The Chef at Smith Departs


Nooooo! Their burger had been extra delicious lately...
I've always found Smith really uneven (I've been going there since moving to the neighborhood at the beginning of '10). I've had benedicts that have ranged from sublime to nearly inedible, brisket that has ranged from succulent to swimming in unrendered fat.

The poutine has been good every time I've had it, but I only let myself eat that about 2-3 times a year.

It's a fine enough place, but I'd probably never go there if it weren't 2 blocks from where I live.

Really, I prefer to have brunch at Linda's: it's cheaper, and MUCH more consistent.
I still mourn the amazing beef stew that I ate there during the December snow storm of 2009. It had a glob of mashed potatoes in the middle. Nom.
Smith hardly ever goes a week w/o posting to CL looking for cooks. This development is not surprising in the least.
I'm shocked that Smith has been open for as long as it has been. It used to seem to have a curse with everything that went into that spot would shut down a few months later.

Maybe the chef turn-over is a left over of "the curse"
Maybe he went somewhere that offers its employees health insurance. Derschang still doesn't, right?

Tom Douglas offers health insurance. (Or at least, I know that he used to, and I'm betting he still does.) I've been going to Etta's for over a decade, and I still see the same bunch of people working there. Palace Kitchen is the same: nothing like watching your young, attractive bartender get 10 years older.

Maybe Derschang should take a page from his book. I can't imagine a revolving-door chef is good for business.
@6, health insurance for everyone? Even the dishwashers and line cooks? That's pretty fucking cool if it's true. Those people back there who do the hard, hard work while I sit and enjoy my fat ass on a chair and push tidbits into my face deserve a great deal of respect. Even in a crappy restaurant.
@6 .. maybe but maybe not .. meaning many more restaurants don’t offer health insurance than do .. you would be surprised at the crappy way most employees are treated, despite the fact that good staff is very hard to come by/retain what w/ the endless list of new places opening every month.

I’d guess that being “chef” at Smith is a stepping stone to another kitchen rather than a stepping stone to a place with benefits