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CRAFT DALLAS?

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Any reviews yet?

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  1. Quite the scene but possibly lots of style and not enough substance for those crazy prices.

    Main dishes are up to $50 to $70, and that's just for the meat or fish. Nothing on the side.

    Roasted foie gras really good, so was white asparagus and the beef short rib.

    But you know what? I cook pretty well and could do most of that stuff at home for a lot less.

    Still it was fun to go once but my budget won't let me go again. The people-watching is good. I just don't know who will go there once the excitement is over. Kinda like Nobu, which is empty (and may be closing).

    5 Replies
    1. re: Halley P

      We must be from parallel universes. Nobu is not empty and not closing. The people watching at W was horrendous. Wanna be's valet parking their '92 Maxima's and stepping into the non-existent lobby of the W in their shorts, silicone and 6 inch platform shoes. Craft does not have $70 entrees. In fact my complete meal with 3 courses and coffee was less than $70. And finally, Halley P, we all cook and cook well, and yes it is cheaper but that is not what this board is about

      1. re: Donnie C

        Indeed, we must be. Nobu celebrated its first anniversary, with Nobu himself on site, and it wasn't much of a party. The bloom is off the rose, I fear.

        People-watching is often at its best when those on view are fashion victims, by the way.

        And my copy of the menu does show a $72 veal shank, as well as a $110 Kobe tenderloin, for that matter.

        One wonders, why so huffy and why so defensive of Craft? It's lovely in its way, with some nice things to offer, but it's also the flavor of the month in a fickle marketplace. I make projections because I think this board is, in fact, about sharing opinions.

        1. re: HalleyP

          Main dishes can indeed be high (e.g., $60 lobster, $110 tenderloin, $54 skirt steak), but the average entree price is $38.90. (The $72 veal shank and $78 porterhouse are both double portions, btw.)

          Average entree price for the NY original (per their web site) is $43.10. That's about 10% higher than the Dallas location.

          None of the items on the NY menu are specified as serving two, including the $125 porterhouse and cote de boeuf. If you factor out the higher priced entrees appearing in the box at the bottom of the menu, the average entree is $29.33--about 25% lower than the Dallas location.

          Scott

        2. re: Donnie C

          I just ate at craft tonight for the third time. Each time has been exactly the same: good but not great food; horrible, almost comical service.

          I called at 7 and asked if they had a table for 1--they said of course come right in. I did, only to be told to wait 10 minutes. Of course, the place was less than 1/2 full--there was no reason for a wait. Once seated no one came to offer me water, a drink or a menu for some time. Once they did, no one returned to inquire if I wanted more bread (I did) more coke (I did) or how my meal was (it needed salt and pepper)

          I had the short ribs--good but Standard is 10x better. I ordered the peach buckle for dessert--my waitress had no clue what it was and looked at me puzzled. I told her it was the very first item on the dessert menu she had just handed me. She was clueless. It came--it was dry and the ice cream melted because the waiter bringing it walked in no fewer than 3 cirlcles around the back of the dining room figuring out what to do.

          This was the exact same exprience I had the 2 other times I ate there. They are over staffed--Ive never seen so many waiters just walking around doing nothing. Yet they are at the same time understaffed--the people they have there can not do anything right or timely. The first 2 times I chalked it up to being new. It has nothing to do with being new. Mangement cant train or hire good people. They are idiots and hire idiots. No, a word other than idiot does not do them justice. Incompetent is too kind.

          Perhaps the funniest event of the eveing was on the way out. I had the waitress stamp my parking ticket. But when I gave it to the head valet he said its still $5 to park--they are in the process of raising the parking to $15 without a validation but its still at $5 now--they just want to "train" the hotel people to stamp tickets. You get no discount untill the hotel raises the standard rate to $15. But that was not the funny thing. As I was waiting for my car a valet asked the head valet "that lady said she wanted to tip me but spent her last bit of money at the bar. What should I do next time?" The head valet looked as stunned as I and said " no one has to tip you." The valet didnt get it. For 5 minutes he continued to ask what he should do next time to get his tip. Im sure he will be managing craft in a week.

