Wholly Smoked

Secondhand smoke isn’t so bad when it’s delivered by your waiter. Experimental chefs and mixologists all over the District are infusing meals and cocktails with pleasing vapors that transport patrons beyond the dining room. “Smoke makes you feel like you’re outside,” says Bibiana’s executive chef, Nicholas Stefanelli. “It always reminds me of cooking on the grill.” Whether reminiscent of the great outdoors or not, these smoky creations are a breath of fresh air.

Eola

2020 P St. NW; 202-466-4441. (Dupont Circle)

Once a month, this palace of pork hosts a bacon-centric brunch to showcase six to 10 homemade bacons, ($6 each, $14 for a flight of three, above), each made from a different pig. Chef Daniel Singhofen first rubs the hog bellies with a mixture of brown sugar, kosher salt, water and curing mix, and cold-smokes them with a combination of applewood and cherrywood for 12 hours. After taking them out and chilling them, he seals them in bags of lard before sous vide cooking them for another half day. “That’s how we achieve that melt-in-your-mouth texture,” Singhofen says. Finally, the bacon is sliced and fried to order.

Read about my other four smoky spots on the Express website now.

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