71 North Moore St., New York, NY (Greenwich & Hudson Sts.)
Move over Wall Street, an industrial revolution is taking place in New York… in a restaurant. Smith & Mills is the passion project of Employees Only’s Matt Abramcyk and Akiva Elstein, squeezed into the tiny space of a former TriBeCa carriage house with only two banquettes and eight stools. The classic drinks are shaken, not stirred, and the food is reminiscent of old factory-worker lunch carts, served on antique flatware by men in blue workman’s jackets and women in factory dresses. The burger here is the real American Dream: with brioche, cheddar, caramelized onion, pickled beets, housemade chips, and house Russian dressing, we recommend you follow it with the bread pudding—made with torn brioche and served warm, every bite teeming with soft and ripe banana chunks. A sophisticated caramel sauce, a smattering of toasted pine nuts and a dollop of fresh whipped cream puts all worries aside. Finally, wash it all down with a shot of Fernet Branca – a digestif that tastes a bit like motor oil but is a reviving stomach-settler. Walls are adorned with turn-of-the-century ship plans and pulleys, and to complete the vintage working-class aesthetic, the bathroom was once an industrial elevator. No matter what color your collar, Smith & Mills is no run-of-the-mill place.
Photo credit: Tia Kim