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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Smith Commons

Plaudits: None
Neighborhood: H Street NE

The Setup

Before a night of smashing it on H Street, a group of us featuring Official Friends of DCWD MM, HR Intern, and The Suit needed a quick dinner. We settled on meeting at Smith Commons.

The Vibe
Smith Commons’s décor is all the décor you’ve seen before, essentially the stylings that are in precisely because they fit the upscale casual feel: exposed brick walls; globe light fixtures; chalkboard menus; a buzzy bar area on its first floor, with communal tables up front and a long bar and booths in the back; and a second floor dining area with a patio out back. The light is low and the mood is lively; even by the full window-paned doors, the noise level is sizable. Handsome and chic, if not typical of this age.

The Food

Only a few of us grabbed dinner, but if every dish was like mine, then those who didn’t missed out. I ordered the sous vide chicken breast and braised ox tongue duo, which came stacked on one another atop a cooked slaw of savoy cabbage and shitake with a confit potato stuffed with spinach alongside it, all in a port wine jus. Tongue, when done right, is an unbelievably tender bite, and this version was no exception: flavorful, sharp, pleasantly melting on my own tongue. In fact, its softness was matched only by the sumptuous bites of chicken that it sat on, the sous vide cooking style creating an incredibly juicy bite that went toe-to-toe with some of the best chicken dishes I’ve had in this city. The accompaniments were also wonderful, with the savoy cabbage the leader, providing some mild bitter and a slick counterpoint to the meats. Perhaps the only extraneous feature was the potato, which was a little mealy for my tastes, especially compared with its platemates.

The Verdict

If everything is as good as this dish, then Smith Commons is one of the best restaurants on the revitalized H Street.

Food Rating: **** 1/2
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 3.5 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
Party in the USA
Vibe:
Energetic to Noisy
Cost:
$$$
(out of 5) ($50-$75 for two)
Pairing:
Three words: Little Miss Whiskey's.

Smith Commons on Urbanspoon

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