100 Very Best Restaurant 2016: Smokehouse Live

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Pork ribs emerge from the smoker. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

How does a barbecue joint crack the top 100? Start with the bark on the ribs, roasts, and short ribs—thick, and black as cinder: a sign of real skill on the pit master’s part. The interiors are just as impressive: the rosy pink of these luscious meats evidence of a deep, slow penetration of smoke. Many ’cue-joint sides are afterthoughts; not these. When it comes to the pickles (cured in Catoctin Creek Distillery whiskey barrels), collards, and baked grits, you see the same pride and know-how that distinguish the meats. Washington might never become a stop on the barbecue circuit, but in Smokehouse it has a place, like the best nationally, worth the drive.

Don’t miss: Burnt ends; “moist” brisket; prime rib; spare ribs; baked beans; Key-lime pie; salted-caramel pudding.

See what other restaurants made our 100 Very Best Restaurants list. This article appears in our February 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.