It’s been a while since the Brunch with Bear team actually went to brunch, so today we decided to take you to The Smith. Located right next to Lincoln Center on 63rd Street and Broadway, just outside the 66th Street station on the 1 train, The Smith is also accessible via a short walk from Columbus Circle on the 1, A, B, C, or D trains. A girls’ day of art and bonding has to begin somewhere, so we began our outing at this bustling brunch hub.
The inside is adorable with black and white tiles and roses and tiny round tables. It looks like a place that Olivia the Pig would love. While it took about twenty minutes for us to get a table, there was enough room in the entryway for us to gossip while we waited. We were seated at a small table in the middle of all the hullaballoo. When you go to The Smith, try to bring a small purse and not a large tote bag with a bear inside of it (like some people).
Our waiter at The Smith was incredibly cute and very helpful. He brought us sparkling and still water in beautiful glass bottles. One of the things that The Smith does very well is aesthetics, and while it’s crowded and noisy, eating there is also a really visually appealing experience.
Also, after he heard about my allergies, he happily took the initiative to double-check on the bread. To my great joy, it was allergy-friendly and nothing says, “I like this place!” like the crackle of a baguette crust.
He also was able to advise on the different egg dishes, and knew off the top of his head that the simple scramble—eggs, bacon, home fries, salad—was safer than the corned beef scramble. As usual with restaurants in the city, I shied away from any of the sandwiches for the sake of bread and cheese, but after this experience, I’m wondering how easy it would be to make a sandwich using their baguettes, etc.
Even though I can make this exact plate at home, something about The Smith’s simple scramble was simply delicious. I can never eat too much bacon in one sitting, and so I ended up taking home a few strips. The salad was light and refreshing, and tasted more like the tangy lemon vinaigrette than healthy rabbit food, which is what salad usually tastes like. (I hate salad.) The potatoes were much spicier and seasoned than I had expected them to be, which was nice because potatoes can often be the most boring part of a breakfast plate. My only complaint was that I had asked for my scrambled eggs to be cooked firm, but they were slightly runny. I know that I’m in the minority of people who like overdone eggs, but something about runny eggs is slightly off-putting. I enjoyed it, of course, but the next time I go back, I will probably push for fully cooked eggs.
The portions, as you can see, are moderately sized but I can never finish more than one or two strips of bacon in one sitting, unless they belong to a sandwich or a hamburger. As such, our waiter happily wrapped up my leftover bacon and smattering of eggs and salad. The leftovers a few days later were still delicious and fulfilling.
The Smith is an enormous establishment by Manhattan standards and so the clientele ranged from trendy Upper-West-Siders on their regular brunch rounds to families with adorable children that were not much larger than Bear but still attempting to eat the bread. (Smart baby.) Though we didn’t see Olivia the Pig there, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the word gets out that The Smith is Bear-friendly. I mean, let’s face it, anywhere that Bear-friendly must be Olivia-friendly!
Another aesthetically pleasing detail is the adorable postcard that comes with the check, which our waiter happily split, despite the big brunch crowd. The Smith is a little pricey for a college student, so if I were to go here again, I’d rather it be accompanied by a special occasion or a mysterious benefactor. However, it’s also delightfully fancy for a small Bear who studies all the time.
Even though my meal wasn’t egg-zactly perfect, it was the lovely start to a museum day with the girls. While it’s not my favorite NYC establishment, it’s very comforting to have a restaurant in mind for all the major neighborhoods. The Lincoln Center area is very popular, especially when friends and family come to visit, so the convenient location and knowledgeable staff at The Smith make it a comforting destination. It’s full of light and life, and perhaps we’ll be back there soon!