Craft-No Big Deal
My boyfriend and I ate at Craft last night for the first time and I must say, it was pretty disappointing. I have never eaten at any of Mr. Colicchio's establishments elsewhere so I have nothing to compare my experience to but in terms of just plain good food--it missed the mark. We received fresh sourdough and pumpernickel bread shortly after being seated along with an amuse bouche of Indian spiced garbanzo beans--nice presentaion, meh flavor. We ordered ricotta tagliatte, braised short ribs and potato gnocchi to share. The tagliatte was sparse but good-not great. The shorts ribs weren't as tender as they needed to be--seemed to be a little underdone in my opinion nowhere close to the caliber of Lucques and the gnocchi was just passable. For dessert, our server suggested the beignets with sour cherry ice cream. They were once again, just ok. Sad to say, my favorite part of the meal was the gigantic onions in my Grey Goose Gibson and the pretty light bulbs. Tom, please pack your knives and go home.
We went to Craft (geez louise!) a year ago or so. (Wow, how time slip slides away.) My better half was being ultra nice to me due to an impending surgery (of mine!) that had me freaked out (but I'm fine now, thank you!!) Anyway, as a Top Chef fan (I know, I'm a sucker), he took me to The Great Judge's Place. Craft had just been reviewed by S Irene herself at the time. We had a great time for the experience of it all -- but we have not gone back. I knew it'd be expensive but I kept harping on $12 for baby carrots (oy!).... or when they asked us how we wanted the salmon cooked -- but not the lamb... ?! The swiss chard was (surprisingly to me!) absolutely delicious. The staff seemed snooty. And arguably worst of all, the bathrooms were dirty (!) But it was fun to say I'd dined at Tom's..! Later we hit up (TC top contestant) Antonia's place before she left the restaurant (didn't it turn into a bar only...?) Was it Fire Fox or something? Mmmm, where is she now? She talked to us for a LONG time and was very, very nice.
There's another discussion going on another Craft board, but in a nutshell your experience wasn't of the "real" Craft. They lost a fabulous exec chef, pastry chef and sommelier last month and, I believe, they're still waiting for a new exec chef to arrive. Your dinner was prepared by the kitchen of the temporary chef, most likely. He's been getting lots of other reviews like yours. Bad meals at expensive places are always so disappointing.