Smith Boasts Top-Notch Beer and Dead Animals

Linda Derschang is a nut for taxidermy and detail. A few months ago, she told me that her new bar, Smith, would be her "version of what a New England bar might look like"; she then explained this meant it would have "more stuffed birds than deer." On the opening night of Smith, a place filled with dark wood and low lighting, there were couple of deer heads, at least one antelope, and—as promised—plenty of ducks and pheasants. The joint was packed, but not uncomfortably so, and we were able to grab a stool at the bar. Smith's beer selection is top-notch, with ales from Rat City and Maritime Pacific, among others; and the menu (we'll call it "quirky American") includes venison meatloaf, deviled eggs, and sweet-potato fries served in a mason jar. As with every one of Derschang's bars, detail is key: She told me the bathroom doors were salvaged from Garfield High School, and the luggage chest sitting high above the cooler was covered in Mudhoney, Iggy Pop, and Sub Pop stickers. She pointed at the bodice next to it, which was adorned with buttons. "You can't see them from here," she said, "but those are all buttons from rock bands."

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