– [Franco] We’re not a
traditional barbecue place. – [Nate] The two of us
are very much outsiders to Southern cuisine, but I
think it’s one of our strengths. – [Franco] That’s why we
are sitting in this place serving the food that we
are is because we felt no need to subscribe
to any sort of traditions in terms of barbecue at all. We felt like we can do whatever we wanted. Twelve years ago, my parents got
a house in upstate New York and my brother bought this little smoker and up until that point,
I’d never really had actual barbecue because
I grew up in Manhattan. We started just messing around on our own and it blew my mind a little bit and I was like, wow, this is
awesome and then, just from there, it just became this thing
that I became obsessed with. I wanted to do a barbecue
place, but I understood that I had no real background in it, but I still wanted to be in this business. A friend of mine was
opening an art gallery and he had this backyard and he was like, “Hey, do you wanna help me do this pit master in residency program?” And so I got into it with the idea that this probably won’t happen,
but worst-case scenario, I’ll get to play around on a
massive, 12-foot long smoker. The feedback was really
great and then Nate came by that first season. – Yeah, I mean, I stopped by in
August or September of 2015. First bite I took of the, I think it was the
pulled chicken sandwich. It just, you know, the acid balance,
the smoked character… There’s a lot of love that
went into a very simple thing. I don’t even like barbecue personally. And it was the sort of thing
for me when I was like, “This is delicious,” and
I just texted Franco, I’m gonna help you out this summer. – I hadn’t even reached out
or anything to ask for help, but he was like, “I wanna
help you with your thing,” and I was like, “OK.” – It was part of my
long game the whole time to just be like, “OK, I’m helping you now.” – I was like, “Let’s do it.” The prime rib was a funny
thing because Nate was doing the shopping at Restaurant Depot
that day and he was supposed to buy beef ribs, but by
accident he bought an entire rack of prime rib that’s this
massive, massive cut of meat. It’s gigantic. – I had it in my backpack
on my Vespa and it’s like it seems heavier than these normally are. – [Franco] I was like, what
the (beep) is that? I’d never put a prime rib on a smoker, so I didn’t know what to do with it. So then, I don’t know, I did some
research online, I threw it on the smoker, did a simple
herb rub, super simple and put it on there for, like, two hours. – [Nate] Fat renders out so you end up with a little bit of this smoked herb jus with all the herbaceous character. – It was one of the most
delicious things that we’ve done all summer and
people loved it right away. It was super smoky, which is
not traditionally how you have prime rib, but people really took to it. I think it was a really happy mistake. – Yeah, I only make excellent mistakes. – [Franco] And for us,
this was a statement. This is a smoky prime rib
that’s not your average thing that you’ll get at a steakhouse. It’s our version of this
timeless traditional thing. – Well, Franco’s got
a really picky palate. He’s got what I refer to as a live palate. He likes acid, he likes spice, he likes texture and crispiness. So, I would say the broccoli
has been something we’ve been playing with. We do a charred chive cloumage,
which warms up the bite and the vinaigrette we
use for the broccoli has some yuzu kosho, which
is a Japanese spicy herb. So again the spice of the
yuzu kosho cut with the acid of a lemon and the creamy
herbaceousness of the cloumage. – [Franco] The sides in general,
I wanted them to all have those elements where they
didn’t bog down the meal. They helped you eat more, stuff
that wouldn’t make you walk away feeling like you needed
to be wheeled out of here. The Manhattan Wings are
really special to me because I’m a die-hard Giants fan
and those are something that I started cooking probably
three or four years ago just at home.
It’s almost religious. It came about because I used
to order from this place and one weekend they
showed up three hours late. It was a disaster, it was a
playoff game, and I was like, “I’m just gonna make my own wings,” and that’s the way it came
about. And Nate’s had them the way I make them at home,
which is slightly different– – So (beep) spicy. – [Franco] The idea is
that the more we suffer eating the wings, the
better the Giants will do. – [Nate] It’s like ritual sacrifice. – [Franco] Yes, exactly. – [Nate] It’s sadistic. – [Franco] So obviously,
having those on the menu is something I wanted to have happen. They’re smoked first and then grilled. They’re obviously nowhere near as spicy, but they get our house
rub and then a sauce that’s a buffalo wing sauce essentially. I mean, they’re still
absolutely delicious here. They’re not just not gonna
(beep) blow your head off. – You don’t get the light
halos, the same way you do when you eat them at Franco’s house. – [Franco] A lot of the food
here is technically barbecue. We have a smoker in the kitchen. The menu is a really nice
mix of some barbecue elements and a lot of other more
traditional restaurant technique and cooking style. – [Nate] And in playing with
the steakhouse imagery, it does have a little bit of a
“Twilight Zone”-era manipulation feel and that’s something that
I think is great because it takes people out of the
mindset of the modern industry and centers it around more
of a new classic style and that was our big point of
departure from our category of smoked meats. – For us, it’s funny because
from a lot of the reviews and stuff, people are
like, “This is such a wild juxtaposition,” but I think for us, it just totally makes complete sense.