The second stop on my Restaurant Week Summer 2014 tour was Tom Colicchio’s Craftbar in the Flatiron district in New York City. If you only have time to go to one restaurant for lunch during Restaurant Week, Craftbar is THE one place that is a must visit. Craftbar scores in the stratosphere in both presentation and taste.
For this meal, I was joined by two friends (one old and one new) who are a lovely couple, Nia and Minbok. Nia and I have consumed many meals together and she is very aware that I almost never finish my food. Well, for this meal, that habit was broken. Yummy deliciousness is not descriptive enough to show how much I loved this meal.
Restaurant Week Summer 2014: Craftbar
First Course: The Beginning
My first course was the Porchetta. When you think of the ingredients included in this plate separately, you might think, why would anyone combine these ingredients. Well, my response to that question would be that the Porchetta provided the saltiness needed to offset the brininess of the green tomato relish. The Gouda provided a creaminess to the course that would have been lacking without it and the crustiness of the bread provide great texture to an otherwise soft course.
My second course was the Orecchiette Bolognese. This is the course I struggle the most with completing. After my first bite, the first words out of my mouth were, “Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm.” The mixture of the al dente orecchiette with the beef bolognase and the slight crunchiness of the fava beans made this literally “the best pasta I’ve ever eaten.” By the third bite, I verbally blurted out, “I’m eating all of this.” And I did. That’s how GOOD this dish was.
That’s not to say that the Veal Ricotta Meatballs didn’t hold their own. They were juicy, tender, melt in your mouth amaze-balls. The Meatball Shop doesn’t have anything on these meaty delights.
The missing entre photo was the Skuna Bay Salmon with Baby Red Mustard Greens, Shaved Market Vegetables, Lemon Puree, and Aged Balsamic.
The winner this round: The Orecchiette Bolognase AND the Baked Veal Ricotta Meatballs.
Third Course: The Finale
The blueberry tart was fresh and delicious. Who knew that roasted corn could be made into ice cream? Yum-my! The prize of this dish was the crumble.
The chocolate cake was very light and not too sweet. The prize of this dish was the malted icing.
Both were equally delicious.
Overall, this meal was outstanding with the breakout performances being the Orecchiette Bolognese (literally heaven on a plate) and the Crumble part of the Blueberry Pistachio Crumb Tart (best crumble I ever ate). Kudos to chef Tom Colicchio and his team Lauren Hirschberg (executive chef), Luke Wallace (chef de cuisine) and Abby Swain (pastry chef).
Next up, David Burke Kitchen.