NY/NJ Dining: Johnny’s Smokehouse

Johnny’s Smokehouse
50 East Central Avenue
Pearl River, NY 10965-2307

As with sports, art, literature and music, there are tragic figures in the culinary world.

There is one such man who is known among foodie folks in the Northern New Jersey area whose very name conjures up joyful memories.

A man who is a veritable Jedi Master of Barbecue, a rogue samurai chef who had to shut down his beloved River Edge, New Jersey restaurant for the sake of his personal health and well-being.

A man who returned with his talents to two other barbecue restaurants, only to have to move on yet again.

And for three years, he dropped off the face of the earth. We do not know where he went. All we know is that he is… BACK.

Who is this mysterious barbecue man? And where has he re-appeared? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Johnny’s Smokehouse is a hardcore Irish pub with a BBQ twist in Pearl River, Rockland County New York, just over the NJ border. It very recently opened, replacing Adagio restaurant which was in the same space.

As you would expect from an Irish pub owned by real Irishmen, they know how to pour the Guinness properly, and it is kept at proper temperature. If you want yourself some nice creamy ale, this is the place to go. And if you drink enough of them, you’ll start to talk like a pirate.

And the Johnnies be pouring the fancy cocktails, too.

The main dining room. Yes, it sure be an Irish pub.

Ah but what is this? There be longhairs in the back? Could it be…

Why … it is! it’s FINK! Why of course! You can’t keep this scruffy man away from barbecue forever!

The wee smoker that Dave Finkelstein has to work  with is pretty small at the moment, but he plans to put in a larger unit at an offsite location shortly where he’ll be able to bring larger quantities of meat in. However, what he’s able to produce with the equipment he has right now is pretty spectacular.

Ribs being finished off on the grill.

Pulled pork. A must order, in my opinion.

Fink inspecting a beef primal for Smoked Prime Rib.

Bacon. LOTS of smokey bacon. To be used in nefarious ways.

Fink be liking his bacon.

“Texas Lollipops” appetizer. Bacon wrapped sausage with horseradish dipping sauce. These got inhaled.

Shrimp appetizer with pepper jelly. Sweet but also spicy, this met with the table’s approval.

Salmon entree with corn pudding. I’m not much of a salmon fan, but both the missus and I really enjoyed this. But enough with this sissy, fru-fru food. WHERE BE THE BARBECUE, FINK?

Arrrr! There be the BBQ! Mixed platter with ribs, pulled pork, chicken and pulled turkey. David is currently using Applewood chips in the restaurant’s Southern Pride smoker.

Here be another view of the tasty, sweet meat.

Aye, the root veggies. For all you sissies that must have ‘yer fiber.

But I shall have me a giant bacon cheeseburger! With fried onions and jalapenos!

Ain’t she a thing of beauty?

And so there be no forgetting where you are, a dense Irish soda bread pudding with whiskey sauce, if ye haven’t gotten ‘yer fill.

We hope ye be sticking around some this time, Finky boy.

14 Responses to NY/NJ Dining: Johnny’s Smokehouse

  1. […] NY/NJ Dining: Johnny’s Smokehouse (offthebroiler.wordpress.com) […]

  2. Josh F says:

    ZOMG! You found Fink!!!!!

  3. cgwestwood says:

    This is awesome news! I wish I had checked this blog earlier today, as my wife and I just got back from a bland, disappointing meal at Fink’s former hang, Bailey’s, which is a poor facsimile of its former Fink glory. If only we had known! Might have to cut my hair before going to Johnny’s though, but Fink’s ‘cue is worth possible harassment. Jason, you just made my year!

  4. Double0 says:

    Went for dinner on Sat. The place was crowded. They haven’t changed the room from when it was Danny’s. The servers were even the same. It seemed like they could have used anouther waitress as every one was running around. Danny’s had some interesting bottles of beer, Johnies has the usual run of the mill choices (I hope this changes). We ordered two black and tans and one Smiddicks, the Smiddicks was flat, we then tried to order a bottle of Sam Adams but they were out. As far as the food goes the appetizers were better than the BBQ. We had the bacon wrapped sausage and a special of smoked salmon dip. Both were excellent. We had both types of ribs, the smoked prime rib and the pulled pork. The babybacks were good, the regular ribs were a bit dry. The prime rib while flavourful was very tough and kind of small. The pulled pork was good but not great. The sides were a different story. The beans and coleslaw were top notch and the brusselsprots were excellent. Overall an OK meal, but still needs some work. Total cost for four people T and T, $170.

  5. DHL says:

    Anyone have the menu or website for Johnny’s?

  6. Bas says:

    Wow, the pictures look really delicious! and thanks alot for the pingback.

    Keep up the great work!

  7. michele says:

    Very excited to read this. Just curious are the owners the same still? I just hope they have the screaming chicken hot sauce. I would go to Baileys just for that, and now Baileys never makes it right.

  8. michele says:

    I just read something about the pricing being very high. In Pearl River everything is over priced and mostly mediocre, It’s a huge family geared town, if you want to really do well, keep that in mind.

  9. nicole says:

    My husband and I have already eaten here twice and the food is to die for! Huge portions, affordable prices, and friendly service. We used to go to Baileys but haven’t been in a while as we felt their quality and service had decreased. The pulled pork and texas lollipops are must orders. Last night we had two appetizers, two main, two extra sides, and four drinks each and the bill was 70. Can’t beat it!

  10. Maryanne says:

    So sad to hear Danny’s is gone, but hoping this place- Johnny’s will pick-up where they left off and then some! PR Needs a place like this to take the family and eat with your hands, watch a game and just hang-out.
    One of the owners, Johnny is a really nice guy and always very pleasant and accommodating. Hoping Dave Fink the BBQ Guru will make this a success and farewell to Danny and Kate – you will be sorely missed!

  11. barry says:

    great to have a new place to go i went to johnnys smokehouse with my family on thursday night and really enjoyed it ,the food is the next step up from baileys where we used to go and the service was very good ,we met the owner johnny who was really nice and easy to talk to and i then had the chance to talk with fink who is the chef and is a really superb bbq master …i thought i new about how to smoke ribs …he gave me some great tips….and i will be back to johnnys over the next week…the texas lollipops and the sizzling app platter were fantastic and the sides were very tasty and diff …the chef told me all the items from sauces to ribs were made in house and his own recipes….i will be picking his brain…great addition to pearlriver its a credit ..to johnnys and the staff.


    Hello!! I have eaten at Johnny’s BBQ twice & I have enjoyed the BBQ food very much!! Everything was truly enjoyable!!

  13. Joe says:

    Ate there many times this summer since they opened. It’s the kind of place you want to go back to. good comfort food. Great choice of beer. Hit it early, it can get crowded. Menu is a bit limited, but why did you go there, to get great BBQ.

  14. Hal Roche says:

    Just picked up an order to go aprox $35 and was disappointed that some items were left off what I had ordered. As Hal Roche says “write it down” as it’s important to have what was ordered when you get home. Thank you.

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