Written by Marilyn Hansen and Hulda Lawrence
with M.J. Boyer

Past Reviews

B. Smith's RestaurantB. Smith's, 320 West 46th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, (212) 315-1100, is on Restaurant Row in the heart of the theatre district. A warm entrance welcomes you; step in and find rich gold colored, walls, lyrical arches, and a gently curved zinc-topped bar. As your eye sweeps the scene further, you take in the dark mahogany paneling, and accents of deep maroon and terra cotta draperies and olive grey fabric covered banquettes. A striking tropical flower arrangement holds court at one side of the bar.

Wait for your party at the bar and enjoy a well-made cocktail. When everyone has arrived, settle in at one of the white tablecloth covered tables. Looking at the menu, you can see a wide range of dishes from those with a Thai-touch to others with a down-home Southern sensibility. To begin, try the Saigon Shrimp Rolls with sweet chili sauce, Curried Crisped Oysters with coconut wasabi dip, or the big bowl of freshly made Idaho Potato Crisps with truffle dip -- fantastic! In the mood for soup? How about the Penobscot lobster chowder, so creamy and laced with corn.

We know people who want a salad every day of the year. B. Smith's offers Petite Salads such as a tumble of Field Greens and hearts of Romaine Lettuce with eggless Caesar dressing. Each of these may be ordered with grilled chicken of grilled prawns. Entrée Salads are heartier - Apple Cobb Salad with grilled chicken, for example, or Peppered Ahi Salad Niçoise.

There's an inviting collection of pastas to choose from: Lobster Ravioli with Tomato Cream Sauce, Twice Spiced Ginger Molasses-Phat Duck Breast with glass noodles, red curry plantains and pea shoots. Or direct from a southern kitchen, macaroni and a plethora of cheeses topped with buttered crumbs.

For the main entrée, southern takes the stage: So Slow Roast Dry Rub Buttah Ribs with Booker's Bourbon Black Strap Lacquer Moppin' Sauce; Fancy Man's Sirloin Steak with a crush of garlic smashed potatoes, button mushrooms and indigo onion jammy; Tutu Man's Chicken with fragrant rice and charred banana chutney, and Pan Tanned Smothered pork Chops with Ancestral Gravy, Smoked Trotter Tidbits. You can get Macaroni and Cheese, Fragrant Rice, Caramelized Sweet Potato, Sautéed Vegetables and Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes as side dishes, too.

The Dessert Menu includes; Crisp Napoleon Apples: sautéed apples and rum raisins, layered with crispy phyllo; Espresso Gateau-espresso flavored lady Finger with Mascarpone Cream; Chocolate Ganache topped with Vanilla Whipped Cream; Warm Chocolate Soufflé with White Chocolate Center, served with vanilla ice cream; special desserts every day such as Strawberry Cheesecake and Coconut Cream Pie. There is always a selection of sorbet and ice cream.

B. Smith's is open also for Sunday Brunch with a southern touched selection of entrees. Consider Sweet Potato Pancakes with caramelized pineapple and butterscotch sauce; A Stack of Banana and Spiced Pecan Pancakes with Vermont Maple Syrup; Toasted Brioche With Smoked Petrossian Salmon, Poached Eggs, Vine Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Chive Hollandaise; Traditional Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce; Skillet Paper Pork Chops with Grits and Greens, sausage gravy. In the mood for a burger today? Order the Black Angus Burger with Indigo Onion Jammy, herb garlic chips and Philadelphia Pepper Slaw.

Hours: Sunday Brunch: 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Sunday: Dinner: 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday: Lunch: 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Dinner: 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Wednesday: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Dinner; 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Thursday: 12:00 p.m.-4:00p.m. Friday and Saturday: Lunch:12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Dinner 4:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m.

