There is barbecue, and then there is Fatty ’Cue — Zak Pelaccio’s new Williamsburg restaurant that hopes to redefine the way you think about barbecue.
The new eatery is a much-delayed dream two years in the making — the fusion of Pelaccio’s well-known take on Southeast Asian fare prevalent throughout the Fatty franchise, and the barbecue sensibilities of pit master Robbie Richter, formerly of Hill Country in Chelsea.
“The base flavors of our barbecue are the same as other people’s — you have your heat, your sweet, your smoke. We’ve just translated it into something more interesting,” said Richter.
Here meat is smoked over subtler, aged oak wood instead of hickory, and meats are rubbed with Southeast Asian flavors such as Thai chilies. The menu, comprised of small plates, large plates and sides, encourages parties to mix and match barbecue with items like the ’Cue Crudite ($6) or celery salad with preserved cabbage ($6).
“We engineered all of our side dishes to be light,” said chef Andrew Pressler, expelling the notion that barbecued meats need heavy sides like mac and cheese.
Pressler treated us to some of his sublime version of baba ghanoush — ringed by bok choy, green mango and green beans for dipping — plus a bowl of cockles with house-smoked bacon before moving onto the masterpiece on his menu: Red Curry Rubbed Duck ($14). Banish all notions you have of duck: his 130-degree, four-hour, 100-percent humidity slow-cooking method transforms this sometimes foul bird into a supremely juicy decadent delight.
Fatty ’Cue [91 S. Sixth Street between Bedford and Berry streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599-3090]. Closed Mondays.
— Kristen V. Brown