Reviews: Craft, Aquagrill
Man, have I had a week of some GOOOOD eating. After going to Yasuda on Thursday, we ate at Craft and Aquagrill this weekend.
CRAFT: my aunt, my boyfriend and I showed up for our early 6pm reservation. This was my second time here and every bit as good (if not better) than my first time. I love the decor in this place. It's formal, yet warm.
Amouse bouche was a cauliflower puree with truffles and olive oil (or was it truffle oil(?)). My boyfriend and aunt are both allergic to mushrooms, so I had to step up to the place and eat all three of them (I'm such a trooper!)
For our appetizers, we had the hamachi and sweetbreads. Both delicious. The sweebreads came with some kind of apple compote. It sounds odd, but it worked beautifully with the dish.
For my entree, I got the John Dory fish with truffle sauce, my aunt got pork and my boyfriend got the short ribs. All were delicious, however, I think my boyfriend's dish won. It was incredibly flavorful and clearly slow roasted au jus; the meat just melted in your mouth.
Side dishes included Tokyo Turnips, cauliflower and gnocchi. All were incredibly succulent, but the gnocchi might have been the best I've ever had (however, I think I always say that when i eat gnocchi : )). It was as light as air.
We were so full from dinner that we opted for a single scoop of sorbet for dessert (some kind of orange, I think). Also very good and a nice, light way to finish off the meal.
Service: impeccible. My aunt has several food allergies and our server/chefs were incredibly accomodating. (They even brought her fresh fruit as a meal ender, when they ususally serve a few pieces of sweet popcorn, because they assumed she'd be allergic - how classy!).
Total bill, for the 3.5 hours we dined, including 6 drinks (?) and tip was around $300 (maybe a little more), if I remember correctly.
(The only downside of the meal was that the fire alarm went off THREE times. Apparently they were working on the air conditioning, so the smoke from the kitchen kept setting it off. Still, small price to pay for such an exquisite meal.)
AQUAGRILL: My aunt, best friend and I arrived last night (sunday) for our 6:30 reservations and were seated promptly. The amouse bouche was a lobster tartar on a waffle chip - very flavorful.
For our appetizers, my friend and I split the special conch dish and the octopus salad. My aunt got the tuna carpaccio. All were delicious, albeit a bit much olive oil on all of them.
Entree: my aunt got a simple grilled fish (I cant remember which!), my friend got on of the specials (white salmon with chestnut gnocchi) and I got the bouillabaisse. The salmon dish was INCREDIBLE. The fish was perfectly cooked and the chestnut gnocchi was very interesting; It really was an exact cross between a fresh chestnut and the potato dumpling. My aunt seemed to really like her fish, though I didn't try any. My dish was very good, but the giant shrimp that came with it, seemed a bit undercooked.
I think my favorite part was one of the sides, actually - a truffle risotto. It was smooth and buttery with that classic truffle taste, unlike any other.
For dessert, we split the peppered grapefruit segments with grapefruit sorbet. It was wonderfully sweet. the spice from the pepper worked very well with the tart of the grapefruit. They also brought us a dessert plate "compliments of the chef," which included various pieces of chocolate, a thin sesame cookie, a shortbread, and an orange jelly.
Total bill, including 9 drinks (I know we seem like lushes compared to last night, but the drinks were significantly smaller than they were at Craft, I should point out) and another 3.5 hour meal was, again approx $300 after tax and tip.
Both fabulous meals with fabulous company, which prompts me to wonder: what makes a meal? The quality of your fellow diners, your mood, the food? Probably a combination of the three. But that is a topic for another thread...