First Look: Epic Smokehouse in Arlington, VA
Epic Smokehouse looks exactly like you'd imagine it to just by hearing its name. All exposed wood, leather, and brushed metal, Epic is an Apple store-esque man cave. Since opening in early October, owners Joon Yang and Wayne Halleran are hoping to "take the backyard BBQ to the next level." Like delivering a sophisticated and tastefully appointed bachelor pad, Epic Smokehouse offers refined iterations of many smokehouse staples.
From apple wine glazed ribs to pancetta macaroni and cheese, everything is classed up without being pretentious. Influences range from all over—you'll find a massive Cuban Sandwich and the Hawaiian Kahlua Pig Rolls (a crowd favorite).
One of the most prominent influences, though, is Yang's Korean heritage. Sneaking in Korean influences, when chef Halleran will let him, you'll find them in Apple Wood Smoked Scallops served with kimchi, which he buys from Korean Korner, a hugely popular Korean grocery store. Even the Grape Martini has some Korean influence. A martini with Stoli vodka, grape pulp, and Sac Sac, a canned Korean grape drink.
Speaking of drinks, one of Yang's main missions with Epic is to "show people that you can do great wine pairings with barbecue." Epic offers an extensive wine list at affordable prices. Epic's cocktail program, however, delivers on the backyard BBQ premise by offering a selection of sweet, easy to drink concoctions that are basically sweet teas. You could drink the Blackberry Lemonade and Roll Tide Tea all day, which makes them particularly dangerous because they aren't weak drinks.
And, of course, there's the Bacon Old Fashioned: bacon infused bourbon served with a strip of bacon. Natch.
Pentagon City is not the easiest place to get to if you live in D.C. (or anywhere), but if you're in the area or are just in the mood for inventive barbecue, Epic Smokehouse might be worth a visit.