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“Bacaro/Smith & Mills”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Italian Tribeca Moderate Good

that's not a reason to return to Bacaro, I don't know what is. (The décor, the vibe, and the wine, perhaps?)

The night after Bacaro, I was researching a story on the best new cocktail spots in the city, and asked Jamie to join me on my quest. I had already included PDT and Death & Company and next on my list was Smith & Mills, a snug little hideaway on North Moore Street in Tribeca that's owned by Matt Abramcyk (Beatrice Inn and Employees Only). We got there early and entered through a pair of arched wooden doors etched in wrought iron that gave me the distinct feeling that I was going to either discover a barn or horse stall on the other side. Instead, I did neither. Instead, my walk through the looking glass brought me into another time and place, to an early 20th century bunker of civility with barrel ceilings, wrap-around tufted leather banquettes, weathered walls, a dozen or so hammered metal tables studded with cooper nails, a long bar backed by craftsmen tools, wide-mouthed mason jars, and cooper pots and pans hanging above the tiny behind-the-bar kitchen.

Set in a former carriage house, Smith & Mills is a hole-in-the-wall of the most precious variety. It's sophisticated and swanky and feels like it dropped out of a time warp with its vintage apothecary bottles lining windowsills, plywood floors, and vested formal barmen mixing a short list of classic only cocktails (Martini, Manhattan, Dark & Stormy, Champagne Cocktail, and Americano).

Jamie and I took two open seats, and started with the Nathaniel Moore, the house special of the evening, which on Saturday was the Whiskey Sour. I don't remember the last time I had a Whiskey Sour, probably sometime in college at Lehigh, but I can tell you that it tasted nothing like this one, which was perfectly balanced between cherry sweet and cheek-puckering tart, with the soft warmth of whiskey leaving its mark gently.

Rather than a standoffish haute drinking establishment, Smith & Mills is a friendly saloon which opens at 9am for coffee and pastry with your morning paper, and stays open for lunch (brunch on weekends), and through dinner and drinks until 4 am, seven days a week. This all-day brasserie formula is one Keith McNally perfected on a larger high-volume scale at spots like Balthazar, Schillers, and Pastis, and that Abramcyk deconstructs on a smaller, more intimate, and wildly appealing scale at Smith & Mills.

... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Tribeca :
+ Lunchbox Food Company--Closed   + 66: THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED   + Ola-- Closed   + Bouley   + Dominic   + Landmarc   + Pace-- Closed   + EN Japanese Brasserie   + Centrico   + Cercle Rouge   + The Harrison   + Turks & Frogs Tribeca   + Devin Tavern   + Dani-- Closed Now   + Bacaro/Smith & Mills   + The Harrison   + Matsugen, By Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Forge   + Macao Trading Company   + Harbour   + Review text tbd...   + Mehtaphor   + Brushstroke   + Jung Sik   

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