The Smith has announced the opening of its first restaurant in Chicago today at 400 N. Clark Street in River North. The Smith is an American brasserie with a seasonal menu and craft cocktails.
“We approach every day as an opportunity to make someone’s day, whether that’s with crave-worthy food, welcoming hospitality, or a supportive, positive place to work,” says founder Jeff Lefcourt. “We believe in making every effort to say yes, to go above and beyond expectations, so that everyone has a great time with us and leaves with a desire to return.”
Since its debut in 2007, The Smith has been welcoming locals with bistro items like Raw Bar and Pot of Mussels and shareable favorites like Hot Potato Chips with blue cheese fondue and skillet-roasted Mac + Cheese. “Our goal is to give guests a delicious reason to come back,” shares Executive Chef Brian Ellis. “We take pride in working with local purveyors and farms and listening to what guests want to eat.”
In Chicago, The Smith will introduce new menu items, including cast-iron cooked pizza and yeasted doughnuts, in addition to staples like Smitty’s Spicy Fried Chicken, house-made pastas such as Ricotta Gnocchi and selection of Steak cuts, served with the restaurant’s special recipe for fries. Nightly specials provide great value and include Fish Tacos, Lobster Night, and Prime Rib. They'll also offer a weekly happy hour with $1 oysters, snacks and drinks.
The cocktail menu uses small batch and local liquors, house-made syrups, and seasonal produce in creations like The Golden Eye with Aperol, Italian orange brandy, lime, sparkling red wine, and rosemary and The Smoke ‘Em If You Got with mezcal, lime juice, cholula chili, grapefruit, soda, and a chipotle sugar rim. Zero proof cocktail selections include the Hopscotch with carrot-ginger-tarragon shrub, soda, lemon, and dill and Duck Duck Juice with orange, pineapple, cranberry, and house-made ginger beer. The menu will also feature house-made ginger beer in Build-Your-Own Moscow Mules and a negroni on tap with local CH Key Gin and Jeppson's Malort. Additionally, there is a French 75 slushy and locally brewed beers and ciders. The wine program features over 20 wines by the glass, carafe, and big carafe.
“Whether it’s date night or just a no-cook night, our aim is to be the place that has just what you’re in the mood for,” said Adam Burke, Vice President of Operations. “It’s a terrific corner where you can drop in for a drink at the bar or a special celebration.”
Designed by nemaworkshop, The Smith’s layout blends three former spaces into one open restaurant. The industrial-inspired interior is offset with brasserie elements, including white and black marble flooring in geographic patterns, large booths and smoked antique mirrors, and a zinc bar top with 30 seats. With two private dining rooms and a sidewalk patio with capacity for 58 guests, The Smith provides several options for guests to dine for any occasion. The Smith’s photo booth – from the restaurant’s original location in New York City’s East Village neighborhood – will be stationed downstairs.
“We’ve wanted to open in Chicago for some time and we’re thrilled to find an ideal spot in River North,” partner Michael Jacobs explains. “We’re excited to become a part of the community here and hope we bring to the table a new spot for neighbors to feel at home.”
The Smith is currently open for dinner seven days a week. Weekday breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch services will be added in the following weeks.