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Craft - NYC steak house

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Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1246
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Craft - NYC steak house Reply with quote

Craft - high end steak house - NYC
Tom Colicchio
19th Street, short walk from any of the subway lines thru Union Station.

On a Las Vegas stint we did the tasting menu at CraftSteak - we were so smitten we made of point of checking out the 'original' Craft restaurant in New York City.

Party of four
- Pork Trotter – long slow cooked pulled pork pigs feet in its own “aspic” - for service a thick slice, pan fried, topped with sunny side up egg. A very involved prep, see below.
- salad: Frisee with sliced truffle dressed with hazelnut vinaigrette

Main Courses
- American Wagu Culotte (steak cut)
- Broiled Cod
- Monkfish

- Roasted baby carrots
- Cipollini onions
- Butterball potatoes

Coffee – a large pot of French press - Stumptown Coffee Roasters
- excellent – what’s more to say?

- Pot de Crème
- Cheese selection

Dessert Wine:
H. Boch (Germany) Riesling Beerenauslese / 2006

Atmosphere –
Very comfortable, neat; old fashioned wood paneling, etc + exposed brick; uncluttered; good lighting and temperature. Although the place filled to the brim, it was not noisy. Table spacing is comfortable distances.

Waitstaff –
Well trained, professional, knowledgeable; offered a number of suggestions all well founded and sound.
Minor issue seemed to be: as the place filled up, the staff was overloaded – but if signaled, they got right to us.

The Food!

Note aside: Craft prints a daily menu, which eliminates the long table side recitation of “specials” followed by ‘Can you repeat that?’ So - be aware, any on-line menu will likely not be the same as what is available day-of-yo-din-din.

Appetizers and side dishes are served ‘family style’ – convenient for sharing and exploring.

Frisee salad – an absolute stunner – one can eat this by the basketful. Frisee is a lacy chicory – without the bitter/strong chicory taste. It is not a common green in commercial settings. Not sure what the truffles brought to the party – however the hazelnut dressing was not too heavy, not too light, just right.

The pork trotter was a hit all around the table. DW is still going on about it – not a simple dish –
see James Tracey, of Craft Restaurant in New York City, do his thing:

The cipollini onions – flat oval shaped, ala “UFO squash” – roasted with (methinks) an aged Balsamic – if you like onion, they be wonderful.

The potatoes – uhmmm. New potatoes, fingerlings, most any of such would have been a better choice. To be fair,,, waitstaff did advise: it’s minimal preparation – turned out to be basically small (Russet?) skin-on, boiled - with inadequate salt - spuds cut in half. Not ungood, just not up to their presumed standards.

American Wagu Beef – most excellent, holding up our expectations from Las Vegas. Generous portion (8 ounces!) - fork tender, utterly mouth drooling. Super dang good beef. Did I mention really good meat?.....
The cod – per our Mass. seaside resident and ex-lobster fisherman – very good. I’m going with his expertise.

The monkfish . . . why-o-why did I go there . . . ?
Well, only one time in ten+ years have I seen it in local fish markets; not ever found on local menus. Had monkfish multiple times in history – so I went for it. Disappointed in the extreme. Encased in what appeared a seaweed (nori?) wrapper, served with something resembling dead and gone wilted spinach as a ‘plate sauce.’ The wrapping / tourniquet / binding turned the monkfish into a dense, solid, chewy, near death dried out chunk of “whitefish.” The monks apt be rolling in their graves . . . in my opinion, a major mis-step in preparation concept.

The Deserts:
Pot de Crème – highly hyped; totally unremarkable.
The Cheese: we have a winner here!
Platter of assorted (by diner choice) three – not a bad one in the batch - although our waitstaff did thankfully steer me away from an errant choice of a ‘stinky’ cheese. (Some do stinky, some don’t. I don’t…..)

And the winner is:
A cheddar – aged, drier, crumbles, makes you lick up all the crumbs . . .,3267.html?b=d*19275
not cheap; ultra-scrumpous. But on my next mail order . . .
note: the software is having a good barf on the url link - you'll have to copy between the square brackets and past to your browser.

edited Jan 24/14 to note: if you order from Dakin Farm, be sure to use a disposable email address. they spam and spam and spam; replies are
Delivery to the following recipients was aborted after 0 second(s):
so it's hard to even get their attention.

The Auslese
"sweet” dessert wines from Germany are a real crap shoot. Auslese is “just short of” an ice wine. It takes a good year – the right spring/summer/fall weather plus the right post ‘normal’ harvest weather/temp/rain to make a good year. Too many Germany white auslese wines present the taste of utterly raw harsh stuff with a bunch of sugar added.
The H. Boch (Germany) Riesling Beerenauslese / 2006 is extremely refined and perhaps one of the best I’ve had – including years of Franken wine territory residence.

The Tab
Everything other than the $135 (current price) “tasting menu” is ala carte.
Makes for interesting totals.
Keep in mind, this is New York City – home of “in yo’ pocket” pricing.
Home of the twenty dollar five cent ceegar…..
Excluding alcohol:
2x starters,
4x mains,
3x sides,
2x desserts,
$85 per person + tip.

Mixed drinks, non-call, $15, and up. Wine by the glass, $20 to unlimited….

For a “high(er) end” NYC restaurant, not unheard of. Any number of famously named “Xxxx’s” Steak House will more adequately empty your wallet.

Yes, if it’s in the budget.
Danged decent food, environment & experience.

BUT - don’t go off script.
It’s a (famous for wagu) steak place.
They don’t do odd ball / all the fish stuff well.
Stick to the ‘house specialties” for best value.
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