Plano's Smoke Will Open Soon, with a Custom Hearth and a Lot of Promise

Remember way back in March when we told you the Dallas area was going to get a second Smoke? Owners Christopher Zielke, Christopher Jeffers and Tim Byre signed a lease on a space in Plano and said they hoped to be open by the year's end.

The latest announcement from the group confirms that they will meet this goal, if only barely. The Plano location is set to open the last week of December, and the newest restaurant has a few embellishments the original location is lacking.

At the original Smoke, the best view into the kitchen was from the outside of the restaurant, peering in through a window that looked over the grill. The view was good enough that diners often congregated there before and after dinner.

So the new Smoke will have a kitchen that opens up to the dining room. Nothing will separate you from the action but a low, maple countertop. And the scenery will be better, too, as the kitchen is anchored by a 10-foot custom hearth.

I'm going on the restaurant's own description, so I'm going to do my best to temper my enthusiasm, but this hearth sounds completely badass. Not only is it 10-feet big in some unknown dimension, but it also has movable racks to let the cooks dial in the heat based on what they're cooking. Need to get a whole lamb done? There's a spit for that. There are hooks for hanging big cuts and all of this can be done in tandem in what Byres is calling orchestral cooking.

Naturally with such a device some dishes will be available at the new Smoke that won't be available at the old Smoke. Time for a trip up the toll road.

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