Jeff Lefcourt and Glenn Harris

the smith nyc

Jeff Lefcourt and Glenn Harris recently stormed the upper west side with the addition of The Smith Restaurant, a New York favorite with locations in midtown and the lower east side. The restaurant hosts the kind of genius brasserie aesthetic that manages to attract the corporate finance crowd in one location and the downtown hipster crowd in another. Now, its third UWS location sits among elevated New York spots like Cafe Fiorello, Lincoln Restaurant and Boulud Sud – seemingly the perfect addition for a younger demographic. We got a shot of them at their new location, and chatted about favorite ingredients, cocktails and of course ideal food days…

JEFF LEFCOURT

Your new favorite spot…

Dos Toros Taqueria. I think they do a great job over there. It’s accessible and consistently delicious.

The place you recently like to camp out at…

I don’t do a lot of camping, but I find that I spend quite a bit of time in Eataly. Sometimes to shop and other times to just go and eat at one of the restaurants with my wife – but not exactly camping per say.

Something classic you’d like to bring back…

I’d love to bring back pot roast. You don’t see it around often on menus, but it’s a dish that if done really well, people will love. It’s very flavorful – especially my mom’s version. There’s something to be said for braised beef with a glass of great red wine.

What’s the drink you just discovered?

A boulevardier – bourbon, Campari and sweet vermouth. Simple and well balanced.

Something at all of your restaurants that screams, “Jeff”…

When I go into the restaurants, the first thing I look at is the fries we’re serving. I’m so passionate about perfecting the fries that go alongside so many of the items we offer – the steaks, mussels, burgers and so on. Everyone knows that when I arrive, the first thing I’m looking at are the fries.

Do you have any hints for us about a new opening?

Hopefully soon!

Is there a new nighttime hangout you’ve fallen in love with?

Madison Square Garden because the Knicks are winning and because Jean Georges has a chicken sandwich place there, Simply Chicken, that really hits the spot.

What’s a new, New York food area you’ve just become obsessed with?

Lincoln Center. The neighborhood has changed a lot and there are a lot of great spots in the area. We love the Boulud places; Boulud Sud is doing a really good job there. Jason Denton’s Indie Food and Wine is really cool as well.

A food trend that’s starting to grow on you…

Wine on tap. It’s something we’re considering implementing at our restaurants. I like it because it means less bottles and we love figuring out ways to get more local wines on our menu and add value for our guests.

A new food trend you simply don’t get…

Making your own purified water and charging people for it.

It wasn’t a vice, but it may be becoming one…

Sticky toffee pudding. We have a new one on the menu at The Smith Lincoln Center and during the winter it’s the perfect guilty pleasure.

The dish that will always be “new” to you…

Fish soup. I’ve had the dish in regions and countries over the years and I love trying each place’s unique take on it. I find myself still craving the soups I’ve tried in Italy, Spain, Greece, China and Japan – I haven’t found a version I dislike. It’s something I love cooking at home and something we love serving in the restaurants as a special.

The restaurant that never goes out of style…

Shun Lee Palace. It’s truly a New York institution. They have amazing Chinese food; the place is always bustling and busy and it’s somewhere people always want to order in from too.

You didn’t like X till you recently had it at X?

An aperol spritz until I had it at my house. A friend brought over aperol and prosecco and it was incredible. I was so thankful that this friend brought it to me and introduced me to the drink.

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