Restaurant Review – Spring forward with The Smith!

Smith [smiTH] noun

“1. A maker skilled in creating happiness.”

The owners of The Smith

River North is home to such a place. The owners of this American bistro say “The Smith is the maker. We are all empowered to be makers; makers of great food, great cocktails, great hospitality, warmth, fun, energy and smiles. Everyone is a maker; the guests, the cooks, the bartender. We can all be The Smith and make great things.”

And what do these ‘makers’ prepare? For Spring flavors in a downtown location, they are a must for elevated, cooked-to-order American fare in a stylish, architectural space with outdoor seats. 

At breakfast, or brunch on the weekends, start with The Smith Eggs Benedict, pairing black forest ham, English muffin, hollandaise, poached eggs, and home fries or mixed greens. Avocado Toast is spicy on whole wheat, with red pepper flakes, lemon, and poached eggs. Even a Simple Scramble is elevated with apple-smoked bacon, and your choice of home fries or mixed greens. Several reviewers rhapsodized over The Smith’s Vanilla Bean French Toast, with maple butter and caramelized bananas. 

On the weekends, The Smith Brunch includes a Benedict Johnny, a twist on Johnnycake and Eggs Benedict, is served with cheddar cornbread, maple chicken sausage, poached eggs, and a roasted tomato hollandaise. Shrimp + Grits are jalapeño cheddar grits with baked eggs, scampi butter, and blackened shoestring potatoes. A brunch cocktail is included with any egg, griddle or steak and eggs item.

The Smith serves a large variety of Oysters from around the world at their Oyster Bar, available throughout the week and weekend, including Fishers Island, from Block Island, NY, Puffer Petite, from Wellfleet, MA, and Pink Moon, from Prince Edward Island, Canada.

For weekday lunch, try The Smith Burger, with bacon shallot jam, American cheese, crispy onions, pickles, and TSB sauce, on a brioche bun. Eggplant Milanese comes with burst yellow tomatoes, baby mustard greens, and parmesan in white balsamic, or a Pot of Mussels in chardonnay broth, with dijon, tarragon, and fries. For a Korean twist, try Vegetable Bibimbap, with sushi rice, shiitake, spinach, edamame, house-made kimchee, and a sunny-up egg.

For dinner, the menu of fresh-prepared, made to order steaks,  oysters and other menu items is joined by Fork + Knife Fried Chicken, with jalapeño cheddar grits, green tomato marmalade, and hot honey. Or, try Shrimp Scampi, with barley risotto, asparagus, English peas, marinated and spring onion. 

But….save room for dessert! Strawberry Shortcake Sundae has strawberry ice cream, red velvet shortcake, strawberry jam, toasted pistachios, in a waffle cone. S’mores in a Jar combines chocolate pudding, graham cracker crumble, toasted marshmallow, and a dark chocolate crunch bar. Mmmm!

The Smith is located at 400 N. Clark Street, and is open for indoor and outdoor dining, delivery, and pick-up. Monday-Wednesday, they’re open 8:30am- 9pm, Thursday and Friday, 8:30am-10pm, Saturdays, 9:30am-10pm, and Sunday’s, 9:30am- 9pm. Happy Hours are Monday-Friday, 3pm-6pm. For reservations, click here. 

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago