When summer rolled around last year, PS 7’s chef Peter Smith got to work. He rolled up his sleeves and created a pair of house-made miniature hot dogs for the patio menu, including a little version of the half-smoke. It wasn’t the first time Smith had toyed with one of America’s beloved dishes. His menus have been, on occasion, stocked with playful interpretations of sandwiches like Kentucky’s hot brown (pan-seared turkey on rustic bread topped with Mornay sauce), Carolina’s pulled pork (slow-cooked barbecued pork on toasted foccacia with ancho-mayo), and even that U.S. schoolyard staple, PB&J (his “DPJ” featured crispy duck confit tossed with spiced peanuts and sandwiched between potato tuiles). Smith’s focus on America isn’t limited to snacks, either. He’s built his own wedge salad featuring iceberg hearts, pancetta, pepper-shallot vinaigrette, and blue-cheese aioli. His steak and potatoes is actually a pan-roasted hanger with gnocchi. The chef is not even satisfied to import the classics, like a good Parma prosciutto for his charcuterie plate. Smith makes all his sausages and cured meats in-house, including a gamey, salty duck prosciutto, a fatty coppa, and two different kinds of chorizo. This is not just a chef putting some local-ingredient spin on the same 20 dishes found on every other New American restaurant menu. This is a chef embracing and elevating every sort of noble and cheesy idea that has passed through American cooking.