Smokecraft Modern Barbecue Is Coming
Pitmaster Andrew Darneille joins the barbecue party with a new 'cue joint in Clarendon.
Last year, Andrew Darneille and his Smokecraft Championship Barbecue team snagged more than 70 awards on the festival circuit, including being named a “Pork Team of the Year” finalist by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.
Now the pitmaster/restaurateur is bringing his smoke-centric concept to a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Clarendon in the former Citizen Burger Bar space. Smokecraft Modern Barbecue is set to open July 31, putting its industrial Southern Pride smokers to work in turning out meaty fare ranging from pork-belly burnt ends and cherry-smoked St. Louis ribs to wagyu brisket—plus a few vegetarian and pescatarian options, like smoked spaghetti squash, smoked Chesapeake crabcakes and cedar-planked maple-bourbon salmon.
“We are using multiple types of wood (hickory, oak, maple and cherry) to impart different flavors on different meats in these rotisserie-style smokers,” Darneille says.
The menu will also include starters such as smoked avocado deviled eggs and grilled peach-and-prosciutto crostini; sandwiches and salads; and hearty sides that pair well with smoked meats (think collard greens, street corn and campfire beans) courtesy of executive sous chef William Burke. A decadent brunch menu promises smoked Monte Cristo sandwiches, chicken and waffles, a build-your-own Benedict (you choose the meat), and a Texas Toast rendition of French toast.
From behind the bar, mixologist Lauren “LP” Paylor (formerly with The Dabney, Dos Mamis and Silver Lyan in D.C.) will offer a cocktail program that plays to the big, bold flavors on the food menu. Look for craft concoctions such as Smoke on the Water, a riff on the old fashioned featuring Catoctin Creek rye whiskey, spiced simple syrup and bitters, smoked in a glass with wood chips; and a Bloody Mary garnished with roasted veggies and candied bacon. For a low-proof refresher, her Summertime Punch is a blend of green tea, lemon, spiced honey syrup and sparkling wine.
With the launch, the restaurant is taking extra safety precautions in light of Covid-19. The seating layout has been adjusted for social distancing, and menus will be projected on screens to minimize high touch points. The takeout menu will include beverages to go, including craft cocktails, wine and beer growlers.
The rustic space, designed by GrizForm Design Architects, is befitting of a barbecue joint, complete with exposed brick, metal accents and neat stacks of split wood (destined for the smoker) on display. Once the necessary county permits are secured, the restaurant will also offer 36 seats on an outdoor patio.
Darneille, who lives in Bethesda, Maryland, is a veteran of the restaurant business. His previous experience includes stints with The Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Café, Blackfinn AmeriPub. and Richard Sandoval Restaurants. “We’ve always wanted to be in Clarendon,” he says. “It has some of the best demographics in the area…providing a good mix of office and residential buildings. This allows us to tap into multiple revenue streams, which include lunch, dinner, brunch, late night and catering.”
Smokecraft will be open for on-site dining, takeout and delivery seven days a week. // Smokecraft Modern Barbecue, 1051 N. Highland St., Arlington