I dined at craftbar last night and was for the most part underwhelmed. I went in prepared to love it, yet still had what I felt were reasonable expectations.
The room is pleasant. There are a few interesting touches with the decor and the space is functional, which I look for.
The menu is well designed and appropriately priced- small, medium, and large dishes to share, $6-16 an item.
But the deep fried sage leaves that sounded fantastic came out tasting like deep fried breakfast sausage balls with an extra coat of grease brushed on at service. Risotto balls were rich and crunchy, but lacking in flavor. Some fresh herbs, or my dining companion's suggestion of sauteed mushrooms, folded into the risotto before molding and frying would have helped a lot. Dressing fried oysters with fennel and dill was a nice touch, but the oysters themselves did little to shine through the breading.
The frisee, gorgonzola, and bacon salad was fine. It fell somewhere in the middle of the versions I've sampled elsewhere.
The only fantastic dish I tried was the pressed duck ham sandwich. The meat was nicely cured and matched perfectly with the toasted bread and cheese in the sandwich.
I plan to go back and sample more items and can certainly give Colicchio the benefit of the doubt. But small fried salty snacks should explode with flavor at this restaurant, and the ones I ate did not.
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