The Smith - making people happy!
The Smith, which opened in Penn Quarter earlier this year, is an upmarket restaurant offering contemporary American food in a buzzy environment. Kris and I had a chance have dinner there recently, and I can vouch that the buzz with which it opened it still very much present!
The expansive restaurant is styled as a classic meets modern design in an urban setting, complete with white subway tiles, a stunning bar, lights, and brasserie style chairs and tables. They are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Their style of food and service is to “make people happy”. And they sure made us happy!
The menu is divided into snacks, starters, salads, main courses, pastas, steaks and sides. Let me start by telling you to order ALL OF THE SNACKS. I’m definitely a snacks and appetizers type person, so I was super excited to try a variety of little plates.
Our first snack to arrive was the crab cake tots – little mini crab cakes served with tartar sauce in a super cute presentation. Tasty and a good size portion with 6 to an order – gets you that crab cake satisfaction without having to eat a giant one.
I’m also obsessed with fried green tomatoes so I was super excited to try the green tomato rings. The thick cut tomatoes had a light but crispy batter and came with an almond romesco dipping sauce. Loved all of it! And yes, they didn’t “need” to be rings, but I thought it was a nice twist on what can sometimes be a soggy disc of oily green tomato. Also, it looks like they change up the rings every few months – currently the green tomatoes are gone and eggplant rings are on! Yum!
The sweet pea empanadas with goat cheese came with 3 empanadas and a jalapeno crema. To me, these were just a bit bland and I felt like they could have used a bit more oomph. I can see this being a safe choice for the spice averse.
The zucchini flatbread was absolutely one of my favorites of the night. Burrata, ricotta, shaved zucchini and basil come together for the perfect summer dish – a light, simple, and flavorful combination that I absolutely loved.
For our main courses, I decided to get the signature ricotta gnocchi with truffle cream and Kris got a steak. I appreciated the fact that the pasta came in a half portion option, which was more than enough (given all the snacks we had eaten) but also since it’s one of the heavier dishes. The steak was fine too albeit not spectacular, cooked as requested, and served with a side of greens.
On to dessert. After a lot of back and forth as to whether to get the strawberry shortcake or the bread pudding, we ended up asking for the strawberry shortcake sour cream streusel cake. But our extra nice server saw us having the long drawn discussion about what to get, so also brought us the bread pudding! And I’m glad he did, ‘cos it was hands down amazing. It is rich, extra sweet as it’s made with dates, and served in a hot cast iron skillet with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heaven on a plate. The strawberry shortcake was good too, but if you have a sweet tooth, I highly recommend the bread pudding.
All in all, The Smith is a GREAT place for small or large groups, for picky eaters, for vegetarians, and for those who just want good solid food that is satisfying. They definitely made us very happy, and I’m hoping to check out their brunch and breakfast soon!
For more details, visit their website HERE.