In a growing landscape of barbecue restaurants in NYC smoking meats over real wood, new restaurant Jax B-B-Q hopes to stand out by smoking its meats right in its 60-seat space in Hell’s Kitchen starting next week.
The new barbecue spot, located at 496 Ninth Ave., between 37th and 38th streets, comes from pitmaster and owner Nick Accardi, who owns Tavola, a neighborhood Italian trattoria and wood-fired pizza spot, and Bone Lick Park, a barbecue restaurant in West Village that closed in 2014.
Accardi says he learned how to cook with a wood pit from influential Las Vegas pitmaster Mike Mills. At Jax, Accardi will use white oak, cherry, and birch woods in his pit, intended to let the taste of the meat stand out after the cooking process. Rather than smoking the meats in a separate commissary, Accardi will cook using a wood pit located on-site in the restaurant’s kitchen. Expect Memphis-style ribs and a smoked meat of the day program that will feature specials like lamb, quail, or turkey legs. Jax will also have a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce that will be bottled and sold in the restaurant.
In addition to barbecue, the restaurant will offer Southern-inspired starters like alligator tail fritters, crawfish hushpuppies, and Texas link sausage sourced from Esposito Meat Market in the neighborhood. Sides include mac and cheese and burnt end baked beans, while non-smoked meat entrees will be Southern dishes such as buttermilk-fried chicken thighs, fried catfish, and fried chicken sandwiches. The dessert menu similarly channels southern classics with key lime, Mississippi mud, and chocolate pecan pies.
The space will have a bar with retro chrome stools where guests can order frozen margaritas and from an extensive list of tequilas. Jax debuts on January 19 and will be open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.