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Manhattan

Craft - big disappointment

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Craft - big disappointment

Peter Cuce | Feb 28, 2002 05:13 PM

I went to Craft (scored a last minute reservation) last night with two friends, and we were incredibly disappointed. First of all, the service was strange. There were a lot of waiters and other folk walking about, but it seemed hard to get their attention. Possibly this wouldn't have bothered me much if the food was fantastic, but at the end of the night I felt distressed at the entire experience except for the decor.
We started with duck ham, oysters and marinated sardines, continued with mains of braised monkfish, steak, and roasted skate, and ordered sides of marinated chickpeas, jerusalem artichokes, a mixed mushroom plate and fingerling potatoes.
Everyone was fairly happy with their mains, although I can't say that we found them spectacular, certainly not the zenith of their type, and probably not worth the relatively high price attached. And the skate was too salty.
The other positive memories were the roasted jerusalem artichokes, which had a chewy, almost hard outer crust and a much different, almost raw inside that really exposed the flavor of the vegetable, and the duck ham, which many people on this board had recommended. However, even though the j.artichokes were good, they weren't the penultimate j.artichokes I've ever had (those were at St John in London). They were merely very tasty, and probably seemed better than they were due to the surrounding badness.
The chick peas seemed initially to have a good, vinegary, chick pea-y taste, but subsequent bites overwhelmed our mouths with salt. And they weren't the only offenders. The fingerling potatoes were incredibly salty (and way overcooked) as were the mushrooms. After eating a little bit of various sides, we all felt like we had eaten at a salt lick, not one of the hottest restaurants in town.
We speculated that the excessive roasting and salting was used in an attempt to bring out the maximum flavor of the vegetables, but perhaps it was the bad chef's night, although it seems unlikely for a Wednesday. We finished none of the sides, not from fullness, but from disgust, and complained to the waiter about the saltiest offenders. She nicely removed the potatoes and the chickpeas from the tab, but it still came to $80 a head with tax & tip, although $50 of the total bill was for alcohol.
We decided to forego dessert, not wanting to spend any more dollars at the place and still reeling from the disappointment from a very looked-forward-to meal.

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