Smith has been open for three years on Church Street , carefully rebranding itself to serve a more diverse clientele than its predecessor, the disco nightclub cheekily dubbed "Straight". Owner Renda Abdo is a serial restaurateur, with popular sister restaurants 7 West , Wish , and now, the new House/Maison all within a short walk of each other.
Smith shares some similarities with its siblings: the decor is almost interchangeable at Wish and Smith, with layered antiques mixed with playful curios to distract and engage, whereas 7 West is a little more bare-bones and laid-back.
Brunch is always busy at this three-floor restaurant, and with two patios on the premises, summer is the best time to check out their midday munchies. The narrow courtyard patio is tucked in just off of Monteith Street; flanked by brick walls and wrought iron gates, the cushioned benches and mismatched plates and cups give it a distinct eclectic vibe.
Brunch offerings are concise and tempting. Sweet treats mingle with sturdier options and lunch-like items like the tuna melt or the poached salmon nicoise offer more choices than just eggs and bacon. Firmly on the breakfast side, the eggs benedict ($15) is elevated by chef Andrew Bradford with a parmesan leek fondue sauce instead of the standard hollandaise. Poached eggs are perfectly runny and a side of crunchy cubed home fries mops up all the extra delicious sauce.
Huevos rancheros ($15) brings eggs (usually poached, but we pleaded for scrambled) resting on a tortilla with black beans, guac, sour cream, fresh chopped salsa and shredded cheddar cheese. No heat here, but that was quickly remedied by the cheerful wait staff, who swiftly brought some hot sauce over. The plate hit all the major food groups and wasn't as gut busting as the eggs benny, while still offering a good, hearty start to the day.
Coffee cake and scones ($8) are daily 'smithed' offerings. Made in house, that day's scones were flecked with dried cherries and yellow raisins and were delightfully fluffy on the inside. The coffee cake was more chocolatey than coffee tasting and the accompanying lemon curd and blueberry compotes were fragrant, but straight up butter would have been better.
Hot doughnuts ($6) paired well with the latte ($4) and cappucino ($4). Unfortunately, being there before 11am meant missing out on Smith's extensive cocktail collection. A side of Drip Maple Syrup sweetened up our coffees and played nicely with the nutty caramel doughnuts that should not under any circumstances be missed.
Smith is an indisputable Village hotspot, especially for brunch, and it should be. The food is tasty and approachable, honest and comfortable. Just what the Village needs.
The plan was to go for one drink. But then the place was full of fun women, and the air was a buzz with pride and the DJs are playing your favourite songs, and next thing you know it’s 2 am. Oops. And then it becomes clear that pride hath arrived.
Come mix, mingle and dance at SMITH, the most beautiful and nuanced venue on the Church Street strip.
DJs Mavis and Okaay
$5 before 11. $8 after