The Smith is perhaps far too good of a restaurant for Midtown East. Of course, that’s why it started in the East Village and is only now making its uptown pilgrimage. But really, this place is destination worthy.
The Smith is an American brasserie serving from breakfast through late nights, with a huge menu including a raw bar, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and a bevy of desserts. The decor is that of a casual brasserie, with dishtowel napkins, tiled floors, and an eclectic display of vintage liqueur bottles. The whole ambiance lends itself to relaxation and boisterous laughter.
Though it can be a risk to order oysters in a non-seafood based establishment, the risk here pays off. The oysters here—Beau Soleils, Fanny Bays, and Cotuit Bays—are fresh, briny, and full of oceanic oyster liqueur. Served with some of the fiery housemade habanero vinaigrette, they are an unexpectedly fantastic start to any meal.
The roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese is like French onion soup gone American. A steaming layer of melted cheddar cheese covers a thick slice of sourdough bread that becomes soft and tangy in the creamy tomato soup. Perfectly seasoned, with enough salt to bring out the tomatoes’ savory qualities, this is a standout dish.
The chicken paillard with mozzarella, roasted peppers, arugula, marinated tomatoes, and Parmesan dressing is also exemplary: Thin, juicy chicken cutlets with charred edges, topped with bitter arugula, silky red peppers, and a nutty Parmesan dressing. Filling but not heavy, savory but not overtly garlicky or spicy.
The Smith is a solid choice for lunch. The portions are huge, the atmosphere is festive, the price is right, and the service is expedient.
And though the food may be far too tasty for Midtown East, who’s complaining?
956 Second Ave.
Manhattan, NY 10022