Well Played

Nate Smith is back and better than ever

Adversity breeds deliciousness.

Or so it seems with Nate Smith, the chef at the brand-new pub Allswell in Williamsburg.

After a quick-fire stint at Dean Street and an ongoing series of pop-ups at Brooklyn bars, Smith has landed sturdily on his feet at Allswell. We swear his food is better than ever, and it has always been plenty good.

In a bold move, the menu at Allswell changes constantly. On our visit, maitake and shiitakes ($7) were cooked slowly in olive oil, then delicately pickled and loaded on garlic-rubbed toast. Simple, smart, sublime.

Then cubanelle peppers were paired with cardoons in an invigorating purée ($9) modeled after the signature soups at Duarte's Tavern in coastal northern California. Even sunchokes ($7) were jaw-droppers, dressed like splintered baked potatoes.

Allswell is a pub, so it's not surprising that meat gallops across the menu. A deboned and rolled goat body was seasoned with rosemary and fennel seed and braised before being dropped on bread ($27) and served with a jagged pile of arugula. We dub it "goat-chetta."

Smith's wife, Sophie Kamin, has landed at Allswell, too. Hampered by a broken ice cream maker, she has turned to semifreddos. The pitfall is a sweet boon: Her carrot cake topped with half-frozen maple mousse ($7) is an epic dessert.

Allswell, 124 Bedford Ave. (at N. 10th St.), Brooklyn; 347-799-2743 or allswellnyc.tumblr.com