[Sorry we've been on a hiatus! Life has been quite busy for the both of us, but now we are back and dedicated to bringing veritasty things to you!]
Isn't it funny how sometimes you walk by a place so many times, you cease to realize it's even there? For four years at NYU, I'd walk past The Smith on 10th Street and 3rd Avenue on the way to or from class and I never noticed it, much less dined there. Fast forward a couple of years later when now, at his nice cushy midtown corporate job, Alex tells me that he frequently gets lunch and/or dinner at The Smith up on 53rd Street and 2nd Avenue. I looked up the menu and saw crave-worthy foods and proverbially smacked myself for overlooking this restaurant.
So this summer, I rectified my mistake by visiting the Midtown East location with my girlfriends and our boyfriends. It was probably happy hour time, which explains the extremely noisy ambiance. I wasn't a fan of having to shout our conversations, but the delicious food and friendly service made up for the noise.
First, we had a few appetizers to share, including their bleu cheese chips, fried calamari, and artichoke flatbread. The calamari was good but fairly standard. The artichoke flatbread was beautifully rustic and topped with more red onion and shallots than artichoke, it seemed. However, the bleu cheese chips were incredible: thick-cut kettle chips, glistening ever-so-slightly with fry oil, slathered in a hot bleu cheese fondue and with bits of funky bleu cheese crumbled on top. I. Could. Not. Stop. Literally, I was responsible for eating probably half the bowl, which seemed bottomless anyway. I loved having the hot cheese sauce seep into the whorls of fried potato chip. The fondue didn't exactly spread itself evenly (the chips on the top of the bowl benefited most from the sauce treatment, as opposed to the chips at the bottom of the bowl), but I savored happening upon a chip with a good amount of the velvety, salty cheese sauce. Oh, yeah.... Just look at it:
The dinner menu options are pretty much Americana/comfort food fare. You can get anything spanning the range from pasta to seafood to steaks, but I opted for a chicken arugula salad with apples, brie, and walnuts (hey, I just crave arugula in the summer, okay?). Talk about another bottomless bowl! My salad was so enormous that I split it into two and had half for lunch the next day. Even though with the brie and the candied walnuts and gargantuan size, this salad probably wasn't the healthiest thing, I felt pretty good eating it, and it tasted pretty darn good too!