Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A break from the apartment hunt at Craftbar

I haven't blogged in months! This is disgraceful. It's part laziness/business (as in being busy), and partly because we haven't eaten out as frequently recently. Adam's still gimpy, but while on the hunt for a summer sublet for him (mostly in the Union Square/Flatiron area), we ate dinner at craftbar. The restaurant is extremely accessible, and I liked the modern, high ceilinged room.

We ate at craft almost three years ago (with Korn) the summer we were all living in NYC. At the time, we had thought the food was technically excellent but did not warrant the expense. However, I still remember how good the white beer with raspberry puree was (probably the only time I've ever ordered a beer over another alcoholic option)! Anyway, we were hoping that the less expensive craftbar would provide a similar quality at a lower price.

Our waiter was not particularly friendly, though it's unclear if he was a little shy or a little aloof. Once we told him that we didn't want anything with meat (including stocks), he did tell us what foods were not pesca-vegi friendly, though it did take more than one trip to the kitchen to make sure. The two soups and a risotto were rule out as a result, but we did find two appetizers and two entrees that sounded good.

The young pecorino fondue, pepperoncini, acacia honey and hazelnuts was excellent! This is obviously just the sort of dish I would like, but the shallow layer of cheese was a delicious balance of tangy cheese and sweet honey. Hazelnuts are put to good use here and elsewhere on the menu (dessert...keep reading). The salad with soft-cooked egg was overdressed, almost to the point of being soggy. I like egg in salad (Stone Barns does a GREAT salad that includes it), but this one was not particularly memorable. We got the house-cured anchovies on the side. I didn't bother to try them, and Adam sampled one but did not add them. However, I realize that some people really like anchovies on salad and I'm just not one of those people, no matter how lovingly made in-house those fishies are.

For entrees, one fish was eliminated because of meat stock in the broth. We ended up with a skate wing with morels and ramps (some sort of bean was removed because it was precooked in stock). A white fish (I believe is was loup de mer) was cooked with leeks, fingerling potatoes, and some sort of tomato puree. The skate was well cooked and the vegetables (morels, ramps, leeks, etc) were all good, but nothing was particularly memorable. The loup de mer was had too much pepper on it, and the tomato seemed a bit too similar to glorified ketchup.

Despite being pretty full at this point, we ordered dessert anyway. I got a carrot cake and Adam got a hazelnut flan. I should know better than to order carrot cake in a restaurant. Thanks to a family recipe from my mother's best friend, I grew up eating and making carrot cake better than anything I've ever had in a restaurant, and I am invariably disappointed. This one was not particularly moist (not particularly dry either, but I like a moist cake) and a bit bland. However, the sort of caramel and nut brittle that came with it was very good. Adam's flan came in an orange sauce with orange segments. I thought the flan was too soft, but Adam liked it a lot. The carmel popcorn that is craftbar's version of petit fours was also very tasty.

When we got our check, Adam noticed immediately that we had been charged for two of everything we'd ordered, effectively doubling our total. The fact that no one noticed this (nor was particularly apologetic when it was pointed out) was indicative of the entire meal. Not a huge deal, nothing hugely wrong, but not up to the peak of performance that makes an impression. Craftbar was good, but not great and not particularly memorable.


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker