Exclusive interview with Dinosaur Bar-b-que pitmaster extraordinaire, John Stage!

4 Dec

John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-b-que talks with OmNomCT (press photo)

Update:  as of 5 pm, 12/5/12, Dinosaur Stamford is open.  Check our review!

Are you a BBQaholic?  Well, you still have plenty of time to work on that and become one.  Just imagine…around this time next year, the fall of 2012, you could be down by the water in Stamford, munchin’ on some smoky, succulent ribs at Dinosaur Bar-b-quesee our announcement here.  To get you all psyched up and ready for the opening, we’ve got an interview with founder and pitmaster, John Stage.  In the meantime you can check out their Newark (now open), Syracuse, Troy, Rochester, or Harlem joints.  Without further ado, John Stage…

Dinosaur Bar-B-Q Ribs (press photo)

OmNomCT:  Everyone has their own opinion on what makes good BBQ. What’s yours?

John Stage:  Good BBQ is the right balance of smoke, spice, and sauce. Most importantly, the succulence of the meat is the star of the show.

OmNomCT:  Dinosaur Bar-b-que went from a BBQ slinging truck to a Syracuse institution of meatiness.  What made Dinosaur Bar-b-que so popular and the go-to spot for BBQ?

John Stage: I’m a self-taught chef who’s let my experiences—from my Italian-American upbringing, to my travels to Miami and love of Cuban food, to my training under a Japanese chef—inform the menu at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. The early days of Dino, which were spent traveling and cooking up and down the East Coast, brought my cuisine to life in a way that respectfully blends regional lines of barbecue. Further, the Syracuse location gained fast popularity because of its unique, festive atmosphere, live music scene and motorcycle vibe, indicative of my love of traveling by bike on the open road. All of these aspects come together at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, making it stand apart from other barbecue joints. The restaurant offers a story, an experience, a night out, and delicious, unparalleled barbecue, all of which have built its reputation.

OmNomCT:  Are there unique aspects to each of your places?  What will make Stamford stand out from your other Dinosaur Bar-b-que spots?

John Stage:  There are no two Dinos that look the same, the uniqueness of the Stamford building and the design that’s evolving will add to that. We are also putting in a wood grill in addition to the 3 smokers, so I’m very excited about some new recipes to complement the grill.

OmNomCT:  How would you describe Dinosaur Bar-b-que in 140 characters or less?

John Stage:  A soulful restaurant that offers delicious, authentic barbecue in a relaxed, fun atmosphere infused with great music and biker culture.

Yumminess of Dinosaur Bar-b-que, photo by Daniel Krieger

OmNomCT:  If zombies were invading Stamford and the customers at Dino Bar-b-que had enough time for one last dish, what do you think should be their final meal from you?

John Stage:  That’s easy, they should get the sampler plate of ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and our homemade sausage. Hit that with our mac and cheese and all will be right in Zombieland.

Well that it’s folks! We’re even more excited now after hearing about John’s culinary training – and the fact that he justified our Zombie question with a perfect answer! How could you not love that? Stay tuned for more meaty goodness as we get closer to the grand opening.

Dinosaur Bar-b-que

Stamford (November 2012)

845 Canal Street

Stamford, CT

Newark (Now Open!)

224-226 Market Street

Newark, NJ


246 W. Willow St.

Syracuse, NY


99 Court St

Rochester, NY


700 W. 125th St at 12th

Harlem, NYC


377 River St.

Troy, NY

Buffalo (Summer 2013)

301 Franklin Street

Dinosaur BBQ on Urbanspoon

11 Responses to “Exclusive interview with Dinosaur Bar-b-que pitmaster extraordinaire, John Stage!”

  1. Kooz December 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Looking forward to it. I’ve been to the Dinosaur in Syracuse a few times, and I used to go a lot to the Rochester location when I lived there. While I work in the CIty, I don’t get to Harlem often, but I have driven past that location. As a Stammy resident, the Stamford one will be perfect. I just hope they still sell take home growlers!


    • Dan Del Ferraro December 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      Take home growlers? That’s awesome! We’re all for that! Totally understand about Harlem, too. If you work around 30th street, you could spend half an hour or so getting to Harlem by subway. But, our own Dino will be just about 15 minutes away from us! Aw yeah! :)


  2. whitemist December 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    whoa! With that much experience, it better be good…I don’t think i can wait – when can i get to syracues?



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