A Chance Brunch at Smith & Mills – NYC
After reading Locanda Verde had “the best breakfast in New York” on Serious Eats, and being a fan of the current chef, Andrew Carmellini, last month I dragged a starving David crosstown for brunch. Naturally when we got there, the restaurant was closed, and after speaking to the doorman at the Greenwich Hotel, I learned Locanda Verde is not open for breakfast on the weekends. Major brunch FAIL! (For those interested, starting this Saturday, Locanda Verde is opening for brunch service, 11am-3pm. I’ll probably go in a few weeks, after the dust settles and the memory of the brunch fail dissipates.) I then considered venturing back east for brunch, but David looked near death from hunger, so we crossed the street and wandered into a curious restaurant with no signage, but with a large inviting door. Later from the menu we discovered we were in Smith & Mills.
Smith & Mills is a charming hipstaurant from the co-owner of Employees Only and the now closed Beatrice Inn. Formerly a carriage house, the restaurant/bar is decorated in the vintage style of saloons and apothecaries past, replete with bare Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling, antique glass jars, and a bathroom built in an old elevator shaft. Interior design in a restaurant is never a concern for me (hole-in-the-wall or Michelin star restaurant, it’s all the same to me), but I was seriously blown away by Smith & Mills. The place is simply gorgeous, even in the stark daylight.
Now on to the food! I ordered a BLT; crunchy bacon, heirloom tomatoes, bibb lettuce, and mayonnaise on chewy country bread ($12). It was a bit pricey for brunch, but they don’t skimp on the bacon or the quality of the ingredients. It wasn’t the best BLT in the world, but it was simple and good. Sometimes, that’s all you need. The BLT also came with sweet roasted red and yellow beets, fresh pickles, and homemade chips. A bit of moisture clung to potato chips since they weren’t freshly fried, but this was understandable since there is no real kitchen at Smith & Mills.
All the prep work at the 450 square feet restaurant/bar is done downstairs in the basement and the food is cooked right behind the bar. It’s pretty amazing, how much they’re able to produce in the tiny space. When we placed our order with the bartender, he rushed outside and got the day chef from downstairs and he immediately started cooking at the bar. That’s New York for you, you make do with what you got.
David ordered Two Eggs over easy ($12), which came with filone bread, criss-cross roasted small red potatoes, and crispy bacon. As he normally does, David gave me the bacon, and I was bit porkwhelmed, but more bacon is always better than too little I say. David seemed to like his eggs, but he especially liked the potatoes. Since the potatoes were criss-crossed and smooshed at the center, the insides were seasoned as well as the outside.
Of course, as is required at brunch, I got a bloody mary ($13), and I must say this was the chunkiest bloody mary I ever drank. The cocktail was swimming with large pieces of freshly grated horseradish — I know the horseradish was freshly grated because I found a knob at the bottom of the glass — and cracked black pepper, so much so in fact, my straw kept getting clogged mid-sip. After a while, I tossed the straw and chugged/chewed my drink down. If you’re not into horseradish or your sinuses don’t need to be cleared, I’d skip the bloody mary at Smith & Mills. It was indeed refreshing, but also a spicy heartburn-inducing meal in itself. I’ll be asking for my bloody mary less aggressive on the horseradish next time.
Looking for good food amid hype and hearsay is sometimes frustrating. You hear or read about a great place online and then somehow after a wild goose chase you come up empty. But sometimes, and it does happen once in a while especially in New York, you discover little gems like Smith & Mills by chance and you end up with a fat BLT.
Smith & Mills
71 N Moore Street (betw Greenwich St & Hudson St)
New York, NY 10013
OMG your breakfast sounds delicious. i love blts,i love beats and i love chips. what more could i ask for?
@Janet – Brad Pitt?
Thanks for the nice review! Stop back soon and try my homemade pickles, and cognac cured salmon. Best -chef
@Nicholas – I had the homemade pickles last time, but not the cognac cured salmon. Sounds fabulous, I’ll definitely try it next time. Thanks.