Price: $$

Credit Cards: American Express, Visa, MasterCard

Dress: Casual Elegance

Smoking: No smoking except at bar

Wheelchair Accessibility: Yes

Parking: Open-air parking lot on street, parking garages nearby


Del Frisco'sDel Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, located in the space formerly occupied by Irving Trust Bank on the ground floor of the McGraw-Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas at 49th Street, (212) 575-5129) is a wonderfully impressive restaurant. First of all, with the floor-to-ceiling windows, diners can feel and see the heart of the city all around them. There is a handsome bar and ornate staircase leading to an upper level where the Cigar Lounge, seating fifty, is hidden. There also is a small bar on that level where additional city views can be enjoyed. The main floor bar emphasizes comfort with its leather backed chairs. Above the bar is the slogan "Do right and fear no man." On the floor below the main dining area is a 70-seat Wine Cellar for private parties. Although decor is important, the food and its presentation is primary. Basically, Del Frisco's is a steak house but there is much more than steak on the menu.

At luncheon the other day, when we were seated, we realized that our conversation could not be overheard because of the careful table spacing. Our server was Heather from Fort Worth. The Del Frisco's operation began in Texas so when this latest out post was opened, some of its staff came to New York to get things started in the right way. As soon as we were seated, a warm loaf of sesame-crusted bread was brought to the table. We followed the menu instruction to "rip it, break it, just don't cut it with a knife." It was delicious!

As we sipped our aperitifs, a Kir for me and a Negroni for my companion, we began to relax. For our appetizers, we shared Crab Cakes with Cajun Lobster Sauce which were nicely seasoned. Our other appetizer was Marinated Shrimp accompanied by three sauces. Both of our choices were excellent.

We felt that, since the emphasis at Del Frisco's was on meat, we would share a Filet Mignon and an Osso Bucco Roasted Veal Shank. The portions were quite large and when we saw that the orders of potatoes or onion rings brought to other diners also were huge, we decided to choose a side order of Asparagus adorned with sliced almonds, more than enough for the two of us. Among the other side dishes other diners were ordering were Angel Hair Pasta, Baked Potato, Potatoes au Gratin and Sauteed Onions.

Other entrees include Prime Ribeye, Prime Strip, Prime Porterhouse, Veal Porterhouse and, for those who prefer seafood, there is lobster at market price and several varieties of fish at $25.95. The Filet Mignon can be ordered in two sizes, at $26.95 for 8 ounces and $31.95 for 12 ounces. The Osso Bucco is $24.95 and Lamb Chops are $31.95.

With our entrees, we shared a bottle of Sancerre Le Coteau 1990 at $38. There are 800 vintages among the 8,500 bottles in the wine cellar.

Desserts are imaginative, including Warm Bread Pudding with Jack Daniels Sauce, Butterscotch Cheesecake, Pear Tart with Almond Ice Cream, Praline Parfait, Pear Tart with Almond Ice Cream and my own choice, Frozen Green Apple Parfait with Hazelnuts. All desserts are $9.95.

Although at lunch such dishes as Smoked Trout Pate, Lobster Salad, Cold Roast Tenderloin, Filet Tips or Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus are specialties, any item on the dinner menu can be ordered. Luncheon entrees start at $18.95 for Cold Antipasto and range to $28.95 for Lobster Salad.

Dinner appetizers include Fried Oysters, Shrimp Cocktail and Beluga Cocktail from $11.95. Soup is $6.95 and Salads are $6.95 to $9.95.

We were so relaxed in this extremely comfortable restaurant that it was a struggle to leave, but we planned to return again soon.

Hours: Lunch Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4::30 p.m., Dinner Monday through Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight. Closed Sunday.

Credit Cards: All major

Dress: Casual

Smoking: Cigar Lounge

Wheelchair Accessibility: Rest rooms are one flight above.

Price: $$$


The Restaurant Revue Ratings

The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.

$ Inexpensive $25
$$ Moderate $50
$$$ Expensive $100
$$$$ Very Expensive $150

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