The following are two recent Chowhound posts regarding my first two visits to Smith & Jones on Las Olas.
Visit 1 (11/21/08)
Made it over to lunch last week and the service was SO bad I don't even feel like commenting on the food. I understand that they just opened but this was Sarah Palin comical, seriously. I'll spare you the details other than the fact that I was served a coke 4x in lieu of the diet coke I ordered. Forget about not knowing the menu, I'm convinced that our waitress had no idea what a hamburger was.. It was embarrassing because I brought a group of Johnny V first timers who were looking forward to it based on my raves. I know they just opened but the mistakes we encountered were inexcusable. Anyway, menu is extensive with Johnny V's take on classic comfort food. We started with his bbq potato chips "nachos" serves with cheddar cheese, bacon and blue cheese dip which were okay but nothing special. I opted for the bbq pulled pork slider trio with mango slaw. It was good but not enough slaw on two of the three. Moreover, the bbq was a little too sweet for my palate. Nevertheless, there are several items on the menu that I look forward to trying and I will be back. I'm sure the will have the kinks worked out soon.
Visit 2 (11/26/08)
Tale of two visits... Made a special trip up to Las Olas today in order to give Smith & Jones another shot. MUCH better experience. The host was great, staff friendly and our server was perfect. I opted for the smoked beef brisket and beef sausage which was from the Kruez Market in Lockhart Texas. This was can't wait to go back good. The brisket was super tender and extremely tasty. The sausage was equally as good, cooked perfectly and very flavorful. Great dish. The caesar salad with chicken was also a hit at the table. Very glad I went back. On a side note a quick look at the wine list revealed several bottles in the $30 and under range with BTG options in the $6-$7 range.
In summary, I do not advocate waiting a couple of weeks and/ or months before visiting a new restaurant in order to allow them to find their stride. That is silly and unfair to the new restaurant trying to succeed. Go but don't write a place off after one early bad experience, especially with a well known and proven chef. Moreover, Smith & Jones has an extensive menu and I suspect there will be some hits and some misses. I'll post back as I locate them...
1313 East Las Olas Blvd. Ft Lauderdale, FL