Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jul 22, 2005 11:24 AM

craftbar sucks

  • m

I felt it's my duty to warn everyone about craftbar. First of all, I have been to Craft twice before and had a great meal both times. I decided to stop into craft bar yesterday with a friend. The service was terrible as our server was covering more tables then he could handle. the prices are not considerably less than craft. I ordered the octopus appetizer which was tougher than a rubber tire. The main course was striped sea bass. This too was way over cooked and very tough. I was extremely disappointed and warn all everyone to stay away.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Before making such an assertion, could you fathom that maybe the night you went was just an off night? I've been to craftbar and thought it was fabulous. Very attentive service, delicious food.

    My only complaint is the might as well have been in a secret room behind a bookcase, because it sure is hard to find!

    6 Replies
    1. re: MM

      I had a great dinner at Craftbar on Saturday night and thought the service was excellent. I had a rabbit terrine to start and the dayboat cod as an entree, and berry shortcakes for dessert. My husband had black risotto with calamari to start and the sea bass as an entree - I did not try it, but he said it was excellent. Even if service had been off (which it wasn't) or I hadn't loved the food (which I did), I still can't imagine Craftbar 'sucking.' Sorry you had such a poor experience, but based on my recent dinner there, no need to warn Chowhounds. I think it's worth the risk.

      1. re: Kathleen

        I went on a Thursday night which i presume should be a prime weekday night. A restaurant is considered to be a good restaurant on two basic points 1: good food (my dishes were terrible) 2: consistency. I do not go to a restaurant and hope that I can catch them on a "non- off night" so I feel I have every right to warn people of spending a decent amount on their dinner for food and service. There have been many a bad review on craftbar on chowhound, so it seems to me they have had quite a few "off nights" as you suggested. As I have said, I have been to Craft and the food is delicious and the service is up to par EVERYTIME I go.

        1. re: michael

          I have had two of the worst meals of my life at CraftBar. where to begin? perhaps at the end where it took, we timed it, 15 and a half minutes and 2 reminders, to make my hot chocolate which had to be sent back because it tasted like burnt chalk. Oh what evenings of pitiful dissapointment. but we tried, we tried very hard to like it.
          From the cardboard-esque croquets to the thimble-sized portion of overcooked $24 fish, to the waiter who seemed to genuinely wish he was anywhere but at our table taking our order, I have had enough not to wonder if the third time will be the charm.

      2. re: MM

        Both of my experiences at Craftbar were okay at best. The worst part about it (other than the slovenly service) is the decor and rumble from the subway below.

        1. re: dkstar1

          I'll agree that the food's not great and the service can be pretty sloppy, but "the rumble from the subway below?" *That* is a complaint I've never heard before.

          1. re: dkstar1

            Subway rumbling sounds charming to me. It also rumbles at the Angelika movie theater, and people used to talk about it as part of the cool experience living in NYC. You have a point with the decor though.

        2. Wow--I had a very good lunch there a couple of weeks ago and my friend who ordered the octopus was very pleased. Maybe this was an off night?

          1. I've been to Craftbar several times, and had a wonderful time every time. Attentive service (even when dining alone), excellent food. I've only been to Craft itself once, but thus far, I prefer Craftbar

            1 Reply
            1. re: Peter Flom

              I have been to Craft and to Craftbar repeatedly and both are high on my list of best NY restaurants.

              Craftbar is a great multipurpose restaurant that I have turned to when dining alone; with out of town and NY friends; after work on weekdays and during dead time on weekend afternoons. I have been disappointed with fois gras which is fine by me because it narrows it down at least a bit when I am facing rabbit, sweetbreads, scallops, shortribs etc.

              I have found the staff to be well informed and accommodating--including the times I have come in at rush hour without a reservation.

            2. I, too, had a disappointing dinner at Craftbar. The server was overworked...covering too many tables, and at one point, a bussboy dropped a tray of 4 wine glasses which went shattering onto the carpet and a good part of one glass of wine went all over a woman's dress. The salmon I ordered was quite overcooked--in retrospect, I should have sent it back. I was really surprised how lackluster it was. I told this to some chef friends and they--to a person--asked me what night I went. Apparently some nights (weekends?) are very different from others (I guess weeknights).

              1. I have only been to craftbar once, but after excruciatingly long waits for our food, one of our main courses didn't arrive. We were all sharing, and had enough food anyway, so we didn't press for it.

                But then, when our waiter brought the bill, he'd charged us for the missed dish. It was getting late, about half the tables were still filled, but the restaurant was clearly done seating for the night and beginning to close up shop. Our waiter had truly checked out -- he looked like he had somewhere else to be and was already running late. When we pointed out that he charged us for a piece of fish we never got, he couldn't have looked more perturbed. He actually said, "You want me to go run off an entire new bill for you because of one piece of fish? I'm sorry, that's going to take me a minute." When we said we didn't need a whole new bill, just the price of the fish taken off our charges, he grabbed the slip, sighed like we were making a huge imposition (when he'd made the mistake!) and huffed off. A moment later he came back with a correct bill. But I haven't been back.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ABT

                  I had a nice lunch experience at Craftbar. While I enjoy dinner at Craft - food is excellent and service un-obtrusive, the casual nature of Craftbar suits me fine for a relaxing lunch.

                  1. re: ABT

                    My reply" "oh, no, that's ok, keep it as your tip."

                    1. re: simetrias

                      While I had a nice time, I agree. If a server gives attitude like that, there goes the tip! But I sort of think management should hear about it.