H Street, Northeast, is so chockablock with mediocre food that the opening of a handsome sit-down option—with a romantic Brooklyn-like vintage-warehouse feel, nonetheless—brings hope for something better. The very new Smith Commons, however, seems better suited to drinking than eating. And that's even selling the cocktails a bit short; both standard (martini, margarita) and original (the "Tarboro Viking"—bourbon, ginger, lime) concoctions were outstanding. The food's shortcomings—inedibly fishy crabcakes, mushy prawns—were more a problem of poor sourcing than poor cooking. If the kitchen finds a different fish supplier, we'd knock back a few drinks and try again.
Notes From the Field: Smith Commons
Our critics give new restaurants a quick look and report back with their first impressions.