          1. re: ssh

            Really? I hear the Melrose is the same way! Best stick to Nana then. At least there, the valet stamp really does get you free parking!

            TT

      2. Fellow Chowhounds:

        Just a reminder that opinions about restaurants are welcome, but opinions about other 'hounds and what they should post are not. Please stick to the chow.

        1. Gosh, that's funny about the valet tip <g> I guess he's never heard of the pound of flesh as a substitute for the short-of-cash.

          Hmmmm ... Why is it that I feel uneager to try the roasted foie gras at Craft?

          1. New Year 2006. Our table of 10 @ $150 each became a table of 9 but we still had to pay for 10. The food whilst very good was ordered individually but served Family style, my appetizer was eaten before we realized that the (small) portions were scattered around the table. The staff were more akin to door bouncers than wait staff and finally the 1/2 bottle of champagne was thoroughly undrinkable. I will never go again. Go to N & S, Capital Grill or Biernats and have a great meal and service without pretentiousness of the "W" until they get over themselves.

            1. We recently dined at Craft. They charged a $13.00 "corking fee" for the wine we ordered from THEIR wine list. The food was good but not exceptional. As previously mentioned, they have a huge staff whose primary purpose is to look busy but not actually do anything. I think if you're deeply insecure and read every issue of PEOPLE magazine cover to cover, you'll enjoy the place.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Leper

                How exactly were you charged a corking fee for ordering a bottle of wine? That doesnt even make sense. And second, why would you pay it?

                1. re: Leper

                  I'm confused by this. I wasn't charged a corking fee. I had an excelling dinner there. I knew exactly what I was walking into as well. I knew it would be expensive, I knew it would be family style, and I knew there would be people watching. Have to say most of the restaurant there on a saturday night was not there to be watched. Everyday people just wanting to eat good food, and I thought the food was good. We did three kinds of oysters, short ribs, risotto (fantastic), venison, etc. All were delicious and the service was fantastic, waiter even walked me to the bathroom. Only real issue was how expensive it was. Can't go back weekly.

                2. Went for NYE party of 4. We were really looking forward to it, having read some great reviews. Although we had a reservation, our table wasn't ready, so they asked us to have a drink at the bar (on us). After an hour, we sat down to our meal. The food was mostly bad and the portions were too small. Did not enjoy the meal at all, way overrated and incredibly overpriced. To top it all off, after we paid our $800 bill, and had been there for 2 hours, they told us they needed our table and that we could continue to enjoy ourselves at the bar. They seated us late and had the nerve to tell us they needed the table after the horrible meal that we had paid $800 for. We looked around and saw that the restaurant was half empty, told them we would leave when we were ready, and all of a sudden they didn't need the table anymore. WORST DINING EXPERIENCE IN DALLAS. I left hungry and extremely disappointed.

                  1. Ive had 4 meals there--3 dinners and one breakfast. The food is good. The service, at its best, is comical. At its worst, its disresectful, insulting and will certainly ruin your meal. They need to replace the mangement team, and get rid of most if not all the servers. Portions, other than dessserts which were small, were ample on my visits. I wont go back until I hear they have revamped the management team.

                    1. I've been 3 times now, 2 lunch and 1 dinner. I wouldn't call my service bad as much as I would call it amateurish. All young kids with over-gelled hair who look like they have names like Jet or Dylan. Food all 3 times I've been there was exceptional. I agree the prices are a little high, particularly for what you get, but I knew that going in so no surprises. I assume you guys that had horrible experiences asked for the manager and at least voiced your concerns?

                      1. Yes. Every time I commented, to no avail. Its too bad because I do like the food (and I need to find a new favorite place for short ribs since Standard closed down).

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ssh

                          Any newer review on Craft? I chose this for dinner before The Police concert coming up, as it is close to AA Center, but I'm taking 2 law firm partners, and getting concerned about these reviews, mostly about the service...Would appreciate any fresh comments.

