Michael Smith’s enterprise, Extra Virgin, lies next door to his eponymous and well-established downtown restaurant, but the strength of Extra Virgin is its casual Mediterranean flair and the lower prices that accompany it. Dishes such as tripe, tongue, and pork cheeks may not be big sellers, but they are far less expensive ingredients than foie gras (available at Michael Smith), and diners at Extra Virgin can spend less than they would next door and still enjoy Michael’s deft and experienced touch.
His cuisine has never been nervy, though the “adventurous” section of the menu (remember the tongue and tripe mentioned above) will challenge some folks. If that menu isn’t your style, try the shrimp gratin, Peruvian ceviche (citrus-marinated aji amarillo, a type of chili pepper), or hanger steak with chimichurri.
Like everything else on Extra Virgin’s menu, it’s comfort food for somebody.