Smoke & Spice Southern Barbecue
French-cuisine-trained Ryan Odette moved from one concept of cool to the other when he closed his tiny MamO Bistro and opened a crowd-pleasing barbecue joint. No more roasted apricots and fig jus: now it’s ribs, wings and pulled pork, playing to a full, and much bigger, house. The ribs appear unpromising: rather black and dry-looking, with a startlingly pink interior. But in the mouth they are multifaceted chunks of meat, a combination of smoke, tenderness and earthy animal goodness. You may not want to sully that flavor with the sauces: a slightly sweet, mostly tangy tomato-based barbecue sauce; a chipotle; and a runny mustard that’s the most unusual and complex of the three. Wings are not an afterthought; unlike tasteless industrial poultry, these birds were luscious and meaty, smokier than most wings, which tend to taste just of sauce. Pulled pork and beef brisket are the other two main meats, though there’s also a mild and tender catfish with remoulade and spicy breading, and an apple wood-smoked half chicken worth checking out, if the wings are an indication.