Booze & sweet Southern eats hit Ballard

Despite a name that makes people irrationally worry it will be terribly overpriced despite hitting just .205 in 2007, The Sexton -- whose final syllable thankfully starts with a "T" instead of an "S" -- promises that it never played for the Mariners, and is only trying to turn the Ballard storefront that once housed Madame K's Pizza Bistro into a fully boozed dispenser of sweet Southern eats.

The Space: The purposefully careworn interior is scattered with old-timey decorative touches (vintage photographs, patterned wallpaper, a chandelier made from Mason jars), and is split between a dining room/open kitchen in back, and an undulating, siding-clad bar up front that's been topped with more old white cassette tapes than a John Cusack rom-com.

The Food: The small plate-heavy lineup of edible "Southern comfort" features protein (Sage & Cider Braised Ribs w/ bourbon, ginger & BBQ), soul food staples (the five-cheese Sexton Mac w/ bacon roux), and snacks like Hush Puppies w/ roasted red pepper aioli, and Three Sliders with apologies to Rembrandt Brown, who is clearly behind Jerry O'Connell, fat beard guy, and the chick ground chuck & scratch-made BBQ sauce on brioche.

The Drinks: Crafted by a Golden Beetle vet, the booze list boasts Dixieland mainstays (the Sexton Julep w/ bourbon, housemade apricot brandy & mint), and signature 'tails w/ south-of-the-Mason-Dixon ingredients, including the sophisticated bourbon/Cynar/St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram-based Dustbowl which, as its name implies, isn't just for Rich(ie) people.