Smokin' Wolf BBQ

Fried chicken at Smokin' Wolf in East Hampton.

Fried chicken at Smokin' Wolf in East Hampton. (August 2012) (Credit: Newsday / Peter Gianotti)

Arthur Wolf, former chef at Turtle Crossing, which logged 18 years in East Hampton, has taken the kitchen back in Smokin' Wolf to emphasize what made the old joint so popular: hardwood-smoked barbecue.

Turtle Crossing wandered into an American bistro format before it closed. Now, the theme is decidedly Western, from a sign heralding Route 66 to a poster advertising John Wayne in "The Oregon Trail."

You'll find lots of families and groups getting messy here, indoors and at al fresco picnic tables. It's also likely there will be a line for takeout, with diners-in-transit contemplating choices, sometimes at the pace of a slow smoker.

In short: order juicy chicken, expertly fried, barbecued, pulled or roasted; plump, well-sauced chicken wings; the pulled-pork quesadilla; "triple slider," with chicken, pork and beef brisket; snappy chili also made with brisket; and a slab of those meaty, long-smoked ribs.

The mandatory sides are tender collard greens, full-flavored garlic-mashed potatoes, chargrilled corn on the cob with Cotija cheese and chili powder, coleslaw and extra cornbread. If you have room, add fried mac-and-cheese bites. The serious dessert is the "cup of mud," with chocolate mousse on crushed Oreos and capped with whipped cream.

There will be leftovers, of course, for a last taste of summer. But expect this Wolf to keep smokin' at least through November.

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