The art of smoking food, especially meat, has been around for ages. Not only does the method of smoking enhance flavor, it also preserves it. Restaurants around Denver are embracing the old-school method by installing in-house smokers. The trend has been gaining popularity in new restaurants as well as newly installed in various kitchens. To taste this trend for yourself, head to one of these non-barbecue spots.
- Blackbelly Market: Hosea Rosenberg’s first restaurant truly brings a farm to table experience as the restaurant’s farm, Blackbelly Farm, provides a large amount of the ingredients utilized. The new state-of-the-art kitchen has its own smoker. Head to Blackbelly to try the smoked lamb shank with heirloom beans, braised fennel and preserved lemon gremolata.
- The Plimoth: This popular City Park neighborhood eatery has a smoker on its patio that is utilized for different menu items. The best part is the restaurant's playfulness with mentioning the smoker. Right now you can try the patio smoked hunter’s sausage with champignons à la grecque, cumberland sauce and whole grain mustard.
- Acorn/Oak at Fourteenth: Chef Steve Redzikowski made a road trip out of bringing his new smoker to Denver from Kansas City. The iron beast is currently at Acorn, but has been moved back and forth between the two restaurants. Smoked sausages and other meats have been crafted in it. A highlight: the barbecue pop ups that happened at both restaurants in the past and will return soon.
- Butcher's Bistro: One of the Ballpark neighborhood's newest spots, this place is known for its whole animal utilization with a large portion of it being smoked onsite. From menu items such as smoked deviled eggs to a smoked chicken sandwich, as well as a variety of smoked lunch meats and sometimes even booze.
- Colt & Gray: The restaurant owned by chef Nelson Perkins got a smoker just about month ago. The main reason behind the new addition is to assist the charcuterie program. Country ham, speck, bacon, pastrami, and more get the smoky treatment in the new toy but vegetarians should not be too sad: For the vegetarian carbonara, in lieu of guanciale or pancetta, the restaurant uses smoked wild mushrooms.
- Meadowlark Kitchen: Once summer arrives, the large backyard patio at this still-new RiNo spot will reveal to guests its large smoker. Right now, the restaurant uses it for thing like the smoked Merlot brisket, smoked cauliflower (served with fried oysters), and smoked salt that goes on the rim of its Margaritas.