There’s a new kid on the block and it’s all everyone is talking about.
Excitement has been building for the past few weeks about the opening of The Smoke Pit with hungry diners keen to test it out.
The hype has resulted in an impressive start for the new independently owned restaurant with the phone ringing off the hook and a restaurant bursting at the seams.
We needed to go and see what all the fuss was about.
Tucked away in the town centre between St Giles Street and Abington Street, the Old Bakery has a varied history.
Having stood empty for some time now since its predecessor closed, The Smoke Pit has added new life to the quiet cobbled street.
Firstly, I must mention the door handles.
Not something I or anyone else would normally notice, but The Smoke Pit door handles have been made out of old meat cleavers and set the scene for what awaits inside.
Walking into the warm and cosy building was welcome relief from the cold outside and I was instantly impressed with the decor.
Mismatching lanterns fill the bar/lounge area creating a cosy candlelit glow. Big leather sofas, chairs and bar stools fill this area with impressive artwork and a piano.
We sat down on one of the sofas with a glass of wine and a beer to inspect the menu.
Meat, meat and more meat – with a twist.
The menu is split into three simple sections – from the smoker, from the charcoal grill and non-meat.
We were shown to our seats in the restaurant, which was already full at just gone 7pm on a Wednesday.
The restaurant is vast with impressive artwork, huge reclaimed tables and the old bakers oven.
You can even watch the master chefs in action via a TV screen on the wall streaming live to the kitchen.
I ordered the 15-hour pulled pork from the smoker and my husband, unable to decide what to have, ordered the Smoke Pit House Platter.
The pulled pork, covered in home-made barbecue sauce, was really tasty and you could taste the smokey flavours coming through.
It was served with charred bread and three simple little salads on the side, plus skin-on French fries.
There was a lot of food and exceptional value for money at just £8.50.
My husband also had a real plate full.
The platter consisted of thick cut brisket, pulled pork, pork belly rib, hot link sausage and a chicken thigh.
Priced at £21.50, the platter is the most expensive thing on the menu but again served with the little side salad and a side order (of which there are many to choose from), it’s great value for money and perfect if you’re undecided what to choose from the menu.
The meat was delicious, flavoursome and tender.
Sticking with the smoked theme, we finished the meal by sharing the smoked cheese on the dessert menu which came with a tomato chutney and biscuits.
The cheese, from a local cheese shop around the corner, was really good.
Although I was unsure about the tomato chutney, it all went together perfectly.
Our meal was washed down with several glasses of wine and beer.
We felt the total cost of our night out at The Smoke Pit was exceptional value for money.
The Smoke Pit is certainly living up to the hype surrounding it.
The trendy design and style of cooking at the restaurant is very different to anything we already have in Northampton and I think it’s fantastic that people are genuinely excited about something new in the town.
It seems that The Smoke Pit is the place to be seen at the moment and for a relaxed night out with excellent food and drink then it’s definitely worth a visit.
The Smoke Pit
11a The Ridings
DISABLED ACCESS: Steps leading up to main restaurant
PARKING: Public car park next door
TOTAL COST: £57.30
STAR RATING 9/10