Restaurants & Bars

Craft continues to please.

JeffW | Jan 30, 200809:59 AM     12

Greetings Hounds,

Spousal unit and I have been living high on the hog these past few weeks. Din-din with Tom and Katie at Cut, and also Hatfields. The Tom and Katie part is me being silly, but they were there the night we were there. We're not celebrity watchers, but being in the middle of all of the camera flashes was kind of fun. All of the above regards the enjoyment of dining at various restaurants in our city, except we don't find many spots where we want to go back again and again. When it comes to high end restaurants there aren't very many where we would consider ourselves to be "regulars" at. Reading Chowhound, it's enjoyable to see the posts of those who've found some high end restaurants where they are continually pleased, i.e., Russkar/Providence. After our dinner last night at Craft (our 4th.), I think that at last we have hit paydirt regarding a " big ticket" restaurant that lives up to its hype. I've read some negatives concerning the large menu at Craft. Some dishes are described as stellar, and some, not quite so. I'm not totally disagreeing with these comments, but at Craft we are starting to get into the vibe of ordering well, and we leave so satisfied. We have found consistently excellent service, and a noise level (even when full) where we can enjoy conversation. Last night we started with Maker's Mark Manhattans straight up. The waiter poured the drinks from shakers in front of us in large martini glasses. The drinks looked plenty big, but I guess not to the waiter. He tells us that he will be back with more, and before we knew it, he is back with another shaker, and our glasses were topped off. By me, this was overkill, and I ended up drinking only half, but still, it was an example of great service.

Our dining started off with an amuse bouche that was more than something just to announce that we are getting a complimentary few calories. It was a piece of charred salmon topped with a cucumber gelee. Really flavorful and a generous taste at that.

Our starters consisted of their grilled Peruvian Octopus with a smear of Greek yogurt in the casserole bottom, and cubes of a very fluffy polenta. This dish was off the charts delicious. The Octopus was tender inside, crispy outside, rich and flavorful. We also ordered Wagyu beef tongue. It consisted of paper thin slices of the tongue, and little quenelles of Falafel. Another tasty dish, but maybe not due to the tongue alone. It was sliced a little too thin and it acted more as a seasoning versus being the star of this dish. The Falafel part was great.

We shared a salad of baby Romaine lettuce topped with fried anchovies and Parmesan.

Our main courses were Diver Scallops and Beef Cheeks. The 4 large crispy and yet tender scallops were ummmazing, and the beef was like a flavorful short rib, but even beefier. We were on the money ordering the sides that we did. Roasted Jerusalem artichokes were simply wonderful, and if they are on the menu next time we are there, I won't miss them. We ordered a potato dish that I'm still thinking about. White sweet potatoes with marshmallow. OH MY GAWD, was that ever good.

Dessert was off the charts wonderful for spousal unit, and not quite so for me. He ordered an orange chocolate souffle, accompanied by "creamsicle ice cream", and a pitcher of creme anglaise. It was a decadent dish to look at, and he was in dessert heaven. I've always been a sucker for Craft's parfaits, but the version that I ordered was the first time I was a little less than happy with their parfait. It was delicious cinnamon ice cream layered, with some sort of Italian biscuit and espresso syrup. The biscuit part really had no flavor and the layers of it throughout the parfait detracted from the ice cream.

Petits fours consisted of a delicious lemon poppyseed macaroon and a little square of what seemed to be a soft nougatine, and this little square was packed with deliciousness.

I guess our send off from Craft, after our hedonistic binge is something that isn't a fluke, because this is the 4th. time where we left, carrying their home made muffins. This time it was their carrot cake version. I can't report on how delicious it was, because after last night's huge dinner, our breakfast today consisted of dry cereal and coffee.

We brought in a bottle of our own wine as we've done in the past. Twice we've been the happy recipients of no charging for being able to do so. Last night we weren't so lucky, but hey---every day isn't a holiday is it? Craft charges $35 for corkage. Our total bill including corkage (not including tip) came to $241

Cheers all,

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