Fatty 'Cue Restaurant By Chef Dan Ross-Leutwyler

A wholly new Fatty 'Cue

Leave it to the Fatty Crew to twist our arms and warp our taste buds.

We have spent so much time in the West Village lately that we put the kibosh on further coverage. Then Fatty 'Cue opened there.

As rabid fans of the freewheeling Williamsburg location, we pounced immediately. The comparatively posh West Village incarnation is better than we even imagined.

The menu, under the direction of Dan Ross-Leutwyler, is almost entirely new, and the 'Cue's signature flavors tumbled and ricocheted across our mouths like a Southern pit master's Southeast Asian fever dream.

To begin, Chilies and Cheese ($9) was bread and butter reconsidered: warm, fluffy rolls served with salted chiles and a fresh cheese cultured on-site from Finger Lakes' buffalo milk.

Then we explored the boundless magnetism of smoke. An eggplant appetizer ($15) was saturated with wood vapor and tossed with poached chicken, celery stalk and leaves and a brash sesame-and-fish-sauce vinaigrette. We followed that with an order of the cured, smoked and deep-fried bacon ($18), accompanied by a funky salsa verde.

Smoke, too, seeped into dessert: a genius parfait ($11) of black sesame, tamarind pudding and chewy tapioca pearls, all blasted with Lapsang souchang tea smoke.

Welcome to Manhattan, Fatty 'Cue. We thank you.

Fatty 'Cue, 50 Carmine St. (between Bleecker and Bedford sts.); 212-929-5050 or fattycue.com