Fabulous Meal at Craigie on Main, Kitchenside
My husband and I ate at Craigie last week. As always the food was fantastic. But the kitchenside opportunity, while not for everyone, definitely added drama and fascination for those of us that are as compelled by the cooking as the food itself. For me it reinforced the level of quality to attention and ingredients by watching the food put together. My sashimi appetizer, ironically, was one of the best I have eaten. But each dish-a frisee salad, a well roasted chicken, crisp smelts and heavenly desserts were all fantastic. The service was excellent-personal, detailed. For photos and more views of the kitchen, I have a recent post on my blog: http://foodiemommy.blogspot.com/2009/...
My wife and I had a divine meal at the kitchenside table on Christmas Eve. We were eating one dish, I believe it was the monkfish, and couldn't figure out what one of the ingredients beneath the fish was. One of the cooks came up to us quickly and whispered "It's whelk", winked once and then went back to what he was doing. We really appreciated it. That and Tony served us the venison course. Craigie remains one of my favorite restaurants in the area, and the kitchenside dining option, though as you've stated isn't for everyone, was a pleasure for us.
My DC and I went there last week and, while not technically kitchenside, were at the first adjacent table. The "view" was interesting and made for some fun conversation during dinner. Actually, the entire experience was outstanding. Over the duration of our nine-course meal both chef Tony and bartender Tom visited our table. Our waitress was attentive, informative, and extremely accommodating to our dietary restrictions. Coupled with the terrific food, it was one of the more memorable dinners in the past year. The octopus was crisp and flavorful. The turnip potage exceeded expectations (really, who knew turnip could be so delightful?!). We had a small three-plate of one-bites that includes a marinated sardine, scallop with noodles and one other that slips my mind -- all were wonderful. The sorbets were clean and flavorful without being sugary or overdone.
With the bustle of the kitchen in front of us, it was more like dinner theater with incredible food!