Foodography from Russell's Smoke House

Lori Midson
Frank Bonanno mans the line at Russell's Smoke House
Russell's Smoke House, Frank Bonanno's new shrine to smoked meats, opened softly on Friday, but on Saturday, the staff was gearing up for a busy night, But first, there was a fantastic food tasting orgy that I was lucky enough to attend, stomaching my way through tender prime rib, sweet lobster, smoked trout wrapped in bacon, plump pigs in a blanket, black beans wafting with smoke, a kick-ass coleslaw, sausage and golden-fried chicken.

Behold the gluttony.

Lori Midson
Smoked preserved tuna salad with green beans, potatoes and hard-cooked eggs, dressed with a red-wine vinaigrette.

Lori Midson
Even a smokehouse takes vegetarians into consideration, and the mushroom dynamite, says Bonanno, has been the restaurant's most popular starter.

Lori Midson
All of the table at the smokehouse get tumblers full of peanuts -- and no, you can't toss the shells on the floor. It's a health-department thing.

Lori Midson
Pesto and smoked potted trout with bread.

Lori Midson
Star bartender Adam Hodak's bloody Mary, made with smoked tomato juice. Several of his cocktails float with smoked ice.

Lori Midson
Crab cocktail with avocado and a smoked "bloody" sauce.

Lori Midson
Want a pig in your blanket? You can get them here, sided with a trio of mustards.

Location Info

Russell's Smokehouse

1422 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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There are a number of places you can get pretty good bbq in Denver.  Russell's is not one of them.  The meats are well smoked.  The dry rub gives them a good crust, but it is almost devoid of flavor, and the three watery and uninteresting sauces do little to improve that.  The cole slaw is totally bereft.  It has no flavor at all. The collards are bitter.  The beans and corn bread may be above average but not much. To say the food is mediocre might only encourage them. Terrible is more accurate.

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