by Kathleen Hunter
On Sunday afternoons, it is clear that The Smith is one of the trendiest restaurants in New York City. However, at nine on a Monday morning, it takes a bit more observation than just seeing a line out the door to know that The Smith is worthy of the buzz around it.
The retro décor brings the 1920s into the twenty-first century. Black and white tile floors and walls plastered with black and white pictures give a speakeasy feel. The Third Avenue location seems to be a modest size until one ventures downstairs and discovers an entire other dining room ideal for private parties.
Guests are greeted with bottles of both tap and sparkling water as they browse the diverse menu. The Eggs Benedict does the classic plate justice. The hollandaise sauce is not overwhelmingly rich but makes enough of a statement to not get lost amongst its egg and ham counterparts. The parsley on the dish also gives a nice bite. The hash browns have a whisper of red pepper, giving an otherwise bland dish some pop. The latte possessed enough pleasant boldness to perk up the morning.
The wait staff is helpful but did not seem to be enthusiastic about serving the brunch shift. They handled our large party gracefully. However, this is to be expected since the rest of the restaurant was empty. It seemed as if they could be easily overwhelmed if dealing with another table.
The Smith is located at Third Avenue between 10th and 11th streets and on Second Avenue and 51st street. Both locations are open seven days a week. A Lincoln Center location will be opening soon at Broadway and 63rd street.