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Nov 18, 2007 11:02 AM

Mini Smith Review

So we stopped into The Smith last night which is in the former Pizzeria Uno's spot on 3rd Avenue. The pace itslef reminds of Schillor's Liquor Store with it's black and white tiles. We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a couple beers.

They have a good selection of beers on tap and the menu looked quite good but we didn't end up staying more than one drink. Why? Because it was kind of creepy.

It seemed like there were about 50 to 60 people working there. There was literally a busboy per table. They all would stand at the back of the restaurant and stare out over the room. I have never seen anything like it.

Just a mass of waiters, waitresses and busboys lining the back wall of the place. I would love to know if anyone else has been and seen this wierdness.

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  1. Thanks for the review! The decor is very brasserie, down to the tables and chairs, I agree.
    When did you go? The restaurant just opened...did you have any food or just drinks?

    I think Saturday might have been the first night. I passed by did see the HUGE group of staff just standing around in back. Was this the friends and family opening? Maybe they overestimated how busy they would be? Maybe everybody was in training because it was the first night?

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Having worked more than one or two restaurant openings, it's fairly common to have an all-hands-on-deck opening.

      It's probably a little off-putting for the guests but helps get an entirely new waitstaff up to speed quickly. I wouldn't judge a place on this "problem."

      1. re: Sugar

        I figured as such but didn't know if Saturday night was indeed the first night of service. Thanks for the reply!

      2. re: kathryn

        The decor is very brasserie which I enjoyed. I'm not sure if Saturday was the first night or not- definenitly not a family and friends event. Just regular cutomers. I'm so glad you saw the enoumous amount of wait staff as you passed by!!! It really just weirded me out!

        That being said hopefully Sugar is right and this was just an opening night thing.

      3. Any update on this? Seems like The Smith has been pretty crowded—what do you all think about the food? What should we order?
        I went and had the mussels, which was a GIANT pot of mussels in a slightly too mustardy wine broth. The mussels were perfectly cooked, though, and the fries that came with it were pretty great. A pretty good value, actually. I drank a glass of Cotes de Provence which was fine. Waiter was very friendly.
        Has anyone tried the burger? The pastas? I feel like they could succeed with these lower-priced dishes if they're good. Anyone had the sundaes?

        3 Replies
        1. re: maggiej

          Went a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday and it was absolutely packed, but we had a nice corner banquette. We had Alsatian tart, lamb schnitzel (him) and cod (me). All solid, especially at that price point. I had the peanut butter sundae (forget the name), and I loved it. There are too few places in the city to get a good old-fashioned sundae!

          1. re: Lucia

            Good to know. I returned last night and we had the ricotta gnocchi and the burger, along with two beers. The IPA (from Colorado) was great, though it was a little obnoxious that they had to TAKE our IDs to the bar to get it. The Ricotta Gnocchi was rich and tasty. Really filling. I wish they were offered in another sauce—the cream sauce was quite heavy. They were piping hot, though my burger and fries arrived slightly less hot. Burger was ok, not fabulous. Good toppings but beef was a bit dry.

            1. re: Lucia

              Sounds great, so glad they are bringing the sundae back!