Restaurants Reviews and Such

SMITH Restaurant, Inn at the Forks

SMITH restaurant is the onsite restaurant at the Inn at the Forks hotel. As the name suggests, the hotel is located on The Forks site. SMITH is a restaurant that I probably should have reviewed a few years ago. It’s a place I go to every so often, but somehow never get around to writing about.

Water bottle from SMITH restaurant
I always like it when restaurants, such as SMITH, bring a bottle of water to the table.

SMITH is the second restaurant to be housed in this hotel. The original restaurant was called The Current. I think I only visited once, when a friend of mine was playing jazz piano in the lounge. I remember that visit as much for getting caught out in the rain and arriving soaked to the bone, as for anything else.

SMITH was also the site for the Bruichladdich tasting event that I attended a few years back. That even was mainly about the scotch, but the restaurant did provide some appetizers as well. I also ordered from the restaurant during my first go round at Winnipeg Fried Chicken Fest.

A salad from the restaurant
A good-sized salad to enjoy.
SMITH Restaurant Dining In

As you enter the main entrance at The Inn at The Forks, the restaurant is to your right. Walking to the hosting station, there is a large table set up to the right. Straight past the station their is a large, capacious, eating area. There is also a bar to the right. Behind that bar there are more tables set up. I’ve never dined in the area behind the bar.

SMITH also contains a large, glassed in patio. I’ve eaten both indoors and on the patio, and find the spaces quite pleasant. The patio gives you a few of a couple of pathways, some of The Forks buildings, and even a view of the limited green space at The Forks.

SMITH contains a variety of table settings. There are some benches along the far wall, and several larger tables with chairs in the middle. The bar is fairly long and contains quite a bit of seating. I’ve sat at the bar, but have always been able to get a table when I wanted one.

Most of my visits have occurred since the Covid pandemic hit. As a result, I haven’t been in when the restaurant is particularly crowded or busy. I generally have received my food promptly.

As my picture at the top of the post shows, when you get your table, you are given a bottle of water. This is a feature that I like when I visit a restaurant.

The menu varies depending on the time of day you visit. Most of my visits have been early afternoon, so I have mainly ordered from the brunch/lunch menu.

An Order of Fried Chicken from SMITH
My first visit after Fried Chicken Fest I ended up ordering a different Fried Chicken meal from SMITH.
Fried Chicken

Despite having visited in early 2020 for Fried Chicken Fest, the first time I visited after that, I ordered Fried Chicken again. This is a Buttermilk Half-chicken dinner. It comes with pickled vegetables and dressing.

I found all the elements to be enjoyable. It’s quite a bit of chicken, but not unmanageable. I had a beer along with it to round out my meal.

Smith Lunches

On one of my lunch visits, I had another battered dish, and that was the Fish and Chips. I don’t have any pictures of this dinner. However, there was a good balance between the fish and batter. It was well-seasoned and with a squeeze of lemon the dish came to life.

Reuben sandwich
The SMITH restaurant Reuben Sandwich.

When restaurants offer sandwiches, the Reuben is one that I look for. SMITH offers quite a good Reuben. I really liked the house made pickle sauerkraut in the sandwich. The fries at the restaurant are always really good. Consistent over several visits.

SMITH Le Burger Week offering.
I gave their Le Burger week offering a try.

My latest visit was just a couple of days ago. When my server brought me my menu, she also mentioned their Le Burger Week dish. Now, I don’t get overly excited over Le  Burger Week. However, if I’m at a restaurant that is offering a burger, I will generally order it.

6oz Chuck patty, Cornmeal bacon, Pimento cheese, Red pepper relish, Dill pickle, Brioche bun

SMITH is offering the Meat INN The Middle Burger. It offers a good variety of tastes and textures. A side of fries goes along nicely with. The bun was good and soft and did a good job of containing the burger.

Grapefruit Coktail
Rosemary Grapefruit Soda: SMITH-crafted rosemary syrup, grapefruit juice, soda. My favourite SMITH beverage.
SMITH Beverages

SMITH has a good selection of wines, beers, and cocktails. If you are like me, and try to by local beers whenever possible, SMITH has a pretty good number between bottled, canned, and draught.

One thing I really do like about SMITH is that they have three really good virgin cocktails on their list. These are a bit more than you would pay for a can of soda at an upscale restaurant, but reasonably priced compared to their alcoholic alternatives. I really enjoy the Rosemary Grapefruit Soda. It may look a lit pale in the photo, but the Grapefruit flavour lasts. They also serve Heineken 0.0 beer.

While I would describe the pricing at SMITH as high-middle, if you go at lunch their are many items available at a somewhat lower price. If you visit The Forks and would like to get away from the crush of the food hall, SMITH makes a good, nearby alternative.

I’m sure that as time goes on, I will continue to wander over to SMITH restaurant from time to time when I am visiting The Forks. I notices, as I was writing this, that they offer live music some evenings. I may have to go and check that out some time.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.