehouse: a two-ton cast iron furnace that churns out smoked meats succulent enough to make the most jaded carnivores drool.
Cured victuals of all shapes and sizes are served in an inspired setting that takes in butcher’s knives, baskets of carrots and a bourbon bar (choose from 50 varieties including Blanton’s, Elijah Craig and High West American Prairie Reserve). There are four dishes in the €10 price range: Black Angus steak, free range pulled pork, pork ribs and free range chicken. The ribs melt like butter on the tongue and the chicken leg crackles between your teeth. The White Angus prime rib clocks in at a dear €24, but it’s a definite highlight. Only the bland, overcooked side dishes of coleslaw, baked potato, vegetables and beans disappoint – at €4 a tater you’d expect a little more.
The Beast is full at all times, mostly with bearded Parisians and homesick Americans. This makes for a convivial atmosphere, but ensures that come 8pm you’ll likely have to queue, as the restaurant only takes reservations for parties of six or more. Oh, and don’t wear anything that you don’t want to smell of a fireplace for days thereafter. You’ve been warned.