After weeks of anticipation, Smith Commons is here.
Officially opened January 4th, Smith Commons is the latest addition to the growing H St NE bar and restaurant scene. Brainchild of a self-professed “beer nerd” and one of the most accomplished chefs in DC, this establishment brings a “come one, come all” level of sophistication to the neighborhood. How does that work, exactly?
The menu of “approachable” food and spirits (a qualifier that is more than fitting) perfectly matches the atmosphere; “show up straight from work, or roll over in your PJ’s”, a statement straight from Managing Partner Miles Gray (more on him tomorrow.) Not once does the vibe become pretentious. Two top floors of lounge space, original brick and brandnew hardwood, offer up cozy spots for drinking, socializing, gazing out across the changing H St landscape.
Downstairs, a more modern dining area combines various elements of backroom seating, traditional bar, and psuedo-diner high-tops. The whole first floor flows from the first step inside.
American craft beers are the main attraction here. The aforementioned Miles Gray has created a beer menu that spotlightss some of the brightest samples of the craft brew movement, but does it without offering up the truly strange and esoteric. Ommegang, Great Lakes, as well as local pwers Flying Dog and Dogfish Head lead the American contingency, predominantly American strong ales. The other half of the list celebrates the best of Belgium, thanks to Executive chef Frederik de Pue. The beer menu is well worth the read. And taste.
What did I have? Ommegang Witte, Goose Island Dominique, Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, and Great Lakes Christmas Ale (the last of their last keg). That’s a hell of a lineup.
I could go on about dinner with a bunch of words, but I have pictures. Pictures are better. And will make you hungry. Trust me, these pictures do NOT do the food justice.
With the wait over, it’s time to fully enjoy this restaurant. The best of American craft beers, the best of Belgian cooking….a wonderful and welcome addition to H St.
More pictures of food and art HERE.