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Restaurants & Bars 22

Two Fishes: Craft Vs Ponty...hint: the Underdog Wins

Simon | Nov 6, 201107:25 PM

So a mini-review/first impression of Craft...though i'd been to Craftbar once, i'd never been to Craft til the other night, when i went in and snagged a bar seat...nice lighting, ultra-professional/nice staff...and an absurdly fun wine list which i could read like a quirky smart novel...

After some discussion w/ the bartender, i went for a half-order of the beets/tarragon salad (the half-order being his suggestion after i commented how large the salads i saw nearby were, and imo, a wonderful customer-friendly policy) and the swordfish w/ gremolata...the beets were flawlessly delicious...

The swordfish was a straightup dud: it was two very small thick rectangular solids: faintly charred on the outside, and cooked/yet-coolish in the center...an odd prep for swordfish...there was a dot of gremolata on each piece...maybe 4 ounces of fish or less total?...completely bland, like the most flavorless thing that's ever been pulled from the sea and cooked...29 dollars...i tried to eat it, got through most of the first piece, but just couldn't finish even that piece...the bartender asked what i thought, and when i told him it was grim, he cleared it and offered a subsitute, but i didn't really feel like waiting for another entree, so i asked for the check...he took it off the bill on his own, which was professional and somewhat generous given that i had eaten almost half of it...

The couple sitting next to me had ordered a medley of various veggie dishes (kale, carrots, salads, pasta, etc) which looked delicious and i wish i'd had that instead...so i'm sure there are yummier options on the menu than what i'd had...but as i wasn't thrilled w/ my entree and the space/seating doesn't seem especially suited to dates (though perhaps great for things like group family dinners and work meals), i'll prob be slow to return...

On the way home, i stopped in at Cafe Ponty on 3rd Ave and 19th St...as i peeked in the window, the chef/owner remembered me from another place he'd worked years ago, so, since i was still hungry, i decided to come in...as the food people were eating looked good and the vibe was festive, i ate at the bar: a fragrant herbal awesome chicken soup, followed by a moist delicious grilled small branzino w/ green plantains and salad...nice wines by the glass too...totally satisfying meal and i'll be sure to return and review it more thoroughly...

43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

Ponty Bistro
218 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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