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Bar Americain v. Craft

Friends coming to town would like to try Bobby Flay or Tom Colicchio.

Bar Americain, which I've been to, feels very New Yorky to me in the best way -- fun and festive and bold. Craft is supposedly a "better" restaurant but I haven't been -- I found Colicchio & Sons delicious but somewhat mannered and quiet.

I would try Craft for the novelty alone, but I'm reluctant to take a chance when I am confident BA will satisfy our visitor.

I am looking for an answer on the order of "they're both good, it depends on what vibe you're looking for" or "Craft is fantastic, you're an idiot not to go there."

thoughts? thanks to all -

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Bar Americain
152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

Craft
43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

Colicchio & Sons
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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  1. Craft is significantly better, in pretty much every way, than Bar Americain. (One thing sifton's recent review missed was how great their cocktail program is.)

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    Bar Americain
    152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

    Craft
    43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

    1. Craft is fantastic, you're an idiot not to go there.

      Though it does have a much more "mannered" atmosphere than Bar Americain.

      1. I consider Bar Americain, a tourist trap.

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        Bar Americain
        152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

        1. Craft.
          Not even close.
          Completely different league.

          1. I like Craft but it might not be what you're looking for, especially given your impressions of Colicchio and Sons. The food is very plain and and the bill can add up with all the sides and extras. Why not have a quick meal at the bar and see whether you like it better than Bar Americain?

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            Bar Americain
            152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

            1. This is the answer to the question:

              Name one excellent restaurant and one mediocre one.

              1. Definitely Craft! My recent dining experience there was flawless. Every dish I tired was truly divine. One of the most satisfying meals in recent years.

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                Craft
                43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

                1. I definitely agree Craft is better. However, if you found Colicchio & Sons mannered and quiet, you will find Craft even more so. May not be the atmosphere you're looking for.

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                  Colicchio & Sons
                  85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: edwardspk

                    how many friends? the bar is more "lively" and the bartenders very talented.

                  2. Thanks to all for the input -- the consensus seems to be clear, we're going to try Craft. Should be instructive either way. all best -

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Mark Alberts

                      My husband met some out of town family who insisted on eating at Bar Americain a few weeks ago and he still can't get over what a complete rip off it was. Granted he wasn't expecting food served in large portions or family style, but he was aghast as to the portion size for the soft shell crab..he said it wasn't even that great, came with no sides was $33 and was about 1/2 the size of an empanada, and about 1/2 as filling. there were 4 other people with him, and the scallops were only 4 to a plate and smallish also in the high $30's and the steak looked the most decent, however, no sides...whateve else they got was miniscule and just became a joke at some point..the service was poor, also--it was over $ 400 the bill--and he's still talking about it....maybe there's some novelty in it if you've got some money to burn...but for the same dough you could have a really memorable meal, that won't leave you running for a slice of pizza afterwards :)

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                      Bar Americain
                      152 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019