Smoke BBQ House is bringing southern-style cooking to Harbord and Manning
By Freya Hammond-Williams
Going up in Smoke (Image: Jon Sufrin)
Smoke BBQ House is looking to bring some down-home, southern-style barbecue to Toronto when it opens at 536 Manning this October. Led by owner Francesco Grandi and executive chef Tony Gallippi, the new joint will also feature some creative twists.
“We’re excited to bring something different and new to the city,” says Grandi. ”We’re going to mix it up.”
He and Gallippi have been working with Mahmood Popal of Craft Studio for décor, using picnic-style communal tables and smoked Japanese wood to bring an upscale feel to a causal dining experience.
Gallippi, a certified master smoker who previously owned a restaurant in Windsor, will provide a diverse menu with everything from classic ribs and pulled pork to smoked cheese, vegetables and fish. He’ll be smoking everything on site in a Cookshack 350 for anywhere from 12 to 14 hours, using mostly apple and cherry woods (which accentuate the smoke flavor without overpowering, he says).
“The beauty with the smoker is you can smoke anything. You can smoke lemons if you want to,” Grandi says.
The team is excited to experiment with the smoker, with possibilities including smoked duck, swordfish and catfish. While the set menu will include dishes like smoked sliders and a smoked shrimp cocktail, it will have daily rotating specials. Homemade sides are to include mac ‘n’ cheese, cornbread, baked beans or spicy rapini.
And don’t forget about the sauces. There will be a variety of them, made in-house, including a root beer sauce and an orange pop sauce, as well as sauces hailing from more traditional southern recipes. The best part? The meat comes dry, so you get to dress it as you see fit. The sauces are brought to your table and you then choose your favourite.
Patrons will be able to pop in for a sandwich for about $10, but also settle in for a plate of ribs and a few beers for a bit more cash, though prices haven’t been set yet.
Here’s hoping that Smoke will add some flare to Toronto’s burgeoning barbecue scene.
Clarification: Sept. 24
“Master smoker” is a certification bestowed by Cookshack, a barbecue manufacturer based in Oklahoma. To earn the certificate, participants undertake a three-day course that teaches the fundamentals of barbecuing with smoke.