Hot Meal: Lunch at Wexler's

Categories: Hot Meal

Smoked chicken wings: A tad gnawy.
Despite the buzz it's sparked, brand-new Wexler's (568 Sacramento at Montgomery) strikes you as tiny and a little prim, tucked away in a gray block of Sacramento along a concrete canyon in the Financial District. Even the dining room has a touch of the austere, despite its otherwise playful bronto-bones canopy rippling across the ceiling. Show up in a business suit at lunch, and you won't feel like some overdressed douchebag. Or at least not the only one.

The idea? Barbecue through a meticulously upscale lens, engineered by former Fish & Farm chef Charlie Kleinman. An appetizer of smoked chicken wings reimagined Buffalo by way of Manhattan: four joints stacked in a pool of yogurty, Pt. Reyes Original Blue dressing, with a flurry of blanched celery slices. Score the wings tasty, despite lingering rubberiness. The Sloppy Joe was better: shreddy bits of smoked brisket in some jamlike matrix of tomato frontin' slow sizzle. Its Acme ciabatta roll: perfect. The house-made bread-n-butter pickles: ditto. Even the skin-on roasted steak fries had a gravelly potato-ness that seemed, well, sincere. Only you probably don't want to show up here sporting cowboy boots and a pearl-buttoned work shirt. Unless, of course, you bought them at Barneys.

The Sloppy Joe: Shreddy and jamlike.

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