Calling all carnivores and paleo-adhering people, SMITH is where it’s at on a Sunday night.
New to the Inn at the Forks’ handsome restaurant’s repertoire is a board of brisket so bountiful it will make your regularly scheduled Sunday night spread blush to a hue almost as rosy as Executive Chef Quin Cook’s slow-cooked beef.
For $35 per person, the Sundays at SMITH dinner comes with all the classic fixings that will change with the season. Right now, you get buttery Yukon gold potatoes whipped to a mousse-like consistency; roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon, peppers a lemony kick; roasted beets with dill and crunchy shallots; and an assortment of sauces like caramelized onion jus, an assertive mustard and no shortage of freshly shaved horseradish to bring it all home.
As to the brisket itself, it’s worthy of a celebration. The peppercorn crust provides the proper amount of seasoning to cut through the thin fat cap and the meat itself is spoon-tender and as luxurious as a primetime ribeye. (While writing this, we’re eating it as leftovers and it’s still a knockout after hitting the microwave. Plus, we’ve been eating paleo this month and this dinner—minus the artisanal bread that comes with and sure, the dairy in the mash—makes this a great option for people avoiding dairy, grains and gluten)
“When we started to contemplate opening on Sunday nights, we wanted to do something a little different, something that might be seen as a bit of a departure for us,” said Joel Waterman, the GM of Inn at the Forks.
“We have a really established audience at SMITH and this gives us an opportunity to be in front of them with a new type of offering, get them to visit us that much more–but it also ideally brings in a new audience who have had their interest piqued about this cool event, served family style,” Waterman continued.
And Sundays at SMITH isn’t the only new or returning concept that diners will relish this spring.
Oyster Wednesdays restarted a few weeks ago, with $2.50-a-shuck paired with cava features at $8 a glass or just $31 per bottle (how about that a mid-week celebration?). Live music has returned on Friday and Saturday nights, plus all the SMITH classics are here.
We’ve always been huge fans of our office after-work special at SMITH, that being a Manitoba Fashioned (Northern Harvest Crown Royal, maple syrup, SMITH bitters, Saskatoon berries) or a dark and stormy (featuring house-made ginger beer) paired with that legendary pounded cheese board that features a salty (in the best way possible) spread of old cheddar covered in cider gastrique and garlic chips served with fresh sourdough (it’s top of the to-do list once this paleo thing is done).
The SMITH burger is amongst the city’s best, as is the fish and chips highlighting local Manitoba Bearcat walleye, while breakfast—always featuring local Nature’s Farm eggs—is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Everything on the SMITH cocktail list is balanced and boozy (2 oz pours of course), the selection of whisky (and whiskies) is expansive, and the draft and bottle selection provides a fine showcase for our local brewery scene, with all the taps dedicated to Winnipeg breweries.
Plus, you can enjoy all of the above in one of the most handsome rooms in the city, a spot that is both cozy and set to impress when you have guests from out of town.
For Waterman, these first few days of spring have been a sign of optimism, while he’s also sure diners will be excited for all that’s in store in the months ahead.
“It really is starting to feel like a return to normal in SMITH and every week it seems to get busier and busier and private dining events are taking off too,” said Waterman.
“Watch for a Scotch tasting event in April, plus a couple of very progressive culinary experience/wine pairing events with our partners from Jones and Company too. Then this summer, we plan to really activate our outdoor patio in ways we haven’t in the past. For Winnipeggers, now is the time to get back out there and support all of our local restaurants, it’s been a long, tough stretch for all of us.”
SMITH Restaurant is located within Inn at the Forks at 75 Forks Market Road. Current hours are Tuesday to Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 6:30 a.m. to late; Saturday 8 a.m. to late; Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For reservations go to smithrestaurant.ca