Hill Country Opens With a Texas Menu and a Half-Burned Piece of Oak
Hill Country, the new barbecue restaurant Rob and Robin unveil in this week’s Openings, has given itself a double challenge: It’s opening a stone’s throw from Blue Smoke and RUB and, if that weren’t enough, also attempting to emulate Kreuz Market, the most celebrated barbecue in all of Texas – the equivalent of trying to build a Katz’s in Corpus Christi. The restaurant’s menu, captured here in all its spartan glory, reflects its Texas aesthetic: Beef is the main event, and sides and sauces are areas of minor concern. The place is trying to marshal all the barbecue karma it can: Kreuz pitmaster Rick Schmidt has given the place his blessing, even bringing a half-burned log from Kreuz to ignite the first Hill Country fire. “If they keep the coals and embers going, the fire will be continuous,” the famed pitman says.
Restaurant Openings: Hill Country, Caffè Emilia, and Park Avenue Summer [NYM]
Hill Country menu
Earlier: Hill Country to Challenge Blue Smoke, RUB on Their Own Turf
Hill Country to Challenge Blue Smoke, RUB on Their Own TurfHill Country BBQ, we’ve learned from owner Mark Glosserman, has officially signed its lease and begun construction at 30 West 26th Street, just a few blocks from Blue Smoke and RUB . Isn’t it bad medicine to open so close to a pair of established, busy barbecues? Says Glosserman: “It’s a great spot, and the price was right, and we’re in a big office building, so there will be a lot of traffic even though it’s a side street. We have a lot of faith in our product.” No doubt. But we actually like Hill Country’s chances. New Yorkers have shown a willingness to go the extra mile to eat great barbecue: Daisy May’s BBQ sat on a desolate stretch of Eleventh Avenue and didn’t even have tables; RUB ran out of meat every night; Blue Smoke barely had any smoke flavor during its first year, as a result of chimney malfunction. Glosserman hired the best barbecue cooker in the city, Robert Richter. If Hill Country delivers the goods, New Yorkers will support it … right?
Back of the House
Living Large at a Big Apple Big Easy PartyThe crowd at last night’s “The New Orleans Table: Return and Recollect” at 5 Ninth had their hands full — literally. The restaurant, which is spread out over three floors of an ancient townhouse, was packed to the rafters with food players and New Orleans culture heroes.