The Pit is the perfect pick for you when you crave primitive-style grilled meats in the capital.
Smoked ribs, pulled lamb, pork sausages, chicken brisket, tenderloin steak — America’s obsession with barbecue is robust and certainly hard to match. For ‘cue lovers in the capital, however, a fresh new BBQ joint has cropped up in the posh locale of Vasant Vihar. Inspired by the true western-style grills, The Pit is barely a few months old and is already rolling out flavourful artisanal meats grilled to perfection!
The small entrance in a far-end nook of the bustling Priya Complex is almost missable. But once you manage to figure it out and shin up the narrow staircase, you walk up into a rustic little space that opens up to chic, minimalist interiors and a cool, laidback vibe. It reminds you of one of those authentic American smokehouses. The wafting aromas coming from traditional grills in the open kitchen pulls you in an instant, while the diverse menu makes you stay.
We picked to be seated by the large glass windows — a common neighbourhood tree right outside danced along the pre-monsoon wind, making up for a decent view. Inside, soft yellow light from pendant hanging lamps filled up the space, a well-lit (and well stocked) bar occupied one corner, and a huge glass-walled open kitchen offered glimpses of backdoor action where the magic happens!
Clean and carefully selected cuts of succulent meats, smoked and prepared over a long period of time on a low heat is what sets the tone for the dining experience at The Pit. “It’s all in the ‘slow and low’ technique we have adapted — slow cooking at low temperature”, says Sumeet Rewari, one of the co-founders at The Pit. The originality and authenticity of the concept of serving quality crafted meats was devised by Rewari, along with his partner, Manharan Singh. The duo brings years of experience from across the hospitality industry and business acumen.
“Being an avid meat lover, I forever struggled to find a decent place in Delhi serving good-quality meat. I have always preferred the western method of cooking meat where the spices don’t take away from the true flavours and nature of the dish,” says Rewari. Ask him what went into deciding on the name of the place, and he takes you straight to the giant 7feet x 3feet smoker pit that dominates the kitchen and cooks the juiciest, most tender meats for several hours in the traditional way. Furthermore, apple, cherry, and cedar wood procured from the founders’ own farm in Himachal Pradesh, gives the dishes their authentic and rich flavour statement.
The menu is limited, yes, but is enough to make meat lovers drool all over. We started off with some smoked butter garlic prawns, and they turned out to be a pescatarian’s absolute wet dream! The smokey, garlicky flavour of these giant prawns smeared in butter and garnished with some fresh parsley was spot on. At The Pit, each main comes in big, shareable portions and is accompanied by a choice of two sides, we are told. So, along came some garlic truffle fries and paprika pineapple as sides packed with flavourful punches. There were also a variety of homemade dips, including the likes of BBQ, honey mustard, Buffalo hot sauce, ranch, and blue cheese.
Next, lamb chops arrived charred and super succulent, resting on an appetising sauce with a side of crispy burnt garlic beans and some good ol’ mac and cheese — the chef definitely hit the ball out of the park with this one! Pulled lamb was a tad bit chewy for my liking but maintained a tangy succulent flavour that made up for the texture. If you are into pork, their tender and juicy bacon steak (that breaks apart with the slightest touch of a fork) and in-house sausages (named as ‘Bangers‘ for a reason!) are must-haves. We picked mushy peas and butter mashed potatoes with gravy for sides, and boy, they did not disappoint.
From classic chilli dog, pastrami sub, spepperoni pizza, to smoked chicken salad and lamb chilli bruschetta — there are plenty options if you wish to keep it light. For vegetarians, there’s a separate ‘Herbivore‘ section with dishes like jacket potatoes, grilled cheese sandwich, and soya chilli. As much as the good folks at The Pit love to cook their meats nice and slow, the primitive style, they also enjoy making unique cocktails that go well with your food picks.
I went with the Caramel Volcano that put on a whole ‘fire’ show and totally blown me away with its perfectly blended flavours of caramel, bourbon, and orange bitters. We ended our dinner with a classic tiramisu layered with just the right amount of coffee, whipped cream, and the delicious mascarpone filling.
Address: 46, First Floor, Basant Lok Market, Priya Complex, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 110070
Timing: 1 pm to 10 pm
Meal for two: INR1,000 ++
Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Max: 5 stars)
One dish we loved: Lamb Chops
One dish that didn’t work for us: Smoked Chicken Salad