Last November we were the first to predict that the Beatrice would be the hipstaurant of the season. Um, we told you so? Now from Beatrice (and Employees Only) partner Matt Abramcyk comes another contender — this one occupying a former carriage house in the Tribeca nether lands. Smith and Mills is one of the smallest restaurants we’ve ever set foot in, but on this, its opening day, we don’t think it’s too early to say it may just be the next big thing.
The Menu: Have a look. Food, served on antique flatware, will be prepared behind the bar by Employees Only sous-chef and Dinner Club hostess Julia Jaksic, who modeled the menu after old factory-worker lunch carts. The drinks will be of the “stirred, not shaken” variety, says Jaksic, so stick to classics like the Sazerac.
The Space: A former horse stable redone by Parts & Labor, the team that that did Brooklyn gem Moto and also had a hand in Freemans. Ship plans from 1903 grace the walls, the bathroom is an old elevator pulled piece-by-piece from a building on Broadway, the mirrors behind the bar were made from giant drain-pipe molds, and the custom lighting was inspired by Peter Behrens’s turn-of-the-century work.
The Plan: After hosting parties for Rogan and Blackbook, the space will open from 5 p.m. till 4 a.m. starting today, with lunch served soon thereafter. No reservations at first — we’ll see if it stays that way.
The List: Elstein assures us there won’t be any door scene, but since the 450-square-foot space is equipped with just two canvas banquettes, eight stools at the zinc bar, and very little standing room, it’s going to be tough to squeeze in. Especially when De Niro’s hotel opens up directly across the street.