July 14, 2015
Working in midtown Manhattan leaves me with an abundance of restaurants and bars I get to check out after the work day has ended. Sometimes I will head west, towards Hell’s Kitchen and bop around 9th avenue in search of the city’s newest and trendiest restaurants. And sometimes, like last week, I will head over to Midtown east and discover some amazing happy hour spots and delicious meals to consume before heading back home to Astoria.
One of my favorite places I have discovered is The Smith, and if you have lived in New York long enough, you should be well aware of this amazing establishment. With three locations in the city, at least one of them should be convenient for you to get to for a lovely meal.
One of my good friends works at the Midtown East location, so not only was I excited to visit the restaurant, I was also excited to see her and catch up! Upon entering The Smith and requesting to sit in her section, I was told that she ended up calling out that evening. Bummed, but still starving, my friend and I sat down and perused the menu.
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My favorite item on the menu (and maybe in New York) is the Hot Chips with Blue Cheese Fondue: a heaping bowl of freshly baked potato chips drizzled with melted blue cheese crumbles.
The last time I had went to The Smith, I was boring and got the cheeseburger, but this night I was feeling a little more adventurous and decided to have the special of the night: Fried Chicken served with potato waffles and drizzled with a pepper maple syrup. I may be one of the only people in the world to never have had Chicken and Waffles, so I was excited to try this popular dish.
About 10 minutes after the chips hit our table, our waitress came over with a giant cast iron skillet full of baked mac and cheese. My friend and I both looked and each other and then said, simultaneously, “We didn’t order this.” Our waitress informed us that my friend had called in and bought us a Mac and Cheese appetizer since she couldn’t be there. How sweet!
(Tip on being one of my favorite people: buy me mac and cheese.)
The mac and cheese at The Smith is some of the best in the city. I know I say that about every plate of Mac I eat, but this time I am being serious. And the skillet keeps the mac hot and bubbly.
When our entrees finally came, I was surprised at how large this dish was. Two giant pieces of fried chicken sitting atop two waffles, all drizzled with syrup. I knew before the first bite, half of this was going home in a doggy bag.
The chicken was very good, although I wasn’t a huge fan of the pepper syrup that was served with it. I am not really a “sweets” fan, so I think I would have preferred this dish without the syrup. But hey, that’s just me!
As you can imagine, the best part of the evening was the blue cheese chips appetizer and the surprise mac and cheese. If you are ever in the Midtown East, Lincoln Center, or East Village areas, stop in The Smith for an unforgettable meal!