The Smith - New York, NY (Midtown)

The Smith will always hold a special place in my heart since my husband and I ate there the night he proposed to me. It was a beautiful December evening!

The Smith can best be described as a bustling, American-style bistro with a cheeky sense of humor. It is a fun, casual place which features American comfort food with a twist.

The Smith has three Manhattan locations; we have only dined at the Midtown location on 2nd Avenue.
My cousin and her family were visiting from California and were staying nearby, so we decided to take them there for dinner last night.

Upon walking into the restaurant, after using all your strength to open the heavy, wrought-iron doors, you notice the black and white tile floors, subway tile walls and lots of activity. The friendly hostesses are on your right behind a tall wooden hostess stand, and the large wooden bar is off to your left. There are several banquettes in the dining room, as well as standard wooden tables with classic vinyl-covered bistro chairs. The bathroom is located downstairs, and, warning: it's unisex! This can be quite surprising and you may think you've walked into the wrong bathroom when you see someone of the opposite sex washing their hands at the old-fashioned trough-style sink. The bathroom also features a working photo booth and an old-fashioned shoe-shine station.
My cousin posing at
the shoe-shine station

Bathroom sink


I loved that they bring to the table a large bottle of still water and a large green bottle with sparkling water. The wine is not served in a traditional wine glass but a small rocks-size glass (I prefer a wine glass). Small pieces of baguette are brought to the table in a white paper bag; last night's bread did not seem very fresh, although I think that had something to do with the 90+ degree weather!

Complimentary still and sparkling water:
a nice touch
Wine glass

The following are the dishes we sampled last night:

Chicken Pot Pie: This was definitely the winner of the evening. My 13-year-old cousin has good taste!  It was served in a large, shallow gratin dish and topped with a cheddar chive biscuit top. I mean, the picture says it all. The sauce was surprising - it was more like a light brown gravy than the thick, white creamy sauce that is usually used in a pot pie. Everyone at the table agreed that it was a damn good pot pie, and much better than those frozen ones we grew up eating!

Chicken Pot Pie

Grilled Shrimp: Served over jalapeno cheddar grits and topped with what tasted like a jalapeno crema and sauteed peppers and onions. This dish packed a wallop of flavor. The shrimp and veggies were seasoned and cooked perfectly, and I enjoyed the subtle flavor of garlic and jalapeno. Often times restaurants overcook grilled shrimp and it is so disappointing. Not the Smith - these were done just right. The grits had a really nice jalapeno and cheddar flavor, although they were a little dense. I must disclose that I may have only had grits one other time in my life, so I am definitely not the expert on the proper texture. I would definitely recommend this dish.

Grilled Shrimp over jalapeno cheddar grits

Brick Pressed Chicken: Classic bistro fare, this was a nice roasted half-chicken that was likely pressed with a brick in a pan to crisp up the skin before being finished in the oven. It was served over a giant serving of smashed garlic mashed potatoes (skin on) and a roasted garlic jus. The mashed potatoes were very creamy and rich, and the chicken was tasty, although could have been a little more moist. Overall a very good dish.

Brick Pressed Chicken

Ravioli: Goat cheese ravioli topped with pesto sauce, toasted pine nuts and "overnight" tomatoes. I did not taste this dish last night but did order it the first time I ate here a year and a half ago. I remember really liking the dish, however I do not remember there being so much pesto sauce on the plate!

Ahi Tuna Salad
Goat Cheese Ravioli

We will definitely return to The Smith. I would love to try some of their "raw bar" items, such as oysters, clams and shrimp cocktail, and one of their steaks.


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