By Nicole Bayne
Serving great barbecue “takes a lot of discipline,” says Jim Foss, co-owner of the forthcoming barbecue restaurant Smokehouse Live. “It’s a lot of planning, keeping temperatures and knowing when you drop [meat].”
Foss’s background extends from judging sanctioned barbecue competitions to working as the vice president of operations and corporate executive chef of Georgetown restaurant Old Glory.
For Smokehouse Live, Foss will run the kitchen while longtime friend and business partner Kris Diemar works front-of-house. This barbecue joint will serve smoked meats including brisket, pulled pork, pork shoulder, spare ribs and custom sausages alongside seasonal salads, sides and a bar offering all-American wines, craft beers and a whole lot of bourbon.
“There are a lot of bad barbecue joints out there,” Foss says. “We wanted to make something craveable and memorable, and honestly, who doesn’t like barbecue?”
Here are four things to look forward to in their first venture, which will open in Village at Leesburg:
1. Four housemade barbecue sauces
White oak “complements the barbecue really well,” says Foss, who used the flavor it imparts on Smokehouse’s meat as a reference point while creating the house barbecue sauces. The East Carolina, a traditional vinegar-based sauce, “goes great on pulled pork,” Foss says, while the Savannah, a mustard-based sauce, pairs well with poultry. The Texas Chainsaw is a spicy Southwestern sauce, and the signature sauce, the smokeHOUSE, has a Kansas City-inspired tang.
2. Colossal smokers
Smokehouse Live’s smokers will come from Missouri-based company Ole Hickory, and each can hold up to 2,500 pounds of meat. “This is the biggest smoker that’s made to my knowledge, and they are a glorious sight,” Foss says. A large window will allow guests to watch as he, Diemar and their team “literally smoke meat all day” for their meat counter called The Market.
Guests can order directly from the counter. Foss compares this to watching the butcher at an old-school deli.
3. Local options
The restaurant will source food locally whenever possible, including meats from Lothar’s Sausages and Catoctin Creek Distillery‘s barrels for whiskey-aged dill pickles.
4. Desserts, too
Jessika Yealy, daughter of Smokehouse Live’s executive chef Bryan Yealy, will be the pastry chef. The Culinary Institute of America grad, also an alum of Paolo’s Restaurant in Georgetown, will bring classic, Southern-inspired desserts such as the Elvis peanut butter and banana cake, a chocolate sponge cake layered with banana filling and peanut butter mousse, glazed in chocolate and topped with crumbled bacon, and the lemon meringue tart topped with vanilla pudding. / Smokehouse Live; 1602 Village Market Blvd. SE, Suite E-120, Leesburg
*This article was updated on 5/5/2015