This is a story about a real estate broker’s son who was hired to empty 28 buildings illegally in a 200 million dollar fraud scheme. Smith & Mills is in our attached single car garage of our 8 bedroom loft since 1983 operating on a invalid C O by falsely claiming our loft was \”permanently vacant, boilers & packaging\”. Smith & Mills is an illegal business. Smith & Mills is obstructing the secondary means of egress for 6000 square feet over a 199 square foot illegal bar which has been tied up on the Supreme Court since 2007.
We caught Smith & Mills stealing our power grand theft shorting out all our lines above them, who caused our ceilings to fall in from their equipment on the roof, who were cooking in a space that isn’t vented ruining everything above them, who removed our 2nd fire exit and finally started a fire. Matt Abramcyk started another fire above The Roc costing those neighbors $200,000 in damage. Abramcyk was evacuated at 287 Broadway at the Pizza Café in the same owner’s buildings. Super Linda had big red X’s because these buildings were no longer safe. The neighbors had the same troubles at 77 Warren and Tiny’s because nothing the owners did in all these buildings south of Canal after 9/11 is even legal. Now Century Realty now burnt their offices down at 140 Fulton. 5 more families were forced to the streets at 138 Fulton. There is nothing romantic about this story.
Their lawyer David Jaroslawicz’s records were seized in the Anna Gristina Madam scandal on Mar 17, 2012 where the ADA claims there’s evidence they’re laundering money via real estate holdings via similar illegal businesses, where all the LLC’s for Gristina’s brothels trace back to David Jaroslawicz just like Matt Abramcyk’s. Century Realty put 28 buildings on the market on Mar 17, 2012 for 200 million dollars after 40 years who absolutely refuse to sell a thing.
We just don’t celebrate fraud in this country and there is nothing cool about lying or putting the residents of lower Manhattan in danger finally willing to kills its tenants to illegally get at the underlying leases over an illegal bar.
Please publish our comment before anyone else gets hurt. We caught them lying to a Supreme Court judge and falsifying all the records in all these buildings. It looks like they were paying off inspectors. This kid Matt Abramcyk is a con man. I am happy to send you the records and the transcripts. What is horrifying is this fraud was in no way limited to us that extends to a dozen buildings with Matt Abramcyk alone.
Instead he is using the press to glorify a massive fraud scheme. Its so wrong. No one can live about Smith and Mills and we can not be restored to possession until Smith & Mills vacates. its a fire hazard just like Beatrice Inn. Smith & Mills is a copy of our loft. We are designers not him. The kids a con man and a thief! We caught them stealing the power with Con Ed Theft and Shared Meter.
Thank you! It is outrageous what Matt Abramcyk’s done in in over a dozen buildings. They nearly killed us and countless others right next door to the Mayor’s daughter.
They had the unmitigated balls to sue is for our 8 bedroom loft when what they are doing is totally illegal. We caught Abramcyk lying to the judge beginning to end. Matt Abramcyk was forced to describe the actual egress and the actual fire hazard to a judge too many times to count.
Drink at your own risk. Smith & Mills is an illegal business who continues to operate on a fraud Certificate of Occupancy which presents a known fire hazard according to the City’s records for 20 years. They have no legal means of egress what-so-ever and are obstructing the secondary means of egress for all 6000 square feet both buildings combined above them. These buildings are uninsurable!
The Social Club fire killed 87 people over the same issues with insufficient fire exits. And this kid Matt Abramcyk and Akiva Elstein thinks anything about what he have done is cool?
I would love to be a fly on the wall when Sean Avery finally realizes Matt Abramcyk involved him in a 200 million dollar fraud scheme with the owners who were named in the Wall Street Journal as one of the 5 Syrian families in the Rabbi scandal in New Jersey who were already caught laundering money in their temples from counterfeit Gucci handbags already linked to bribing government officials at the same time this was going on in lower Manhattan in all their buildings with Abramcyk.
Avery was told but he refused to listen.