So I get asked all the time, “Where do the locals eat in Washington, D.C.?”, “What are some of the non-touristy hangouts?”
If you are someone who likes to go where the locals, then head over to H Street NE. It is known for it’s dynamic night life, restaurants and bars. You won’t run out of options on this mile and half long street! This is where I discovered a cool new restaurant, Smith Commons.
Conveniently located on H Street NE, the restaurant is 3 floors high. The first floor has a bar and the dining area if for reservations only which can be made on their website. If you do not have a reservation, you are then directed to the second floor. Now this was a little different me because you are not seated by a hostess, you seat yourself. It is first come, first serve basis and does fill up very quick. There is another bar on the second floor. The third floor is exclusively for events.
We started off with a drink and appetizer at the first floor bar. I had a delicious Felicity watermelon (minus the tequila). It was a perfect blend of lime, ginger, basil, and melon. I would highly recommend it! Next came a cheesy, soft crusted margherita pizza.
For dinner, I headed up to the second floor dining area. We ordered the butter chicken which was served with delicious coconut rice and grilled chicken ciabatta sandwich with some good old french fries. The butter chicken came with naan bread and was cooked in a spiced tomato cream. Last came dessert, the tiramisu, which was the perfect way to end my dinner.
Customer service was very good, every member of the staff we encountered was friendly even during busy times. Upon seating ourselves on the second floor, I was a bit unsure if a server would notice us, however, to my surprise a server came to our table with in a minute. The music was definitely more lively on this floor compared to the first floor. I also got to chat with the Chef. Chef Chanaka or Choni, who learned to cook at a very young age in his home country of Sri Lanka, advanced to continue his passion for cooking via culinary school and then went on to work at the Burj in Dubai. What a small world! The menu at Smith Commons, is a perfect blend of various international cuisines and has something to offer everyone.
I would highly recommend dining at Smith Commons, it is definitely a local crowd favorite and the variety on their menu promises something to please everyone. Oh and President Obama had dined in here too. You can read about that here.