                            1. re: mlschot

                              I had a wonderful meal there about three weeks ago that I should have reported on but didn't. Two of us had: endive salad, foie gras terrine, Maine diver scallops, braised beef short ribs, puree potatoes and roasted assorted mushrooms and, for dessert, a chocolate pecan torte with bananas and homemade ice cream. Along with the two bottles of wine we ordered this was WAY too much food but we wanted to try several things. I can honestly say that everything was excellent; all in all one of the best meals I have had in Dallas in a while. Yes, it is expensive, but I did not in any way feel that I had not received what I paid for. Our servers were excellent, too. There have been some negative comments on this board but I found nothing to complain about and will return soon.

                              http://www.craftrestaurant.com/craft_...

                              1. re: bhoward

                                Ahhh..huge sigh of relief...Thank you, bhoward!

                                1. re: mlschot

                                  I am pleased to report that our meal was OUTSTANDING. We had the scallops, sea bass (which was excellent), squash & ricotta cheese gratin, roasted mushrooms, and for dessert, the crepes with Texas peaches and sweet corn ice cream. YUM. Well worth the money, as the quality of the food shines. We had excellent service as well. I no longer believe the prior negative comments. GO!! EAT!!

                                  1. re: mlschot

                                    Just got back from a meal at Craft. Similar to previous reviewers, I do have to agree that the service is amateurish at best (I am still a young person, but felt old compared to their the crop of servers). While I did enjoy the food, the wine experience left much to be desired.

                                    The evening started on a huge sour note when I was instructed by our server that the sommelier was on vacation. With a fairly extensive wine list without much, if anything, I would consider value buys, I could have really used the expertise of the somm. The first server who tried to help me was completely hopeless. After explaining my prediliction towards Pinot Noirs, esp. Cote de Beaune, I was upsold towards a Volnay (which the server had never previously tried). In talking with a couple of servers, I quickly learned they had a very cursory knowledge of wine. Any restaurant of such purported quality, should have a legitimate understudy that should be able to provide some reasonable assistance.

                                    While the service was lacking (we had to ask for water refills on a couple of occasions and pour our own refills of wine), the food was impressive though expensive. I didn't think I would like the a la carte set-up but it worked for myself and my wife as we were able to agree on one entree to share. Thus, we were able to really delve into the sides. The venison with blueberry was quite nice though a touch undercooked. It matched nicely with our August Briggs Petit Syrah. The chantrelle risotto was a standout dish. We also shared the Romanesco which was also nice especially with the caper crust. The potato gratin was good but somewhat forgettable.

                                    For dessert, we shared the chocolate bread pudding. I would highly recommend this dish. One other nice aspect to the meal were all the "extras". We received a nice amuse bouche of duck confit, a orange granita intermezzo, and peanut brittle with almond cookie mignardise. One last parting gift were 2 blueberry muffins which we plan on enjoying in the morning.

                                    Overall a positve experience but wish the service matched the food.

                        2. Enjoyed Craft last night as part of restaurant week. They had a unique restaurant week menu in that appetizers, sides, and desserts were an array of dishes allowing you to sample them all and was an absolute steal at $35/person. Craft is about top quality ingredients cooked perfectly allowing them to shine without a lot of hoopla and in many ways typifies the slow food movement. I have eaten at Craft in NYC several times and Craft Dallas once and the food has been exceptional every time, although I agree that the service in Dallas is poor and the price for valet ridiculous. While fancy sauces, scientific gels, and mile high food architecture can be fun, I recommend Craft when you want to linger over real food prepared perfectly, savoring every bite.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kateu

                            Had dinner at Craft Saturday evening, Restaurant Week menu. Food was excellent. 3 appetizers were served family style, all cold refreshing. a Salad of heirloom tomatoes, a salad of chilled sweet shrimp with aioli, and mixed greens with blue cheese. All excellent. Entree choices included crab cakes, halibut, salmon, beef short ribs & one of two others. Three of four in our group chose crab cakes and one chose the short ribs, both were excellent. Along with the entrees, sides were also served family style and included roasted seasonal vegetables, roasted wild mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes, delicious. Deserts we're cream cheese panna cotta with wild berries & short bread cookies, warm chocolate cakes, and a selection of ice creams & sorbets: coconut, concord grape, pine nut & mexican vanilla. The pine nut icecream was fantastic. Service was warm, welcoming, friendly, professional. Overall a great experience, worth way more that the $35 per person restaurant week price tag.