At Epic, enjoy upscale barbecue like smoked brisket with pancetta mac and cheese.
Good news for the winter: Smoked foods have moved beyond barbecue and into sophisticated dishes at local eateries. Al Dente Ristorante (3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, 202-244-2223) offers a new smoked-flavor-infused spaghetti carbonara, prettily presented under a dome and made with egg, pecorino cheese, and guanciale. Fiola (601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-628-2888) is known for hay-smoked foods, and the bar manager even infuses bourbon with smoked potato peels to make a distinctive and delicious Manhattan.
The newly opened Epic Smokehouse (1330 S. Fern St., Arlington, VA, 571-319-4001) in Arlington offers a variety of cocktail and food options, including an applewood-smoked scallop appetizer and beef brisket smoked for about 16 hours. As Epic’s co-owner and executive chef Wayne Halleran explains, “Smoked meats and seafood [in particular] have a distinct flavor profile and aroma, and when you combine them with a fine-dining approach, it gives an added appeal.”