News from Amy at Melissa Libby & Associates:
New Buckhead Restaurant Brings Diners Chef-Crafted Barbecue
Atlanta goes chef-crafted ‘cue with the introduction of Smokebelly, opening on Wednesday, May 21. The restaurant is a joint venture between the team behind The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill, Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails and Tin Lizzy’s Cantina and Trey Humphreys (the Fur Bus, A Social Mess and the Pool Hall) with executive chef Darrell Rice at the helm. Smokebelly offers American barbecue influenced by techniques from several regions of the country, and also features an extensive craft beer and craft cocktail selection.
Smokebelly is situated in the heart of Buckhead on East Andrews Drive, in the former Tavern 99 location. Rice, a veteran in Atlanta’s restaurant scene (Canoe, Aria, Mosaic and The Big Ketch) has traveled extensively to prepare for the new restaurant.
“I’ve tasted, tested and tweaked pretty much every barbecue technique around,” Rice said. “We’ll be drawing inspiration from my experiences along with those of our entire culinary team, as well as the deeply rooted Southern culture at large.”
The chef-crafted barbecue joint features regionally sourced smoked and non-smoked meats using unique dry rubs and injections along with the perfect amount of smoke at a very low heat. Rice and his team apply distinct techniques from a myriad of barbecue regions. In addition to an assortment of traditional smoked meats (pulled pork, sliced brisket, sliced turkey breast, smoked sausage), Smokebelly offers home-style baby back ribs, fresh fish, vegetarian selections, and more than 10 housemade sides. Healthier barbecue options, or “Skinny Fixins,” are offered, like watermelon smoked feta salad and barbecue lettuce wraps. Other savory fare includes a Southern-inspired array of snacks, barbecue tapas, appetizers, sandwiches and salads. Rice and his team are also smoking a rotation of specialty cuts such as pork belly, leg of lamb, beef cheeks, smoked alligator and other wild game.
Smokebelly has 20 craft beers on tap alongside a selection of well-known and artisanal liquors, and handmade craft cocktails. Catering will be available soon after opening, and a Sunday Gospel brunch will follow shortly after.
The rustic barbecue joint invites all kinds of artists and musicians to play alongside the restaurant’s own house band, performing classic rock catalogs from The Allman Brothers to Johnny Cash.
Smokebelly’s 6,000-square-foot interior space seats 160 guests in the dining room and bars. “The Lawn”, a 1,500-square-foot patio complete with faux grass, seats an additional 60. The space was designed by Kim Fong of Studio Song in collaboration with the partners to create a vintage atmosphere. The restaurant features ghost wood paneling on the walls, old recovered Ford truck tailgates, vintage lighting fixtures and custom murals.
128 East Andrews Drive 404-848-9100