The Smith vs. Smith’s: Bruni Anoints a Winner?

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Last year, shortly after they both opened, we did a side-by-side comparison of the Smith and Smiths. Finally, Frank Bruni has had a chance to drop into both, and (guess what?) despite the fact that Doug Psaltis has been installed as a chef-partner at Smiths, Le Bruni seems to like the cheapo joint, the Smith, better! Compare todays dreary words about Danny Abramss Greenwich Village joint Smiths on this night didnt excite us in the least. What came out of the kitchen tasted uneventful, ordinary to his recent praise for the Jane teams East Village establishment: Not a thing I ate rose to the level of truly impressive, but a side of beer-battered string beans ($5) was generously sized and total fun: an upgraded bar snack of sorts. A bowl of orecchiette with chicken sausage, broccoli rabe and hot chili ($15) was the kind of thing that, if youd whipped it up late at night at home, would leave you very impressed with yourself And the chicken was more tender than much of the chicken Ive had in restaurants that flaunt more ambition. This has to be a serious ego blow to Smiths. But we still think the chicken dinner is a deal.

The Occasional Shout-Out: The Smith [Diner's Journal/NYT]
Out and About: Pepolino, Smiths [Diner's Journal/NYT]