Craft: Not quite the Top
Went to Craft yesterday and was disappointed: Fantastic quality ingredients, flawless cooking technique, but there is a total lack of creativity in flavor combination. The way the menu is designed, a main dish has no side dishes and one is supposed to order those separately. Fair enough, yet the side dishes also lacked in flavor and imagination. The best parts of the meal were the amuse bouche and the dessert. If I ever go again, I will go for the tasting menu.
This is what the four of us had:
Foie Gras Terrine
Arugula and Lemon Confit Salad
The Pig Trotter were good, but quite fatty, no complaints - it's the nature of the dish
The terrine was delicious
The salad was fantastic best thing on the menu
The agnolotti were quite ordinary
All the dishes were roasted, had a ton of glistening butter, and tasted very rich. Way too rich actually. A little acidity or brightness would have been appreciated
The sides also were mainly roasted, with a lot of fat. We could have used some summer brightness.
Buttermilk Waffles with Basil, Roasted Peaches & Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Mission Fig Napoleon, Olive Oil Ice Cream
Boston Crème Doughnuts, Blueberry Compote, Chocolate Malted Milk & Cheesecake Ice Cream
Fresh Fruit Plate
The desserts were the most imaginative part of the meal. Again we should have ordered the tasting menu. The mix and match of mains and sides was not very inspired on our part but I doubt we could have done much better.
I have to completely disagree with you regarding Craft. I think it is one of the best restaurants in the city. All of their food is delicious and the menu is huge! Despite the negative tone, it does seem like you enjoyed many of the dishes you sampled. Part of the beauty of Craft is that they focus mainly on keeping things simple, yet gilding the lily ever so slightly when needed. Keeping things simple, yet making each dish so delectably delicious is truly an art that they excel in.
Their porterhouse is one of the best I have ever had. The short ribs are also terrific and in fact does come served in their own cast iron pot with vegetables. The lobster my sister had was amazing. If I could eat here once a week I would.
I checked the menu they have on their site right now (don't knwo if thats the most up to date) and they have the corn and bacon risotto on it. Let me tell you this is the best risotto I have ever had in my life! That is a must order when on the menu. Other geat sides include the roasted carrots, au gratin potatoes, gnocchi, and assorted mushrooms are all incredibly delicious.
I agree desserts are also terrific, however I actually thought if there was one part of the meal weaker than the rest this was it. Nevertheless, their desserts are inventive and I just love the overall menu. It is one of those places where there is something for everyone- pasta, chicken, fish, steak, vegetables, game, etc. Whether you are a plain jane eater (you can get a simple salad) or extreme foodie (sweetbreads, pig trotters, foie gras perhaps) you can dine here in perfect harmony. Not many establishments can boast that the way Craft can.
Fair enough, we disagree, I do think the menu would have been more suited for a cold winter night. A more summery slant would have added some much needed brightness.
I think there are so many more inventive choices in Manhattan to chose from that I doubt I'll ever go back. Again, if I do, I will be going for the tasting menu.
There were two risottos on the menu and we chose the garlic one.
And by the way, we do consider ourselves extreme foodies :-)