May 24, 2007 3

Craft (NYC: Gramercy)

By in 03: NYC

Since the last few time I was working in NYC I dined mostly at small and intimate eateries, I planned to visit celebrity chefs’ restaurants this time just to round out my NYC experience, fully prepared that most tend to be overrated. We made reservations ahead. First is Tom Colicchio‘s Craft. It’s right around the corner of Craftbar, also owned by Colicchio, which I enjoyed tremendously last time (see my old entry).

We got an opening spot at 5:30pm, it was empty when we arrived but it filled up soon. Our waitress was very friendly and helpful (not to mention very handsome~). The menu has a long list of side dishes and appertizers, we’re told we can do the menu family style.

Amuse Bouche is mini lobster biscuit. We can do a Roasted Mushroom Sampler Plate that includes: Hen of the Woods, Bluefoot, Baby Shiitake, Trompette Royale, Velvet Piopini, Yellowfoot, Porcini. Very good, my favorites are the biggest Hen of the Woods and Trompette Royale, though I sorta expect stronger deeper mushroom aroma and taste.

Since two of our friends don’t really eat meat, these are the only meat we got: Roasted Foie Gras and Sweetbreads. The sweetbreads are appetizer size and it’s still quite big. Both are outstanding!

Buckwheat Tagliatelle with Stinking Nettle, flavor subtle but very interesting deep bitterness from the stinking nettle. Small portion though.

Black Bass, another petite size. Pretty good though can’t say I have much impression.

Dessert: Lemon Steamed Pudding, Rhubarb Jelly and Vanilla Ice Cream (interesting, the pudding is more like a moist cake texture) and Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake, Caramel Ice Cream and Almond Brittle.

The giveaways: Egg cream, a classic New York drink and Caramelized Pop Corn.

DSC03633.jpgMore giveaways: a delicious scone!

The giveaways at the end definitely made us walked out in pleasant mood but also perplexed by the high and low combination. In fact, ‘perplexed’ best describes my impression throughout. What is this place about anyway? The price are high end but presentation are simple bistro level, is it a modern chic take on traditional French cuisine or? Overall I wasn’t wow at all, the entire experience felt like small plate eateries than ‘the scene’ type of restaurant. Maybe if we ordered more meat type main course (my usual favorites like lamb, duck or lesser usual like venison and quail) the bloody carnivore in me would have been at least a bit more satisfied?

I kept remembering Craftbar fondly, which I found to be a much better experience. Include wine, tax and tips, it was about $50-60 per person for a party of 4. BTW there will be a Craft LA coming soon to Century City.

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3 Responses to “Craft (NYC: Gramercy)”

  1. seat says:

    The food does look very casual! I want to try Buckwheat Tagliatelle! Your impression would probably be quite different if you had ordered main dishes…fish don’t count. ^^;;; The food in pictures don’t look quite enough for 4!

  2. dan says:

    Craft is a Steakhouse. I’m surprised the non-steak alternatives look as nice as they do. How often do you get to order some of these dishes at Mastro’s?

  3. Freda says:

    Hi Dan, from my understanding Craftsteak is the steakhouse (the Mastro as your comparison) of the Craft-family. While Craft itself emphasis on their full menu of all kinds of meat, veggie and fish. Their vegetable menu is quite impressive (ie: they have Dandelion, which the waitress told us is very bitter and an acquired taste ^^;;). It is definitely not presented as another steakhouse. I got the recommendation of their mushrooms and foie gras & sweetbreads from other foodies (which I agree are absolutely outstanding). They also encourage patrons to do family style. Like they have huge size meat (ex: $135 for a whole duck) menu that’s intend to share between at least two or more people too.

    I know Seat, I should have order the lamb or short rib. But I feel guilty for others half of table to paid for the $4x order that they won’t touch.