By: Darrah de jour
With the recent upsurge of restaurants and bars in New York with Smith in the title, arrives Smith’s, the brainchild of restaurateurs Danny Abrams (co-founder of The Red Cat, The Harrison and Mermaid Inn) and Cindy Smith (Raoul’s, Spartina). Formerly, Trattoria Dante, what sets this cozy, renovated eatery apart from the others is its style (the dining room parallels a twenties-era saloon car) and its menu, which offers seasonal, carefully prepared American cuisine.
The bar at the back of Smith’s is tiny, yet receptive. With crushed sky-blue velvet walls, an Oriental throw and only eight bar stools, it’s the perfect place to sip a dirty martini while waiting for the rest of your party to arrive, or on Sundays, relish in their plentiful grilled cheese variations. Options include mozzarella spiedini with wild mushroom cream, Humboldt Fog with pears and arugula, or grilled Tallegio with apple marmalade on country bread.
The Orient Express-style dining room, with banquettes and black leather booths, pistachio-colored walls, and the quaint feel of a European bistro sits just behind the semi-open café up front. For which Chef Pablo Romero (Bouley and Citarella alum) prepares delicate items such as artichoke pasta with black truffles, grilled lobster with butternut squash puree and Brussels sprouts with almonds. His fondness for braising and poaching is apparent in many of his recipes, which also include an impressive variety of decorative reductions and purées.
And to drink, Smith’s wine and cocktail list offers 13 wines by the glass and six half-bottles, so capricious diners can flirt with more than one taste; proving that good things certainly do come in small packages.
9 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012
M-Th, 5:30pm-11:00pm; Fri, Sat, 5:30-11:30pm; Sun, 5:30-10:00pm