Review: Craft and art at work in Smith
Welcome back Alex Svenne.
Yes, it's true, one of Winnipeg's most talented chefs is back in business at Smith, the Inn at the Fork's new in-house restaurant and lounge.
Svenne is behind the line and all over the menu at the new restaurant, which opened Sept. 13, 2014. (Smith serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
The menu is all about meat. (This is the sample menu and is subject to change.) You name a beast, it's probably on the menu. For proof, this rustic chic restaurant actually serves something called 'Beast of the Day.'
Bison, Berkshire pork, lamb shoulder, New York steak, kielbasa, beef brisket all have a spot on this meaty menu. Chicken thighs, pickerel, oysters, steak tartar and the seriously fantastic Smith Burger also take their positions.
Dinners can choose their main protein and then order sides like creamed corn, mac and cheese, garlic onions and mashed potatoes with chives, among other options. Don't be fooled by the seemingly pedestrian side dishes. They were all super flavourful. The creamed corn and a multi-cheese mac and cheese were both standouts at the table.
The Smith Burger is a massive and juicy undertaking a good four-inches high. My dinner partner topped his with a fried egg to put this behemoth over the top.
Crispy fries with truffle oil and a dusting of pecorino cheese were a cut above.
Like Svenne's former restaurant Bistro 7 1/4, this Winnipeg born-and-raised chef also loves small plates too.
Absolute must tries include: Hot and Sticky Nuts, Devilled Eggs and the absolute divine Devils on Horseback — prunes stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in crispy bacon.
Smith is bringing back family style dining too. Sunday dinner will soon become a weekly feature where guests can fill their plates from the carved proteins and side dishes on the table.
Smith, with Alex Svenne at the helm, is a great addition to Winnipeg's restaurant scene.
And Svenne is a perfect fit for Smith.
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