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Restaurants & Bars 8

Thumbs up to The Smith

eeee | Jan 6, 200810:45 AM

I met a friend for dinner at The Smith, the new American restaurant on 3rd Ave between 10th and 11th. We went around 9ish on Saturday without reservations (not sure if The Smith takes them.)

The room is pleasant and capacious, with booths along the side and cafe-like tables in the rest of the space. alongside the right hand side is a long and spacious bar. The bar was full of people but I never felt crushed during my half-hour wait for a table. Drinks are reasonably priced - wine by the glass ranges from 6 to 10 dollars with most being 7 or 8, and the specialty mixed drinks were 8 or 9. I had something called the "Traveling Brit" (gin, Pernod, mint and lime - very anise-inflected.) Ladies, there are hooks for your purses! The crowd was young (most in their 20s, I would guess) and happy - the room had an upbeat, convivial vibe to it.

We were seated in one of the booths along the side, a primo seat. The menu is straightforward and gently priced. I was in a light eating mood, so I sadly passed up the "calamari Brooklyn style" - calamari wtih spicy tomato sauce- for a baby arugula salad followed by salmon with brussel sprouts and bacon bits. My friend had a plate of chicken sausage, peppers and potatoes with a side of spinach.

The server, who was cheerful and helpful, brought us both still and sparkling water gratis to start in glass bottles. Napkins are sort of like cloth dishtowels.

All the food was very good. My salad was tasty albeit brimming with cheese - I left over half of it on the plate - and the salmon was nicely prepared with a crispy crust. My friend's sausage turned out to be delicious and spicy, and the spinach had a bright green taste to it and was grit-free. The bread and butter is boring, however.

Most of the desserts were some variation on ice cream sundaes, which I found weird. I didn't order any.

Prices are very gentle. Our food plus a glass of wine and a beer was about $60.

I enjoyed The Smith. It's well-situated to grab a bite to eat before or after a movie or a show. It would be a great place for a first or second date, or to meet up with friends. I recommend it.

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