Place: The Smith
Neighborhood: East Village, 55 3rd Ave. (between 10th and 11th St.)
The scoop: Brunch at The Smith has created quite a following. Once inside you will notice how hectic, busy and noisy this place is – but this is what creates The Smith’s atmosphere. The crowd definitely adds to the fun vibe of the restaurant. On a nice summer day, they had the entire floor-to-ceiling windows open, which creates a great atmosphere of being outside, without really having to bare the heat! For a restaurant in the East Village, this place is fairly large in size. I would say this is a great place to come for a solo, small group, or large party brunch. The black-and-white tile gives it a downtown feeling. The brunch menu is really unique and creative, and it won’t leave your palette bored, which is a great reason to take out-of-town guests! With any brunch entrée order you also receive a brunch cocktail, which is a great bonus and a nice way to start off your afternoon. For brunching with a large party, I was happily surprised at the attentiveness of the server and how quickly we received our dishes.
Bottoms up: Everyone who orders a brunch entrée receives a free bloody Mary, bellini, blood orange mimosa, passion punch or a fresh squeezed juice. Be aware that the refills are not free. The sever and busboy were eager to refill your glass but did not mention the cost of a refill.
Blood orange mimosa
Blood orange?? Not really sure how they got this because it tasted like regular OJ. This was my least favorite out of the ones we ordered. It was basic and just OK.
This was a strong and flavorful bloody Mary. It wasn’t too spicy or tomato juice tasting.
Basically a mojito, this drink was served in a pint glass. It was delicious and had a hint of punch juice taste to it mixed with mint.
Chew on this:
Country Breakfast $16 / Cheddar grits, ham steak, biscuit, gravy
This is a tasty and hearty Southern-style breakfast served in a skillet. The creamy, cheesy grits along with the eggs smothered in gravy was scrumptious. The ham added a little flavor and provided something to dip in the gravy. The oversized biscuit was one of the best features of this dish. It had a spicy jalapeno flavor and was perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle – also another item to soak up in gravy.
Ranchero scrambled $16 / Chipotle salsa, black beans, tortillas, cheddar, avocado
Underneath the layer of scrambled eggs, chipotle salsa and crispy tortilla, there was a layer of black beans, which filled up the entire plate. The ranchero combo is one of my faves, and the Smith’s version was delicious. I loved that I could soak everything up with the crispy tortilla, and the avocado was not overwhelming, if you are not a fan, just a few slices on top. My one complaint of this dish was the chipotle sauce tasted more like marinara, rather than spicy salsa, but over all, this dish was completely satisfying. Be aware, that if you are a carnivore, you may want to ask to add chicken or beef.
Mushroom omelette $15 / Wild mushrooms, herbs, fontina, home fries
The Smith creates a smooth and basic omelette adding fontina instead of the usual cheddar, which was a great twist. I do not know how they make omelettes so smooth, but I would like to know their secret! Mine always turn out lumpy and not as fluffy! Get this dish if you are in the mood for your basic omelette. Loved the round cut home fries.
Croaker $16 / Smoked ham, gruyere cheese, sourdough rye, sunnyside-up eggs, home fries
This was basically a Croque Madame, which is a really delicious grilled breakfast sandwich, served with hot ham and melted gruyere cheese. The two sunnyside-up eggs on top were wonderfully runny when broken and I was surprised that the bread did not really get soggy. The home fries were cut round and had a nice red pepper spice to them. I couldn’t even finish the fries. It was extremely filling! Not all Croques are created equal and the Smith did it right!
Egg white omelette $16 / Spinach, goat cheese, home fries
The “healthy” brunch option was decent, but it left me craving what all of my fellow brunch goers had – interesting and innovative dishes. I can’t complain too much, however, because it was delicious and seemed to be a lighter option. The home fries make this dish not so healthy, but who could resist the round cut, crispy potatoes with red peppers and other spices.
Potato waffle Benedict $16 / Spinach, caramelized onion
Like something you have never seen before, this dish is awesome. You will notice in the picture that the spinach is more of a sauce spread on top of the three perfectly poached eggs and waffles. The waffles are cut into little triangles and take place of the English muffins, which you would normally find with a Benedict dish. I highly recommend this dish if you want something interesting combination of waffles, poached eggs, and spinach, then this dish is what you need to order!
Chicken sausage + eggs $16 / Spicy corn bread, gravy, home fries
One of the more manly brunch dishes, this dish is like Thanksgiving. There was a lot of flavor packed into the cornbread, and combined with the poached eggs and gravy sauce, this was an amazing dish, but a little on the heavy side. If you are not into poached eggs, you can sub out for scrambled like one of the guys did. If you have any leftover corn bread, it provided a great item to dip into your gravy. This also comes with the home fries, which were crispy and delicious with a little spicy flavor. Everything about this dish screams flavor!
Vanilla bean French toast $16 / Maple butter, caramelized bananas
Wowzer! I am a sucker for sweets, but even more so when a restaurant gets it more than right. The bread they used was oversized and had a barely cooked taste. This left it a little soggy, but in a good way, because you can drench the toast in syrup. You can’t really go wrong with caramelized bananas, which gave the dish some texture.
Grilled chicken sandwich $14 / Cheddar, tomato, chipotle, French fries
This is from the lunch menu, which is great to be able to order from if you are not feeling the brunch food. This was really just a classic chicken sandwich, but the chipotle sauce gave it some life and flavor. The bread was thick, but soft and very fresh-tasting. The French fries were nothing fabulous, but still enjoyable. Be aware: Since this dish is from the lunch menu you do not receive a free drink.
The final bite: With an extensive, innovative menu, room for a small or large party, attentive and quick service, fun décor and vibe, and a complimentary drink, The Smith is a great place to brunch and a fun way to show off New York to out-of-towners. Everyone in my party was extremely happy overall. I highly recommend this place, and you should be open to the interesting menu if you are otherwise a basic boring bruncher. Your palette will not be left unsatisfied, which is why I am gladly giving The Smith 5 out of 5 mimosas.
Reviewed by: Erica