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?”