Two Stars • Excellent cooking, worth a detour
Over 75 USD
Housed in what looks like an unremarkable industrial building, find a setting worthy of design magazine covers. Once inside, head upstairs to arrive at Smyth (Loyalist is a separate venue downstairs) and into its appealingly spare dining room, which feels so comfortable that it’s easy to forget you’re in a restaurant. The service staff is hospitable, down to earth, and manages to keep the ambience relaxed despite the intensity of Chefs John Shields and Karen Urie Shields' extraordinary work. Beyond, their open kitchen mixes white tiles and cutting-edge equipment with a roaring hearth fire. There is a “come as you are” feeling among the crowd here, but everyone has dressed up a bit, as if in deference to the superb meal that awaits. The cooking is unconventional and innovative, but by no means is it experimental. Instead, it delivers constant satisfaction alongside a few wow-inducing surprises. Unique combinations include the squab breast roasted with "fat back" for crackling skin that bursts with flavor, accompanied by crisped duck tongues and a scattering of black walnuts. Creativity may reach its height at dessert, in the salted licorice-cured yolk nestled in the smoothest fro-yo ever.
- Wheelchair accessible
- Private dining rooms
- Valet parking