“Play it cool, but that’s Alfie Allen walking out the door.” For all of my Game of Thrones nerds, you know Alfie as Theon Greyjoy. I’m personally more of a Jon Snow girl myself, but beginning any brunch with a celebrity sighting is always promising.
My friend Alyssa and I were thrilled to be seated immediately at The Smile, despite a crowd of attractive twenty-somethings milling outside of the Bond Street eatery. The cozy restaurant is located in the lower level of the building, and we were instantly attracted to the rustic wooden accents, exposed brick, and funky soundtrack. The ambiance of The Smile was akin to a hipster après-ski lodge setting, particularly since we were dining on a blustery New York Sunday afternoon.
We promptly ordered much-needed soy cappuccinos from our trendily aloof and disheveled server. The espresso was of superior quality and instantly soothed our wounds from the 15K race, SantaCon festivities, and numerous holiday parties the night prior. It also made for pretty coffee-art Instagram mobile uploads.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see our waiter again until about twenty minutes after satiating our caffeine cravings and were more than ready to place our orders. I was torn between the egg sandwich with ham, gruyere, and caramelized onions, and the baked eggs; while Alyssa had her eye on the breakfast quinoa. Ultimately, as good friends do, we went halfsies on the baked eggs and quinoa with cocktails to start. Hair of the dog.
The brunch cocktails were a nice departure from the typical mimosa or Bloody Mary, and they went down easily. Alyssa sipped on the basil lemonade, which was concocted with vodka, house-made lemonade, and fresh basil. The drink wasn’t too sweet and was quite refreshing.
I enjoyed the tart taste of my Salty Dog cocktail, which included house-infused grapefruit vodka, fresh grapefruit juice, and a generous sea salt garnish. I frequently infuse my own liquor for at-home craft cocktails and have now added a grapefruit concoction to my to-do list to make my own version of The Smile’s Greyhound interpretation.
Although the initial service was slow, our entrees arrived quickly and piping hot. My baked eggs were accompanied with creamy avocado slices and topped with a gooey Manchego cheese crust. I always prefer my eggs on the runny side, but the avocado provided plenty of moisture and the dish was comforting on a cold, snowy day.
Alyssa’s breakfast quinoa wasn’t the most colorful dish, but what it lacked in aesthetics it made up for in taste. The quinoa was cooked properly and the dash of sour cream made this healthy dish seem downright decadent. As a hot sauce fan, the splash of sriracha added a nice kick to the plate.
We particularly appreciated the portion sizes at The Smile—we walked out of the restaurant satisfied, but not stuffed, which was ideal for an afternoon of holiday shopping in SoHo. We also nearly doubled over when we saw our final check. Even including alcohol, the bill was very affordable for New York standards particularly at a hot-spot that could have gotten away with much steeper price points. More money for shopping!
The Bitches Say: A-. It was a pleasant surprise to brunch at a trendy locale at an affordable price. The food hit the spot, although the service was spotty. We left with all smiles!
26 Bond St.
New York, NY 10012
The Smile serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.