by Gina DeVitis
On a sunny weekend afternoon, should you find yourself on Third Avenue between 10th and 11th, you will probably notice a mass of smiling faces stuffing themselves with brunch at The Smith.
Patrons overflow out of the restaurant’s open glass doors, spilling onto the sidewalk in a symphony of silverware and teacups. One whiff of vanilla bean French toast, savory maple bacon, and fresh brewed coffee and curious tourists and New Yorkers alike are lured to join the lengthy wait list.
The Smith is a place you take your visiting in-laws, your college buddies you haven’t seen in a while, that girl you woke up next to and now need to impress with overpriced eggs.
It is an establishment that basks in its rustic and vintage charm: Forks are wrapped in white cotton napkins with faded red stripes. There are heavy, knotted woods everywhere you look, including the floor, ceiling, and tables. It is a restaurant that values typography, vintage black-and-white photographs of curvaceous women, and rows of empty bottles (clear for tap, green for house-made sparkling).
On an average Monday morning, however, the food at The Smith is lacking. The Eggs Benedict came with a thoroughly bland English muffin, hollandaise that had been left to the air too long, and a side of home fries that were lukewarm at best. The meal left much to be desired, with the exception of the cheddar biscuits, which were dense and flaky in all the right places with the simplicity of flavor only a good cheese can bring.
Weekday patrons should be wary, but The Smith is worth a visit if only for the old-fashioned photo booth downstairs. The restaurant fosters a great environment for conversation and presumably draws its massive weekend crowd from better food at higher prices and as an acceptable location for day drinking.