The H Street NE corridor will soon have a new one-of-a-kind dining and drink destination inspired by something pretty ordinary and average. The Smith in Smith Commons is, according to the restaurant, “the most common surname in the United States, the UK and Australia. Although the name was originally given to those who worked with metal, many later Smiths had no connection to that occupation and simply adopted, or were given the name precisely because of its commonness.”
Well, Smith Commons, slated to open next week Tuesday, doesn’t seem it will be that common.
Executive chef Frederik De Pue, according to a press release, has put together an “internationally-inspired menu with comforting dishes like free-range roasted chicken and penne carbonara, as well as gourmet treats like confit of duck leg and Maine lobster.”
De Pue’s background suggests he’s not all that ordinary either:
Born and raised in Belgium, Chef Frederik trained at the Hotel School Ter Duinen and worked at several top European restaurants. He worked under Chef Alain Ducasse at Louis XV and later became Sous Chef at Alain Chapel. In 1998, at age 21, he joined Yves Mattagne’s Sea Grill in Brussels and worked there for three years. In 2001, he traveled to Washington, DC to become the Executive Chef of the European Commission Delegation Ambassador. Chef Frederik was highly praised in the diplomatic circles where he would spend the next five years creating one of the most exceptional dining tables in the Embassy world.
Smith Commons’ general manager is Sheldon Robinson and the sommelier is Andrew Stover.
The beer program, overseen by managing partner Miles Gray, will have, according to the release, “[n]early 40 permanent and seasonal selections are served on tap and in bottles from breweries across the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Scotland and Italy.”
Young & Hungry hopes to soon check out the renovated three-story space, which once housed a carpet warehouse.
Smith Commons, 1245 H St. NE, (202) 396-0038; Hours: Tues-Thurs, 5 p.m.– 2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 11:00 pm); Fri-Sat: 5 p.m.–3 a.m. (kitchen closes at midnight); Sunday: 5 p.m.-10 p.m.