The Royale. All photos by Laura Hayes.
The Royale. All photos by Laura Hayes.

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Here’s a first. The Smith co-owner Jeff Lefcourt describes his new restaurant, opening Monday, as a piece of clothing. “The décor and the vibe, we want it to feel like a comfortable old pair of jeans,” he says. Translation: He wants people to feel like they can come in casually dressed, several times a week, for either a burger and a beer or a celebratory seafood tower followed by steak.

The Smith replaces Mccormick and Schmick’s at 901 F St. NW near the Verizon Center, though it was originally slated for CityCenterDC. It’s the restaurant’s first location outside of New York City where there are sister brasseries in Midtown, NoMad, East Village, and Lincoln Square. To those who balk at out-of-town concepts being dropped on the District, Lefcourt says, “The energy, our culture is about being a neighborhood place—friendly, hospitable. Nothing about who we are is corporate culture-y.”

The bar

The expansive something-for-everyone menu includes raw bar selections, salads, comfort food mains like chicken pot pie and burgers, five cuts of steak, and pasta. Each day of the week has a specialty dish, like fish and chips (Tuesdays) and fried chicken (Wednesdays). Order a dish that comes with fries, as The Smith has dedicated employees who work overnight perfecting them.

Lefcourt says the menu from Executive Chef Brian Ellis will be very similar to the ones in New York, but they’ll be switching up their suppliers to source from local farmers and watermen.

The drink menu has roughly 25 cocktails ($13.50 each) arranged by flavor profile, such as crispy, boozy, and spicy. One of Lefcourt’s favorites is the “Hungry Teacher” with bourbon, mint, lime, and lemon. It’s named after a teacher he had growing up that would emerge from the closet smelling not-so-faintly of booze. “I had to name a drink after him,” he says.

There’s also wine by the glass, carafe (about three glasses), bottle, and big carafe (about six glasses), plus eight draft beers and eight bottled beers. Some are local.

See the food and drink menus below with pricing. 

The dining room at The Smith can seat up to 200 people while the bar area seats about 60, including at the communal tables. Come spring, there will also be a 40-seat patio. The space is handsome, and the bar has an inviting glow.

The Smith will kick things off Monday evening. Then on Feb. 8, it’ll introduce lunch followed by brunch on Feb. 11. Eventually The Smith plans to launch breakfast, delivery, and office catering. Reservations are already available on OpenTable. 

The Smith, 901 F St. NW; 202-868-4900;

PQ Burger Deluxe
Atlantic cod
Smith Seasonal Rickey