The Smith – Midtown East’s Dining Destination

The Smith is just way too good 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, which I rarely say of a restaurant east of Park Avenue in the 50s.

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 Bloody Marys they offer for brunch are great to boot – spicy and full bodied, with a nice kick of vodka. The decor is casual brasserie – dishtowel napkins, tiled floors…

and this eclectic display of vintage liqueur bottles. 

Water

This place offers complimentary sparkling water. Glory be and the saints be praised, because, as a gal who can down 4 club sodas at one meal, this is both welcome and a huge money saver!

Oysters

It was a risk ordering oysters in a non-seafood based establishment, but it paid off. The oysters here – Beau Soleils, Fanny Bays, and Cotuit Bays – were fresh, briny, and full of oceanic oyster liqueur. I expected good oysters, but these were great – easily as good as the oysters at Mermaid Oyster Bar. Served with some of the fiery housemade habanero vinaigrette, they were an unexpectedly fantastic start to the meal.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

French Onion Soup gone American Tomato Soup. That is the brilliance of this dish. A steaming layer of gooey melted cheddar cheese covered a thick slice of sourdough bread that became soft and tangy in the creamy tomato soup. The tomatoes were clearly roasted, bringing out their sweetness before being mixed with fresh cream. I thought I detected chicken or beef stock in the background, but it could just be that the stock was simmered for long enough that the flavors all fully developed that umami taste. Perfectly seasoned, with enough salt to bring out the tomatoes’ savory qualities, this was a stand out dish.

Simply the best tomato soup I have eaten in the city, and one that I aim to recreate at home. Serving it French Onion Soup style was a stroke of genius.

Chicken Paillard with Mozzarella, Roasted Peppers, Arugula, Marinated Tomatoes, and Parmesan Dressing

If you feel like this, this is just what you feel like. Know what I mean? This tastes exactly like you think it will. Thin, juicy chicken cutlets with charred, smoky edges, topped with bitter arugula, silky red peppers, juicy tomatoes, and salty, nutty, Parmesan dressing. Filling but not heavy, savory but not overtly garlicky or spicy…this just fit the bill.

With a few of my sister’s very tasty, lightly salted fries (that reminded me quite a bit of In-N-Out, actually), this was a perfect lunch.

The Smith is just so great. The portions are huge, the atmosphere is festive, the price is right, and the service is expedient. 

And even though the food is way too good for Midtown East…I’m not complaining.
The Smith Midtown on Urbanspoon

Comments

  1. Dee says:

    So funny you posting abut that soup today. Just caught up with smitten kitchen and here's a recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/09/roasted-tomato-soup-with-broiled-cheddar/

  2. Sippity Sup says:

    Sounds like a winner. Merry Christmas! GREG

  3. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @Dee-well, now that I have a craving, I am SO making that recipe! Thank you so much for linking!
    @Greg-it was great, as were my holidays! I hope yours were wonderful, too!

  4. Michelle Wicklas says:

    don't think that music man reference went unnoticed. GENIUS

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