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Monday, February 6, 2012

Dinner at Craft

I lucked into an unexpected treat on Thursday night. My writing class was canceled, so I got to join my sister and some colleagues for dinner at Craft, Tom Colicchio's restaurant in Gramercy. Unfortunately, I didn't get pics of the fabulous starters, but they included:
-- Roasted foie gras and banana (YUM!!!)
-- Wild arugula and lemon salad (this was amazing, and I am totally going to attempt to recreate it at home)
-- Pork ravioli and Steen's cane syrup (this was excellent, though the portion was quite skimpy)
-- Marinated hamachi and blood orange (sort of a ceviche-style preparation of the fish...the fish was as bright as ruby-red grapefruit...I think there were also some finely diced jalapenos for a little heat)

For dinner...I ordered the swordfish and gremolata. Tasty, but I would have enjoyed more of the gremolata, since it added so much brightness and flavor to the fish.
Mary had the dayboat diver scallops and vermouth. Both the scallops and the swordfish were perfectly cooked and had great flavor, but they were each $30 for the tiny bit of seafood alone. Not cheap!
Andrew had the guinea hen with foie gras, black truffle and cranberry jam. This was actually from the tasting menu, but they did a special entree-sized portion for him.
Leigh Ann had the braised beef short rib and root vegetables, which our very personable waiter noted was a signature dish.
For sides, we ordered the roasted Hen of the Woods mushrooms...these were fantastic. The texture was perfect -- not quite crisp, but just enough bite to them.
Blurry shot of roasted brussels sprouts with bacon...
We could not decide between the sauteed swiss chard and the spigarello, so we got both. You can never have too many green veggies! (What is spigarello, you ask? So did we. The waiter explained it's an Italian leafy green with a flavor similar to broccoli, but with a texture more like swiss chard or spinach.)

For of the most innovative, unexpected combinations I've had: dark chocolate mousse with coconut and passion fruit-jalapeno sorbet. Wow! Leigh Ann loved this as well. Check out the sugared jalapeno slices!
Also...sugar and spice donuts with bittersweet chocolate and blood orange marmalade. What's not to like about donuts, kids?
Finally...sticky persimmon pudding with roasted pineapple and quark. I wanted to get this so I could see what quark was. Um...still not sure I could tell you.
Just for kicks, here are a few more words from the menu that are/were new to moi:
-- Harissa
-- Gribiche
-- Ballontine (as in "suckling pig ballontine")
-- Agnolotti
-- Loup de Mer

I saved the menus, in case you're wondering how I recalled all of this. On that note, can you believe my sister didn't want to split the 30-day dry-aged rib eye with bone marrow and bordelaise for two? It was a mere $125. I'm certain she would have taken me up on it if it had been heart-shaped!


Dee Stephens said...

HOLY SMOKES! The mushrooms, sprouts, greens and dessert would have been my favorite!
You are always eating in such exotic places!!

Gail Ballantyne said...

Wow! I can't believe there's a bacon product called ballotine that's so close to my last name. So I came across quark during my time in Germany--it's a thick Greek yogurt/sour cream-like dairy product that gets incorporated into main dishes as a condiment and eaten solo with some fruit or honey mixed in.