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This is not a formal review, but rather an off-the-cuff first-impressions-style riff on a brand-spankin’ new D.C. restaurant

Smoke & Barrel, Meridian Pint owner John Andrade‘s new rustic-looking beer, bourbon and barbecue joint, located inside the former top floor of Asylum, opens tonight in Adams Morgan. Last night, Young & Hungry sneaked inside for a quick bite during the boozy eatery’s soft opening.

Initial impressions: The espresso rub on the brisket is a more subtle flavor than expected. I found the pulled pork shoulder a tad more tasty. But, the most memorable item of the night: executive chef Vinny Waide‘s spicy chipotle honey butter sauce, which smothered my half-slab of ribs.

The sweet sauce hits your tongue like a sticky caramel sundae before dissolving into some lingering heat. Not scorching. But you’ll probably want a cool beer to cut through the stuff. There are plenty of choices. For a proper pairing with the glazed ribs, Waide might recommend a “nutty, malty bock.

Photo by Chris Shott