The cuisine team at Smoke't Southern Kitchen & Tap prints a menu chock full of barbecue descriptions and a thirst-quenching arsenal of beer and wine. The kitcheneers cook the barbecue brisket for 18 hours to honor the flight duration of Apollo 11 ($15.75). A half rack of slow-roasted baby back Miami ribs ($15) makes a meaty companion for a 16-ounce Blue Moon ($7), 1 of 12 draft beers, while the dry-rubbed pulled pork, which is enveloped in a seasonings and spices and slow smoked ($15.50), companions a glass of Primaterra pinto grigio ($7), which, like the Ferrari and the Ferris Bueller's Day Off script, was imported from Italy.
Chefs at High Steaks BBQ prepare barbecue classics from across the south. They expertly slice some cuts into brisket before slowly smoke roasting them in a red wine and BBQ spice marmalade; others they grill into juicy ribeyes. There’s Carolina-style barbecue pork—which chefs slow-smoke and hand chop from the bone—and Memphis-style ribs rubbed with natural spices and kissed by Elvis’s ghost. Drawing inspiration from the Lone Star State, the chefs also smoke-roast certified Angus brisket in a spiced red-wine marmalade. Organic-cornmeal hush puppies and a handful of homemade desserts round out each meal.
High Steaks BBQ accommodates guests in their main dining room or 60-seat private dining room, where visitors can watch the game on a high-definition TV or ritually torch the opposing team’s jerseys in the brick fireplace.
Waiters whirl through Grimpa Brazilian Steakhouse's streamlined interior, dancing with swords that skewer more than 15 kinds of meat. Diners can sample steaks and an 18-item salad bar and hot buffet in the art-strewn dining room or on the outdoor patio, where swaying palms and ghost cowboys bring to mind traditional gaucho camps. An onsite wine cellar accommodates international vintages of red, white, and bubbly, and an à la carte menu allows chefs to pair tender cuts of beef and fish with gourmet sauces and sides.
Woody Mills is thinking of his mother, Grace Meyer. In 1980, she collaborated with Woody and his wife Yolanda to formulate three recipes that became Woody's sweet, hot, and tangy-mustard sauces—the linchpins of the first Woody's Bar-B-Q in Jacksonville. At that point, Woody became the guardian of the family's legacy of southern-style barbecue, which medal-winning pitmaster Paul Kirk and barbecue historian Ardie Davis went on to feature in their roaster's anthology America's Best BBQ. And while the recipes remain a secret, Grace Meyer's legacy is anything but. Today, Woody's Bar-B-Q franchises bring the celebrated marriage between pickles and pulled pork to eight states throughout the country.
The menu kicks off with battered okra—fried exclusively with trans-fat-free oil—alongside the hearty and hotly contentious Brunswick stew, which both Georgia and Virginia claim as their own unique creation. Two types of pulled pork and ribs star among a roundup of beef brisket, shrimp, and chicken, all of which can be packed into a sandwich for a quick drive-thru meal or spread on platters for catered events. Through helpings of garlic toast, Texas gets a special nod on nearly every plate, whereas signature baked beans and fluffy cream pies evoke a broader southern tradition of using rich comfort food for physical comedy.
Chef Willy Hernandez is an international man through and through—and the evidence can be tasted at Zielo Restaurant. His Dominican Republic heritage presents itself in the Caribbean-steeped trio ceviche, with shrimp, whitefish, and coconut-ginger tuna, or the ahi tuna tartare, served over a plantain nest. But influences from Asia, Italy, and France weave their way into the dinner entrees, resulting in such dishes as truffle-infused risotto. And the time Chef Hernandez spent in New York while training in the William's Culinary Institute also gets some face time with the cowboy ribeye and rack of lamb dressed in mustard sauce.
Guests pair this culinary voyage with sips of wines curated by general manager Ervin Machado, a sommelier and wine judge. The deep red of a Louis Martini cabernet sauvignon or Charles Krug pinot noir pops amid the predominantly ivory color scheme, joining the russet tones of the leather-bound volumes upon backlit bookshelves. Calculated swathes of cobalt add another dimension throughout the restaurant, resurfacing on water glasses, lampshades, the front of the bar, and the faces of those competing in breath-holding competitions.
Red Zone Sports Bar and Grill envelops sports fans in a laid-back atmosphere while servers whisk classic pub fare such as pork sandwiches and flatbread pizzas to tables teeming with pints of Sam Adams, bottles of Guinness, and a cascade of buzz-worthy cocktails. Guests can bask in the glow of flat-screen TVs indoors as their favorite teams duke it out, or venture to the outdoor patio for breeze-kissed dining. Specials such as happy hour and all-you-can-eat wings stretch themselves across the weekly calendar, while college night on Thursdays encourages scholars to debate the merits of sandwiches versus wraps through dissertations written on bar napkins.