Scoop of the Day… Craft

Craft, by definition, is “an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or skilled artistry.” Craft, by reputation, is a renowned NYC restaurant commended for being understated and minimalistic while consistently delivering a luxurious and meticulously orchestrated dining experience. Tom Colicchio’s Craft, while recognized among foodies and mortals alike, is a restaurant that I have, regretfully, avoided up until this weekend.  I have a tendency to rebel against trends before surrendering, and this is one such instance in which I can admit to have been missing out. For years I tortured my frozen toes and layered my socks so as not to be aligned with Cult UGG, on that same note I stuck to flip flops in the summer. I have yet to actually purchase my own iPod (inheriting or gifting does not count) and it took me a solid three months before I surrendered to Facebook once made available on the GW campus.  Amongst all of my protests, I have to say that, when it comes to trending restaurants such as this, it’s worth your while to raise the white flag.

Although it has the stigma of being a chain, when you go to the flagship Craft in NYC, the entire experience is seamless from first sip to last bite. The ambiance flows fluidly with the food and beverage, which is then bridged by a gracious and efficient staff. The message throughout your stay is that of subtle elegance and refinement. For instance, the décor, upon first glance, says industrial and unfinished. After standing at the bar for at most thirty seconds, however, it soon reveals itself to be delicate and polished. It is as if the choice of medium and minimalism serves as a tromp l’oeil for strategic elegance. This theme of “craftiness,” if you will, persists throughout the meal. While the New American dishes on the menu are organized by genre and seem relatively straightforward, the execution is absolutely perfect and the blend of flavors and textures is undeniably calculated.

While the magic of the food and ambiance unfold, your party is seated at an ample wood table that serves almost as a stage. The food is served family style so that everyone can share the experience, the meal leaves your taste buds tantalized, and you’ll spend the rest of the night wondering, “Did that really just happen?”

Scoop of the Day…

Remember that scene in Forrest Gump when young Forrest and Jenny were hiding from her abusive father in the corn fields? They got down on their knees and Jenny began praying, “Dear God, make me a bird so I can fly far. Far far away from here.” Well, for some reason, I immediately thought of this scene when I walked by this guy the other day:

Action Art in Madison Square Park

Maybe it was because I had just gotten off work, but I saw something in myself as I admired the huge, buoyant bouquet of balloons suspended in his hands on a single string. It was almost a metaphor for what I was feeling at the time… maybe if I just cut the string from that one heavy, monotonous thing holding me back, I would finally be able to fly free and do what I want. Crazy, I know, but there is something so desperate yet peaceful about what he was doing.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure WHAT he was doing. As I approached him during my stroll home from work through Madison Square Park, I stopped (yes, I’m a New Yorker and yes, I actually stopped) ,and tried to put myself in his shoes. It was a little difficult doing this, as he was lying down and I was standing up a good 20 ft behind him, but I managed… And then I saw it; if I was this guy at this moment… I would probably be diverting people’s’ attention so as to diminish the boundless line at Shake Shack and make a run for it before anyone knew what hit them. They’d still be staring up at the balloons as they drifted off into the clear blue sky, and I would be greedily ordering a juicy double cheese burger with fries and an Arnold Palmer to go…Success.

Sometimes we think so much about the little nagging things, that we forget about the sweet, delicious reality we have right in front of us. What a smart guy 😉

Scoop of the Day…

Rain is the theme of the day apparently. Rain has been the theme of the past month if you really think about it. And it’s not just a drizzle or a steady, manageable stream we’re talking about. This rain is heavy, this rain is hard, and this rain is in full force. Sometimes, in a traditional rainfall, its fun to think that you can run through rain drops, emerging as the lone dry soldier from the storm while everyone is still hiding in their umbrella barracks fearing a sodden fate. Well, those fearless rain dodgers don’t stand a chance in these recent storms. We’re even starting to trust The Weatherman, and that is not a good sign. Chance of rain you say? Those clouds look too ominous to be a “chance,” I’ll take your word for it. What is this world coming to!? Some say it’s global warming, I say it’s those people in the sky trying to damper our tempers. It’s a difficult world we’re living in right now, and people are getting pissed. The markets are destroyed, politicians are selfishly ignoring the American plea for help, and prices of food at the grocery store are sky rocketing. As the general populace starts boiling over with frustration and anger, the weather is getting more tumultuous. Positive correlation? I think so. Let’s all take a moment here and try to climb that fence to the greener side. Maybe we’ll have fewer earthquakes on the East Coast, less snow in San Francisco, and cooler water on our shores so those damn sharks leave us alone.

I, for one, have decided to embrace the rain. This isn’t new, of course. I learned how to get along with it in Costa Rica where it rained downpoured nearly half the time I was there. As much as you want sunshine and cool breezes, as much as you want world peace and surplus, and as much as you want that shiny new sports car in the Audi showroom window you walk by everyday, we just can’t have our way all the time. We have to make the best of what we’ve got, and today, we have rain.

Today, in this rain, from the safety of mine and Chris’s HQ, I will be making a delicious pot of Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup, adapted from a food blog I follow, SmittenKitchen. I could not think of a better way to cook up the positive out of a rainy (pseudo)fall day. Not only does this soup distract from the saturated tundra of New York City, but the scent alone is so heavenly that you nearly forget about any vexing thing that happened to you, or that walked by your desk, today… 🙂

Take a look at the recipe in my Recipe Book. It’s extremely easy to make, it totally hits the spot, and it leaves you with enough downtime to get (your degree of) sauced on a soused Friday night.

TGIF!