The newest Smith isn’t entirely open. They advertise breakfast, lunch and dinner on the signage on the front of the very large restaurant. They’re currently only open for dinner. Based on the first few weeks of operation, it looks like diners are ready for The Smith to start their breakfast and lunch service.
The first Smith opened in Penn Quarter last winter. We loved it because it offered tourists and locals alike a chance to spend $20 or $200 on dinner. It’s good for groups and couples. Whether you’re trying to increase your cholesterol intake or are trying to maintain a strict vegan diet, The Smith has you covered. Most importantly, they serve good food. All of the things that made us like the Penn Quarter location are present in the U Street location.
On the night we visited we sat next to two old friends catching up after work. Across from us were two people on a business dinner. Next to them was a group of seven celebrating a birthday. Next to them was a group of eight loudly toasting. In other words, the very large, bright restaurant is ready for you, your partner, your friends and your co-workers.
The U Street location of The Smith specializes in seafood. But they offer just as many options at their Penn Quarter counterpart. You don’t have to order the lobster paella to get the full experience (it’s meant to share and way better that you’d expect from a restaurant that serves this many options). It’s a diverse enough menu to please without boring.
If you want paella, go to Estadio. If you want a slightly elevated burger, go to District Distilling. If you want ‘classic’ diner food, go to Ted’s Bulletin. If you want elevated new American, go to The Fainting Goat. If you want pizza, go to &Pizza. If you want ice cream, go to Ice Cream Jubilee. If you want elevated cocktails, go to Service Bar or Five to One or Archipelago. All of these restaurants and bars are a few blocks away from The Smith. The area is packed with amazing dining options, but if you want all of these things, The Smith is your best bet.
Does U Street need The Smith? Only if you’re looking for a restaurant that will try to please your entire group.