Wise Guys

Wise Men is bringing sexy back on the Bowery

7 p.m. → Americano o'clock

11 p.m. → Bavette steak o'clock

3 a.m. → Patty melt o'clock

At Wise Men on the Bowery, it's always time for something good.

The restaurant's racy disposition owes as much to the blacked-out windows and gonzo red-and-white wallpaper (an enlarged image of marbled Kobe beef) as it does to a menu that blessedly seems to shout, "Keep it simple, stupid!"

Pick one of the six scripted drinks, then get down to business. The 355 ($12) trounces with tequila, Fernet and vermouth, and an Americano ($12) is its typical restorative self with Campari, sweet vermouth and soda.

French fries ($5) are as tasty as if Wise Men concealed a drive-through and arches. The potatoes' accompanying horseradish crème wallops with its nose-clearing assault.

And to go with those fries, who needs a standard burger when there is a rye bread patty melt, blessed with tangles of caramelized onions, melted cheddar and pickles ($14)? All that's required is a chipper shredded-radish-and-cabbage salad ($9) to tip the scales in a lighter direction.

The trick to finding Wise Men's unmarked entrance: Look for the life-size photo of the five ladies on the façade to find your way in. But don't blame us if it's hours before you find your way out.