If this happens this’ll be the next Le Diplomate in DC – NYC’s The Smith Brasserie Looking at CityCenter

by Prince Of Petworth June 6, 2014 at 11:25 am 18 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user clif_burns

Potentially huge news from the Washington Business Journal:

“The group [The Smith] is eyeing a space in the area formerly intended for Apple on Eye Street NW facing the CityCenter’s Northwest Park, adjacent to where Momofuku’s David Chang is also said to be looking at space.”

The Smith’s website says:

The Smith is a casual American Brasserie with three upbeat locations in New York City: The Smith East Village, overlooking bustling Third Avenue, The Smith Midtown, in the heart of Manhattan, located on 51st Street and Second Avenue and The Smith Lincoln Center directly across from historic Lincoln Center.

Utilizing local products and purveyors, the breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner menus feature a selection of familiar bistro dishes. Signature dishes at all locations include Crispy Fried Calamari “Brooklyn Style,” Pot of Mussels with chardonnay-dijon broth and perfectly cooked hand cut fries and four different cuts of steak prepared char broiled, served with a choice of homemade sauces including béarnaise, green peppercorn and chimichurri. Most of the desserts are fun twists on classics, including Sticky Toffee Pudding, S’mores in a Jar and Hot Fudge Sundae with almond bark and flourless chocolate cake.

Our bars offer an elaborate menu of classic and signature cocktails made with fresh fruit and herbs. We serve seven local hand crafted beers on tap and have a selection of 20 wines available by the glass or carafe as well as a hand selected bottle list.

The crowd at The Smith is eclectic, attracting after-work colleagues, late-night revelers, families for Sunday brunch and more. Our guests come for all occasions – a drink after work, a quick bite before a movie, a business dinner, or to celebrate a birthday.

You can see their menus here.

My folks actually live around the corner from one of these and I’ve had the occasion to visit a few times. I’m a big fan and while I was a big supporter of an Apple store opening here, I think The Smith would be a great addition to the District dining scene. It reminds me of Philly’s Le Parc opening in DC as Le Diplomate. The Smith is a big beautiful space that I think will be equally as successful as Le Diplomate if they open here. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Hopefully they don’t follow Le Diplomat’s pricing scheme and mark things up twice as much as every other bistro in the city.

    • jcm

      Le Dip has basically the same prices as Bistro Bis or Brasserie Beck, right? Who do you like better for half the price?

      • Brooke G

        That’s the thing. Brasserie Beck used to be a tough reservation and a hot spot – not anymore. And Brasserie Beck is in a super “corporate” oriented area with several hotels nearby so they should at least have an influx of potential new customers.

        Le Diplomate is not only a huge restaurant, but in a pretty residential area – it’s not in a tourist or “corporate” area of town.

        The “awe” factor of Le Diplomate will inevitably wear off as soon as something newer and cooler comes to town – the question is will a ton of people still be going to Le Diplomate after it becomes a regular restaurant of the area? The restaurants that have survived for a long time do it because you can go there on a regular basis – a neighborhood restaurant. Spending $40 for an dinner and a glass of wine is not a regular weekday meal to me, and whether there’s enough people to sustain $40 weekday dinners in a 300 person restaurant question is not a question, but just a simple fact it won’t sustain.

        Don’t get me wrong – I love the restaurant and they’ve done a great job, I just don’t think for that location, it is going to keep up the crowds at those prices. I find their brunch menu to be much more reasonable/sustainable.

      • KenyonDweller

        I’ve been to Le Diplomate and Beck many times and prefer Le Diplomate.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never been to Le Diplomate (or whatever it’s called) in Philly, but it’s gotta be much cheaper.

  • anonymous

    I went to one of these in NY before hopping on a train. The food was fine, but I personally did not find it to be “the next Le Diplomate” in terms of menu, quality of food, or ambiance. (I recall fried green beans to have been a highlight…) Excited about the David Chang project though!

  • 4teenth street

    Remember Brasserie Beck? it’s still around the corner.

    • Though they are both Brasseries they have very different feels (and I do like Beck as well) Hard to explain but The Smith feels more casual to me than Beck does. Anyway, I feel confident the area could support both considering “around the corner” is a bit of an exaggeration…

      • Yeah, we went walking around CityCenter yesterday, it’s like a totally different contained theme park.

  • Alan

    Why didn’t the Apple store come? :-(

  • Anonymous

    The press release refers to Lincoln Center as “historic.” I am older than Lincoln Center. I knew that this day would come….

  • ajs5034

    I find the prices at the Smith in NYC about average for NYC, which is to say, cheaper than Le Diplomate.

  • redraiderdc

    God help them if they don’t have small plates or a bottomless brunch

  • Anonymous

    Diplomate is awful. No clue why it draws such huge crowds. IMO, the food is average, way overpriced and the service is mediocre. I find the mussels at Brasserie Beck to be excellent and would prefer that over Diplomate any day. It’s not a knock on Starr at all, in fact, I wish he’d open up some of his other (better) restaurants in DC.

    The Smith will be a great addition to the DC dining scene. With Del Frisco’s, DBGB and Mango Tree, CCDC is really shaping up to have quite the lineup. I think the area needs some new bars as this part of town may now be worth going to at night.

  • anon

    what the hell is Brooklyn style calamari? There is no such thing

    • Anonymous

      It’s a $25 appetizer plate of calamari, most likely fried.


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