Frank Bonanno continues to heat up Larimer Square with the addition of Russell's Smokehouse

GreenRfriedchicken.jpg
Lori Midson
Close to a year ago, chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno, whose colony of collections already included Mizuna, Osteria Marco, Luca D'Italia and Bones, inked a lease on a mammoth, 6,000-square-foot down-reaching space in Larimer Square that soon became the dwelling pads to Wednesday's Pie, a one-day-a-week pie parlor, and Green Russell, a sultry speakeasy (Lou's Food Bar, located at 1851 West 38th Avenue, opened on the last day of 2010).

But both Wednesday's Pie and Green Russell are petite, which left Bonanno with more than enough sphere to stretch. Initially, he was using the extra space for banquets and private parties, but, admits Bonanno, "it wasn't as easy to book parties as we initially thought, because a lot of people don't like to have events downstairs."

Barbecue, however, is a whole different dalliance. It doesn't matter where it's served: If it's good barbecue (hell, even when it's not), you can count on an influx of hungry mouths, and if it's Frank Bonanno behind the smoker, there's even more incentive to follow the primal char of brawny brisket and burnt ends. And when Bonanno opens Russell's Smokehouse in November, just adjacent to Wednesday's Pie and Green Russell, it's a good bet that he'll be feeding bulging crowds.

"It's going to be very simple," says Bonanno, "with a few different kinds of ribs, some fish dishes, brisket, fried chicken, pork shoulder, a couple of salads, and a bunch of different sides, including collard greens, cornbread, mac-and-cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potato fries, several different kinds of beans and citrus corn, and, of course, pie." In addition, he'll pour sweet tea and lemonade and a formidable selection of beers -- on tap, in the bottle and in cans. And while Russell's Smokehouse will also kick out cocktails, Bonanno notes that those, too, will be simple. "We're not going to concentrate on cocktails here; Green Russell already does a great job with those."

As for the barbecue, Bonanno is currently on the prowl for two gas-injected smokers, which will take up residence in the gigantic kitchen that will serve both Green Russell and the Smokehouse. But in the event that you're hoping for Kansas City-style barbecue, Texas barbecue, or any other kind of preconceived barbecue, Bonanno says that's not his shtick. "I'm not doing traditional barbecue, or Texas barbecue, or Kansas City barbecue, or St. Louis-style barbecue," he insists. "I'm doing barbecue my way -- casual and fun and making use of a lot of rubs rather than sauces, and while there's a lot of good barbecue around here, it's mostly served on paper plates with wet wipes, and I want to do something nicer and little more high-end than that -- a sit-down place with a bar, real plates and napkins."

The entrance to the smokehouse will be down the same stairs as Wednesday's Pie and Green Russell, but the hours will be far more expansive. Russell's Smokehouse will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Location Info

Russell's Smokehouse

1422 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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15 comments
Guest
Guest

that really is the most un-appetizing photo. i hope that's not the best you can do. it looks like a plate of poo...

Mike Knight
Mike Knight

Being that Bonanno is incapable of coming up with a unique concept of his own, i.e. MOMOFUKO= Bones, being the most obvious, it disturbs me that not one food critique dares to call him on it. I just hope he never visits a Ruby Tuesdays, otherwise we may have a "Saphire Sundays" here in Denver  

Aceranchero
Aceranchero

At last, Bonanno opens a restaurant-type who's taste is commensurate with his interior design sensibilities. 

Barrfly2
Barrfly2

nobody yet does a kick ass job with BBQ! Sorry to say, most of it is mediocre at best on a drunk night. I look at BBQ like a sushi joint, it can never be slow and most always run out of everything daily. It just doesn't hold, especially here with the dry weather. It will be interesting to see if the skills are there to pull it off.

Kevin Burke
Kevin Burke

Best of Luck Frank! mmmm Ribs and burnt ends.

-WFK-
-WFK-

Frank Bonanno is a dick. 

Bigdawg
Bigdawg

Wow. Gas smokers? Really? Do we really need another place that oven cooks there meat and call it bbq. I think not.

Jeff
Jeff

If these means I can get that Green Russell fried chicken all the time, I'm in.

thespot84
thespot84

Yazoo is far better than mediocre and runs out of food daily.  Don't make me go off on another denver bbq tirade!

KC BBQ
KC BBQ

please, a gas smoker and you think you are going to get real burnt ends?  What you will get is brisket that has been cubed and cooked extra.  Just b/c it is brisket, doesn't make it actually burnt ends. Hell, you can barely get real burnt ends in KC anymore.  People fall all over themselves for Oklahoma Joe's burnt ends, and they are NOT.  And any place that only has burnt ends on certain days is guaranteed to not be preparing actual burnt ends.

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Dsfjhetdfge

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Dan
Dan

You wouldn't eat at Yazoo if you had seen the things I did a few years ago. Disgusting

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