MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
Housed in what looks like an unremarkable industrial building, find a setting worthy of interior design magazine covers. Once inside, head up the few stairs to arrive at Smyth; then proceed into a space, 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 Chefs John Shields and Karen Urie's intense craftsmanship. Beyond, the 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 them. Original, and at times even pleasantly experimental, this kitchen's cooking has a clear vision that is sure to meet every expectation of its versatile diners. Some dishes deliver surprises through strong and gutsy flavor combinations, like a well-aged ribeye rubbed with yeasty Marmite. Other menu items strive for subtlety, such as the dried pear “jerky.” Creativity reaches its height in the "milk chocolate" dessert, which is more of a brilliant umami-bomb than confection, served with huckleberries and shiitakes.