E. Smith Mercantile Now Serves Lunch, and It’s Pretty Great
As of yesterday, the not-so-hidden anymore back bar at E. Smith Mercantile in Pioneer Square is offering lunch.
There wasn’t much fanfare, but I saw the initial Facebook post weeks ago announcing the new menu, and immediately wrote down “lunch at E. Smith” in my calendar. I have adored the bar at this higher-end, local craftsmen retail shop since it opened nearly a year ago. At the time, word was still getting out about this quaint little horseshoe bar nearly hidden inside a mercantile. Now, you usually have to wait for a seat after 5 p.m.
As their one-year anniversary approaches on September 19, the ladies behind E. Smith (Kate, Sara and Jessie Poole) are now doing lunch. I dropped by yesterday with a couple of friends. We each ordered a sandwich (I ordered two). The sandwiches here are made with Columbia City Bakery focaccia and served in half sizes, in hopes you’ll sample more than one. I had the house-cured sockey salmon with ricotta, cucumber and pickled shallot ($5) and the smoked duck breast with fig jam vinaigrette and baby arugula ($5.50). There’s also a Toscano salami ($7) and double-cream brie ($4.50) and each one comes with a side of killer slaw doused in just the right amount of vinaigrette and dotted with a little cumin and a few peppers. Obviously, you’re going to want to put the slaw on your sandwich. Right now, there are three salads on the menu: a deconstructed romaine, shredded cabbage and heirloom tomato.
Not too many people stopped by for lunch yesterday, but I’m certain that will change when word gets out, just like their back bar a year ago.
I suspect “lunchtails” are also going to be a big draw here. Hard liquor isn’t really my thing on an empty stomach, but my two dining companions and I ordered the Monarch ($9) and deemed it “the most dangerous drink in Seattle” because it goes down really, really easy. If you’re in the mood for a mimosa, this is what you order. It's a nice, light tasting, just right for mid-day mix of Brut Champagne, China China (a liquor made with orange peels), Roussanne and grapefruit bitters. There’s also cider, two rotating beers on draft and cold-pressed juice made in-house.
Recently, the Pooles acquired a large downstairs space (the Cellar), which they now use to do a lot of their cooking, in addition to holiding cooking classes and other events. Back in the day, all of the food came out of a closet-sized "kitchen" equipped with a burner and a sink. Now, the ladies have room to make their own cheese, juices and lots of other things that take more than a couple square feet to produce.
Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. A few breakfast items (coffee, pastries, granola) are served at 10 a.m. The bar reopens at 4 p.m. for regular cocktail service. Do stop in and say hello!