When it comes to grilling (as opposed to generating energy), charcoal is king. Somewhere along the way, someone realized that this would translate into a great restaurant concept. Thus, the world was given Charcoal in Venice. Charcoal, like most BBQs, is pretty meat-centric and great for unvegans. Nonetheless, there were definitely veggie options for those who prefer not to enjoy life as much.
We began with an order of the Smoky Grilled Chicken Wings, as we were told that the main courses would take a while. These were prepared with oregano, chili and vinegar and tasted pretty good. They weren’t smokey like the wings you would get at a BBQ spots, but certainly enough to bring the flavor of the grill. There were a few sauces at the table and I found the chipotle BBQ sauce went best with these.
I picked the Smoked and Grilled Bone-In Short Rib for my main course and shockingly my and every else’s main courses came out shortly after the wings arrived. This may have been an operational faux pas, but at least I didn’t have to wait long for my main course. It turned out to be served all sliced up and laid upon the bone, so “bone-in” may have only applied while it was being grilled, but that didn’t prevent these short ribs from being incredibly delicious. The meat practically melted in my mouth and was perfectly seasoned with what appeared to be just enough seasoning to bring out the savory flavor of the short ribs.
We also snagged ourselves a Yukon Potato Baked in the Coals. It was topped with salted butter, creme fraiche, aged gouda and chives. Oh, and did I mention that it was baked in the coals? Yes, this potato came out coated in the ash of the coals, which made the skin incredibly tough to eat, but gave the innards of the potato a perfectly soft and moist texture. The toppings helped it along with flavor, but this thing probably would have done just fine with a touch of butter to go with the flavor of the coals.
Are you the type of person that goes to summer BBQs and thinks, “Man, I wish this was more upscale”? If so, Charcoal is the place for you. Everything is perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked and reminiscent of what you would do if you were hosting for the 4th of July and had an unlimited budget to get great cuts of meat. Just be wary of the fact that all plates are meant to be “shared” and the main courses may arrive at the table faster than you would expect.