The Smith, East Village, NYC

I am liking some of the trends in New York dining.  The Smith is an exponent of many, including the provision of free and bottomless supplies of not just tap, but also sparkling water.  Eating irons wrapped in a proper cheesecloth napkin of tea towel proportions fulfils both form and function.

Where The Smith is ahead of certain competitors is in creating a light and airy atmosphere, helped by a full opening frontage onto the achingly cool part of 3rd Avenue, and not least by giving diners the gift of space between the tables.  Enough to escape to the toilet when needed, in any case.

The Smith is the epitome of eclecticism.  The atmosphere is trendy bistro/diner, with Parisian Café style chairs and semi- sturdy wooden tables set to a backdrop of Victorian bathroom tiles adorned by naughty nude black and white prints of the sort you would see in many a 1970’s Habitat (RIP) riddled domestic toilet.

The wine list, the first thing I study at any restaurant, is inventive rather than extensive, but convenient and reasonably priced.  Glasses of wine are in the $10 region, 0.5l carafes are about 2-3 times that.

Our Cabernet Franc at €25 per carafe had the tannins to support a steak whilst the softness to snuggle up to a pork chop.

I could bore you with detailed descriptions of the food, or I could just give you a quick list of dishes that I sampled and cover this with the advice that all were as good as I have eaten in NYC.

Starters:  Tuna tartare mixed with jalapeño spices and tomato – a protein filled fusion of Parisian days and Tokyo nights.  Calamari “Brooklyn style” was crispy pert rings of squid adorned by tomato and chilli warm salsa – a proper lip stinger on a par with a kiss from Marilyn Monroe.

Mains:  NY Strip, seasoned perfectly, cooked precisely and tender throughout.  Took 25 minutes to eat.  Pork chop on a bed of mushrooms and cheese in a tortilla needed fries but otherwise was moist and salty goodness.

I can’t say any more than this:  The Smith is one of the best value places on Manhattan.  In fact, never mind value, one of the best period.  And definitely the coolest.

The Smith
55 3rd Avenue (10th/11th St)
East Village
New York
T:  +1 212 4290 9800

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