Like a lot of things in the East Village, The Smith is more about getting the look than delivering the goods. Energy clearly went into design and layout—brasserie-style black-and-white appointing juxtaposes with hip-and-kitschy faves like a photo booth and vintage hair salon chairs—but the same can't be said for the slapdash efforts in the kitchen. The crab hush puppies in Old Bay aioli starter ($9) was good in the way that anything deep-fried is good-- crunchy, greasy, and inoffensive. (Points for the inventive, garlicky aioli though!) The avocado salad with chipotle vinaigrette ($9) was just that—chunks of avocado with vinaigrette on them. Not bad, but nothing to write home to the folks in Omaha about. A special of pan-seared mahi-mahi ($21), served over hummus (?), made me wish I hadn't given up the last lashes of that Old Bay aioli—so bland! And what was labeled "bread pudding" on the menu ($6) turned out to be cold, chalky, prefab squares of some kind of bread product that were covered in ice cream and (for whatever reason) bananas foster. The Smith seems like an ideal spot to get hot potato chips covered in blue cheese sauce ($6) or mac & cheese ($10) at one in the morning, but I wouldn't advise going sober.
55 Third Ave, between 10th and 11th