John DeLucie’s The Lion Leads BlackBook’s NYC BBQ Picks

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Now that barbecue–kinda bizarrely–has become a culinary battleground in New York City, one no longer has to hitch a ride to Lubbock or Tupelo to pig out on the smokey stuff.

To wit, we’ve always gravitated to John DeLucie’s sophisticated WVill hotspot The Lion for a media power confab over Alaskan king crab legs and dry-aged steaks; but the chef-about-town is now debuting a $35 Backyard BBQ menu that has us counting the seconds until Sunday arrives.

Like the The Lion’s regular offerings, there’s nothing at all precious about it. As DeLucie explains, “It is not long, slow cooking on rare woods; it is more about you and your friends having a great time, as if you are grilling in your own backyard. We will be grilling hamburgers and Niman Ranch hot dogs, but they will be the best hamburgers and hot dogs you have ever had.”

Add to that Berkshire pork sloppy joe, crispy fried soft shell po’ boy, chili spiked cornbread, lobster mac & cheese…and you’ve got a feast fit for a Texas oil scion.

With Memorial Day weekend upon us—and since certainly not everyone in this town has a friend with a backyard grill—here is BlackBook’s guide to some of our other favorite NYC BBQ destinations…Hamptons traffic jams not included.

Pod 39 Rooftop / Salvation Taco

Salvation Taco image real

Like hitting up a weekend party at a Medici Palace, the neo-Renaissance architecture of Pod 39’s Rooftop Lounge contains an always buzzing scene. And between South by Southeast mezcal cocktails, one can simply nip downstairs for a hit of the food-of-the-Gods Korean BBQ Tacos from April Bloomfield’s wildly popular Salvation Taco. Skip dessert and head woozily over to the ping pong tables.

Arlington Club

Arlington Club BBQ image

For those whose Saturday night debaucheries don’t allow for pre-4pm next day wakeups, Laurent Tourondel’s cosmopolitan Arlington Club has launched a handy Sunday Night Barbecue menu. Putting a decidedly sophisticated spin on Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs and Southern Fried or BBQ Chicken, as well as offering up a signature Arlington Beef Brisket (all garnished with the likes of jalapeno corn bread, BBQ baked beans or creamed corn), it will give you all the excuse you need for showing up late to work on Monday…or possibly even Tuesday.

Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue 

Morgan's Pork Ribs

Hip without being hipster, here it comes mostly by the pound (sausages by the link)—sorta the way BBQ was meant to be served. Specialty is the Stuffed Baked Potato, and sides include collard greens and something enticingly called Frito Pie. A new chef, Andres Fernandez, is on board as of April.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Brooklyn

Dino_BBQ_Swag_Sampler_Plate_By_Brent_Herrig_Photography

Sometimes you just have to do it authentic; and if you just can’t get enough of that ol’ spit-and-sawdust vibe, the new Gowanus outpost of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que is the only way to go. Kinda like taking an Americana tour without leaving NYC, one can chow through St. Louis ribs, Memphis style pulled pork sandwiches, and Creole spiced deviled eggs. For the utterly unselfconscious, we recommend the Big Ass Pork Plate—which should probably hold you until July 4th weekend.