First Look at Ducks, Now Serving Squid Jerky, Pig Ears and Brisket

Noah Fecks

“I want to smoke food, cure food, and be in a place where I can do whatever I want,” said chef Will Horowitz, whose new eclectic barbecue joint Ducks Eatery will officially open early next month.

Judging by the limited menu (the restaurant is still in soft opening mode) and smoky, spicy cocktails, Mr. Horowitz is indeed having fun. A spicy beef jerky is made with squid sauce; cherrystone clams are served with smoked ham, kaffir granita, currants, and cilantro; crispy pig ears come in a lettuce wrap. The spicy trail mix includes bacon and Cocoa Krispies.

The star of the show, of course, is the smoked brisket with apricot and fish sauce.

Mr. Horowitz plans to continue changing up the menu, and mentioned goat feet curry soup and yakamein, a New Orleans noodle soup.

The restaurant’s bar should officially open on Wednesday. Sidewalk seating is coming soon, as is a deli counter for the late-night crowd looking to get brisket on the go.

“This isn’t some fusion thing, it’s my life,” said Mr. Horowitz, who has spent time in Burma, New Orleans, and living the life of a ski bum. “It’s food that speaks to me.”

He added, “Smoky, briny, spicy. That’s my motto. Being on the beach, lighting a clam bake and smoking meat.”

Click through the gallery to get a look at the dishes, the interior, and the (limited for now) menu.

Ducks, 351 East 12th Street, near First Avenue; 212-432-3825; open Wed-Sat until official opening next month.