Whatever became of Scott Swiderski, who left Buddakan last summer after 12 years as executive chef?

He's surfaced at the corner of 13th and Drury Streets in Wash West at a resto-bar called The Corner (102 S. 13th St.) in the former site of a short-lived bar/lounge called Apothecary and later APO. It debuts Friday night (12/17).

Here's the comfort-food menu, which Swiderski wisely has kept small -- befitting his small open kitchen that looks out to a counter and a wee little bar dispensing 7 whites, 8 reds, 5 sparkling, 9 beers, and a load of $11 cocktails bearing names such as Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame and Mary Kelly's Last Breath, as well as classics such as a tequila old fashioned. The drink menu is here.

A few dishes we tried: a meatball salad (two decent meatballs sliced in half and served with greens and topped with Reggiano), fried calamari that harkened to Buddakan, a "grilled truffle cheese" sandwich that advertised short rib in the middle, a hearty bowl of rigatoni, and a dandy side of mashed turnips topped with fried shallots.

Prices top out at $18 for grilled tuna.

Sexily lit street-level dining room has wooden tables and banquettes embedded with adjustable seat backs.

Upstairs has been refitted into a comfier lounge that maintains the roof deck.