CLOSED: Smith Restaurant (Toronto)

Smith Toronto

Smith’s décor, much like sister restaurant Wish, is swathed in rustic elegance and has memorable eclectic details. How could I ever forget the pomegranates held in an enormous cast iron ladle gracing the middle of the table? The large picture book sitting in the corner that you had to ensure was a safe distance from the lit candelabra? Or the fact it took over a minute of circling the communal sink in the washroom before I realized to operate the bloody contraption there were small pedals on the the back?

Being a smaller restaurant, the service was a touch faster than the snail-like pace of Wish; there wasn’t the excruciatingly long wait times between courses. A meal in itself, the French onion soup came in a traditional vessel engulfed in cheese - the dish will surely excite any dairy lover. Although delicious, the sheer amount of it sometimes becomes too much as after a few spoons it feels like you’re eating the cheese rather than enjoying the actual soup.

The broth itself was adequately flavoured, decent amounts of caramelized onions gracing the bottom and the soup’s saltiness well balance to not cover their sweetness.  The thick round of toasted bread on top was delicious.

Even though the steak was cooked to the requested medium rare and adequately seasoned, the meat was sitting atop my favourite part of steak frites… the FRIES. Sure, it could help with the dish’s presentation by elevating the meat in the cast iron skillet, but NEVER at the expensive of ruining the fries. What could have been crispy delicious pieces of potato heaven (they were nice from the ones I could salvage around the side) was rendered into a soggy mushy oily mash, resembling what accompanies Swiss Chalet delivery.

With all the desserts sounding delicious, I was in luck when my friends agreed we had to order everything and share! The apple crumble was served hot allowing the cinnamon sugared oats to waft out a lovely aroma. There were tons of apples and a big scoop of cooling vanilla ice cream on top.

Despite being a tad watery, the lemon tart had a smooth sweet citrus custard and a crumbly buttery crust.

Admittedly, the Nutella bread pudding isn’t accurately named – the chocolate hazelnut spread not prevalent and the bread in a hunk rather in pudding form. But, this was still my favourite of all the desserts given it was reminiscent of Cinnabon and what’s not to love about that?

Of all the desserts, the dark chocolate cake was the ones I had doubts about. Sure enough, it was a heavy sweet dessert with the dense chocolate cake and frosting, ice cream, and candied nuts. But, sometimes you’re in the mood for a rich sweet and given we were sharing, having a couple of spoons was pretty delicious.

Brigitte, our server for the evening, was such a treat: genuinely friendly and seemed to love what she was doing. I know Winterlicious isn’t a favoured time for those who work in the industry – more crowds, more courses to serve and with the lower price points, sometimes less gratuities. So, it was refreshing that she had such a great attitude and zest for life. For that, I’ll ALMOST forgive the fries incident. 

Overall mark - 7.5 out of 10
Is Winterlicious worth it (based on my meal selection)?
Winterlicious - $35
Regular menu - $47 - soup ($9), steak frites ($25) and dessert ($10)
Savings - $9 or 20%
How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 553 Church Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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Smith Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato