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The aroma of burning oak wafts down the block from Zak Pelaccio’s newly reopened ’cue house (shuttered for more than a year to rework the menu and decor). Join a rowdy crowd of off-shift restaurant folk at the downstairs bar for a cocktail created by Mayahuel’s Philip Ward, or slide into tufted green banquettes upstairs and feast on plates of Asian-accented BBQ from Anthony Masters, who mans the spot’s two Ole Hickory smokers. Pork ribs ($11) arrive in a pool of palm-sugar-infused fish sauce, while crispy lamb ribs sit atop cool fermented tofu yogurt ($14). And an irresistible plate of brisket ($23) lands on the table with zippy fixins—rhubarb kimchi, vinegar aioli and steamed white buns.
Currently enjoying the quiet life with his family upstate, Zak Pelaccio started something special with 'cue guru Robbie Richter in 2010 with the original Fatty 'Cue in Williamsburg. Watching the brand expand to the West Village then shutter for over a year in Brooklyn only to rise from the ashes like a smoke-charred phoenix (mmm ... magical bird meat) has been juicy drama for New York restaurant obsessives. Luckily, the meats coming out of chef de cuisine Anthony Masters's kitchen are just as succulent as the gossip, as familiar cuts are put through the Fatty Southeast Asian wringer. Spots of brilliance come in unlikely places, as in a West Village starter of tender poached chicken tossed with intense smoked eggplant, celery, sesame, and pickled jalapeño. Bonus points for ending the meal with pies from Butter & Scotch.
SE Asian spices and "American smoke" bond with "spectacular" results at this fusion BBQ joint from chef Zak Pelaccio; the Williamsburg flagship is currently on hiatus, but the Village spin-off is "just as exciting and delicious" as the original and not that expensive.
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