If you catch the scent of hickory smoke wafting over Farmingdale, chances are it’s from Estelle’s Contemporary Smokehouse & Bar, newly opened in the former digs of Fatty Beltbuckles.
The place is named for the grandmother of chef and co-owner Evan Randell, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute who cooked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as the former Bay & Main in Greenport and Station & Park in Wantagh. Randell said he wanted to combine his restaurant experience with the art of barbecue.
Already sampled, from the wide-ranging menu: deeply smoky free-range chicken ($16.95) and meaty, delectable slow-smoked baby back ribs ($16.95 a half rack). First-rate hand cut fries, too. Less successful were two appetizers: dry, overdone beef brisket sliders on too-thick buns and a surprisingly nondescript mashed Indian-style eggplant and tomato ($7.95), one of several vegetarian offerings.
Overall, though, the place shows much promise.
Estelle’s Contemporary Smokehouse is at 169 Main St., Farmingdale, 516-586-8700.