After a failed attempt at coordinating a dress fitting between myself and my dear bride-to-be friend, we found ourselves awkwardly located near Columbus Circle one night in need of wine and dinner. Rather than head into Hell’s Kitchen we decided to walk up to the Lincoln Center area – and found ourselves at The Smith – a causal American brasserie on Broadway and 63rd.
As you may or may not have noticed by now, I eat at a lot of non-American places. My cooking tends to lean heavily on Asian, Mediterranean or Mexican influences. American and French restaurants tend to be hard on me. But I had been to The Smith once before – around lunchtime – and remembered there being amazing salads. When all else fails – order a salad. And I knew the place had a kind of cute upscale diner-y feel to it, and I knew they had a good glass of rose. What else can a girl ask for?
I have to start by saying the waiter was fantastic. I didn’t blatantly tell him I was vegan, but after I questioned a few things on the menu he got the hint and brought over oil and vinegar for the bread in addition to the butter. I didn’t even ask. That type of attentiveness scored him major points in my book.
We decided to share, (as stated before, I’m a HUGE fan of sharing), but seeing as though my bridefriend is not vegan, we asked for all non-vegan additions on the side – starting with the baby arugula salad (parmesan on the side). There’s something just so simple and delicious about an arugula salad with fennel, lemon and olive oil that just hits the spot.
And I have to admit… I cheated a little. (I’ve said before I’m a work in progress on this vegan journey) We ordered the beer-battered string beans and they were delicious. But the batter had buttermilk in it.
For the main course we went with their take on one of my Korean favorites, bibimbap. While completely different from the more traditional taste that I’m used to, this bibimbap held it’s own. I could have gone for more of a kick to it, but the veggies were good, it was hot, and they served the egg on the side, just like we asked. We also added a side of veggies -which were overkill. We ended up taking those home because we were too stuffed to finish everything.
All in all, it was a good meal with good service, with the company being the best part. But I’m very happy with our choice, it’s always good to find a place that can be accommodating of my vegan needs, even if I do choose to break the rules every now and then.