UPDATE: October 29
Wow, musical chefs continues at Smith. As of last week, looks like Palagi is out and Eliot Guthrie is in (Artemis, Campagne, Le Pichet, Lark). That’s some impressive chops. He’s reportedly bringing some new dishes to the menu, as well. Stay tuned!
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When I first moved to Seattle almost a decade ago, I lived in a studio in Queen Anne and the rest of my expat friends landed on Capitol Hill. We spent a lot of time at the Comet in those days. And we usually recovered the next morning over omelettes at Linda’s. Hair of the dog and the nicest people on earth. Plus there was always something good on the jukebox.
Fast forward to 2008 and Linda Derschang’s new(ish) venture Smith on 15th Ave. E. just turned ONE in June. To me it’s always seemed like the culmination of her vision, and I couldn’t feel more at home amidst the taxidermy and the noise, drinking and eating and celebrating with my friends. Or curing a hangover the following morning. Particularly helpful: the grilled gruyere and onion jam sandwich (with bacon), and requisite greens on the side. You’ll be shuffling in your Converse again before you know it.
Stopped by a couple of weeks ago for an acquaintance’s farewell party and… I just realized that earlier in the summer I went to another bon voyage party at Viceroy. I think that’s the charm of Linda’s joints — you want to say goodbye to the space as much as your friends. And there’s always something good on the jukebox. Guaranteed. Anyhow, Smith wasn’t as crowded as usual, probably because of the bizarre heatwave crushing Seattle that weekend. Shared a crispy oxtail terrine with parsley and orange, which was tasty, but very crispy – there was little indication that a ”terrine” had ever been involved. Also split the cornmeal crusted catfish with hamhock and lentils (much better, the fish was moist and the lentils were tender and flavorful). Finished with a butter lettuce salad with radishes and parmesan, which was refreshing for such a hot night.
I’ve been ridiculously obsessed with Grüner Veltliner this summer, and I was thrilled to score the last glass of the evening. I actually don’t recall the winemaker, though I do remember drinking Maker’s Mark for the rest of the night. There’s probably a correlation there. Additionally: after hearing that there had been some shakeup in the kitchen, I discovered that the original menu was designed by Gordon Wishard (of Harvest Vine and Licorous), but is currently being run by Tyler Palagi, late of Ferrara on Vashon Island (never went).
I love Smith. Try the poutine. It’s nontraditional, and lighter than anything you’d ever get in Quebec. Stay away from the Ham and Cheese Donuts. Just trust me on that.