Saturday, July 2, 2016

My Visit to Smith & Wollensky

bread served with a spoon
Once in a while I like to go to a restaurant I can't really afford. This time I decided to go to Smith & Wollensky. It's the kind of place that you pay fifty dollars for a steak and side dishes are extra.

I planned to go on a Sunday evening and assumed it would be busy so I made a reservation. It turns out I didn't need one. I got there at six and there were only a few people there. And during the hour or so that I stayed not many more came in. That was okay with me. I don't really like crowded. The place is warm and inviting. It does have a classy feel to it but I went in jeans and sneakers and a nice top and I was not the most casually dressed person there.

Everyone was very polite and my waiter, who was also bar tending at the
perfectly cooked
time, was attentive and helpful. I started with an Eastern Hemisphere cocktail. It was light and refreshing and I liked it but it had a flavor I couldn't identify that didn't seem to be in the description. But it could have just been the green tea. Then he brought me some bread which came out in a little pan with a big spoon stuck in it. It was warm and buttery and flavored with rosemary. Luckily not too much rosemary since I am not a huge fan. I got the pea soup to start. It came out in a little tower. The empty bowl on the bottom, a little tureen with the soup in it, then a little dish on top with the croutons. Then he carefully poured my soup into the bowl, using a plate as a shield so there was no chance I would get splashed. Then after asking if I wanted the croutons in my soup, added them for me. It seemed like a big production for a bowl of soup but the care in the service and presentation is all part of the experience so it was fun too.

For my entree I got the filet mignon (10 oz.) and half sides of the creamed spinach and au gratin
half sides
potatoes. It doesn't say anywhere that I could see that you could get half orders of the sides so I'm glad my waiter mentioned it or I would have only gotten one. He asked what I wanted to drink, perhaps a glass of wine? Well, actually, yes. But I know absolutely nothing about wine. So this is where I usually pick something at random from the wine menu and ask for it like I know what I'm talking about. But I didn't have a wine menu any more since it was taken away after I ordered. So I asked for a suggestion instead. And he brought out a bottle and opened it at the table and talked to me about it like I would understand him. Then he let me try it. It tasted like red wine. So I said it was good and he poured me a glass. And I did enjoy it but I couldn't tell you what it was even though he seemed surprised that I had never heard of it. The sides came out in their own little skillets, the cheese on the potatoes still bubbling. Both were good but the star of the meal was obviously the steak. It was cooked perfectly and also seasoned perfectly. No need to add salt or anything. I had not asked for any of the embellishments or other add ons to the steak but I was given some béarnaise sauce to go with it. That was a nice touch.

I couldn’t finish all of that food but, of course, that didn’t stop me from getting dessert. I got
yummy cake
the coconut cake. It isn’t a light and fluffy cake. It is pretty dense. But it is very good. And the whipped cream on the side is delightful. I had a lot of food boxed up to take home and my waiter gave me a whole little loaf of the bread to take with me.

The restroom was clean and they had those thick soft paper towels that
mystery door in restroom
feel like cloth. There was a mystery door opposite the toilet which always makes me uneasy even though logically I know no one is going to open it. But that’s probably just me. And that is a very small thing compared to the rest of dinner. I was very happy with the night and if I can ever afford it again I will go back.
extra bread and great take out containers

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