You can see the name "The Smith" in many parts of NYC. A group of restaurants of the same name are spread out through Manhattan. Whether you are in the East Village, Midtown, Upper West Side, or NoMad area, there is a spot for you to dine in.
I recently was able to get a table at the NoMad location on 27th & Broadway. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name NoMad - it means North of Madison Square Park. Now I went in on a Friday evening at 7pm without a reservation. I figured it would be a long shot getting a table and perhaps just take a seat at the bar. Unfortunately for me, there was zero room at the bar, in fact, I couldn't even see the bar from the front due to the sea of patrons dining and enjoying a few drinks. It is a good idea to make reservations for a table as the bar and the high tops (tables higher than regular tables with barstool style seats) are a first come first serve basis and only seat about three (3) people comfortably. I was told that it would be a 45 minute to 1 hour wait for a table (actually that was told to everyone) so I waited. It was too cold to go find somewhere else to be honest. To my surprise, after only 25 minutes, I was seated. Excellent start already.
The menu has a bit of everything. Steak, fish, chicken, pasta, raw bar, salads etc. There is an extensive drink list. Whether you are interested in wines, beers, spirits or cocktails the bar at The Smith can accommodate. Service is fast and attentive. My waiter had a great personality and made the experience even that much better.
I ordered a simple burger. Actually it was the Burger Royale. A double beef patty, local American cheese, apple smoked bacon, house pickles, shredded romaine, red onion, 50/50 sauce, sesame bun, and fries. Lots of fries. It looked unassuming as it was coming over, and from an aerial view I was disappointed, until I took it in on a profile view. The burger only looked small because of the mountain of fries that accompanied it. The burger was cooked well, and the flavor was well thought through. You would think that with all those ingredients on top of a burger, it would be a mash up of conflicting palette pleasing pieces, but on the contrary, it was delicious. It was easier to eat than anticipated, once the initial fear of unlocking your jaw to ingest the meal wore off. Did I mention the amount of fries that you get? It had moments of sweetness and a good crunch from the lettuce, pickles, and bacon. Is it worth the $17 price tag for a burger? I would say yes. Its a double patty with, incase you weren't paying attention, a lot of fries!
Like most restaurants in Manhattan, the tables are close together...real close. I was able to see another patron's salad. Well, they ordered a salad. The Maine Lobster Salad. It actually looked like there was more pieces of lobster than actual lettuce or anything. It had avocado, burst tomatoes,
french beans, brioche croutons, and a buttermilk vinaigrette. All I saw was lobster pieces. Big lobster pieces. Apparently, she enjoyed it because it was gone, completely gone.
This was the second of the restaurant locations I had eaten at. Both were a great experience and great food. Typical Manhattan food prices, but well worth it. Sometimes you have to wait even when you have a reservation, but my experience at The Smith has been nothing but quick seated, servers with personality and food not lacking of flavor and excitement. I look forward to exploring the other locations. I am headed to Washington D.C. in a few weeks, so perhaps i'll check out their newest location in our nation's capital. Looking forward to it.
Life is meant to be lived so make sure you do just that! Travel, Eat, Lift & just LIVE! A membership is not required to live your life...so go and live it.