International Smoke, the debut restaurant from Food Network star and all-around food personality Ayesha Curry and chef Michael Mina, opened in San Francisco yesterday. Curry first launched the international meat concept as a pop-up out of Mina’s incubator the Mina Test Kitchen. But, noting its success and (probably) Curry’s extreme likability, Mina decided to replace his restaurant RN74 with a permanent International Smoke.
International Smoke is one of the most highly anticipated San Francisco restaurants this year, given Curry’s celebrity, and in the lead up to the opening, the restaurant’s PR provided a San Francisco Chronicle journalist with a curious list of talking points. These included not referring to the address as “Millennium Tower,” despite the fact that this is the building that houses the restaurant, and asking that he not call International Smoke, which serves smoked and grilled meats, including a “Vietnamese BBQ Pork Chop,” a “barbecue restaurant.”
Regardless of the genre, the early word from social media is positive. Below, take a peek at the the completely booked first night, and imagine a Curry-curated soundtrack of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Sade:
Curry, in a chefs coat, demonstrated some tableside service.
Basketball player Steph Curry, who is also Curry’s husband, was there with the Warriors team.
I just went by international smoke and Stephan Curry was literally right at the door— Desenia (@ddeseniaa) November 14, 2017
I guess when you work at International Smoke, having Steph and Durant come thru the doors becomes a normal thing #butitsreallynot ♀️— Bruna Bessa (@Brruunnaa) November 14, 2017
The opening may bode well for the Warriors.
Warriors 1-0 since International Smoke officially opened.— Benjamin Cruz (@cruzkontrol) November 14, 2017
And International Smoke is already winning — it’s fully booked through February.
• Ayesha Curry talks about her new restaurant, International Smoke, opening today [SF Chronicle]
• The curious ‘talking points’ put forth by the International Smoke PR team [SF Chronicle]
• Inside International Smoke, Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina’s Monument to Barbecue [ESF]