As part of my job I’ve been able to go to a lot of really really really good restaurants in many different cities. Living in NYC I have been able to attend events at the NYC Wine and Food Festival for the past two years. In New York you can pay a lot for your dinner and it can end up being mediocre. But sometimes you (or your sweet boyfriend) could pay a pretty penny and find every bite worth it.*
Last night was one of those nights.
I didn’t take pictures at all while we were there – mostly because I didn’t want to be ‘that girl’ as my sister is fond of saying. I wanted to relax and just enjoy every morsel. And I did. I really did.
When you arrive at craft you are greeted warmly. The hostess offers to take your coat to an undisclosed location. When you meet your dining companion at the bar and he gives you flowers someone else walks by and asks if they can store them in a cold place for you until you are done with dinner. The smiling bartender pours you a delicious glass of Cabernet Franc (we had the Beatrice et Pascal Lambert, Cuvée Danaé, 2006. I can’t tell you what all that means except it was light and luscious) which a server carries for you when you move to your table.
We ordered a bottle of the same wine, ate a delicious slice of bread and butter and then ordered our meal. I started with the Ricotta Cavatelli
& Guanciale. Have you ever had guanciale? I know I’ve heard of it but had to Google to make sure it wasn’t something like Scrapple. I’ve never had scrapple but I’m going to bet guanciale blows it out of the water.
Dave had a salad of Beets and Tarragon.
They serve ‘family style’ so there was plenty for each of us to have a taste. The cavatelli had a runny egg on top and the yolk made it taste almost buttery.
I had Beef Short Ribs for my entree and Dave had Braised Halibut. I had short ribs at Fork & Vine the other night and they were really good.
These were ridiculous.
(translation: Ridiculous = amazing. See also – something I’m going to obsess over and order multiple times – sort of like crab cakes).
On the side we had Duck Risotto (with crispy pieces of duck skin on top) and the creamiest butternut squash puree I ever tasted. We had three types of ice cream for dessert – caramel (this was the BEST), vanilla bean and chocolate peanut crunch. Dave had an itty bitty coffee and I had a yummy hot chocolate.
In addition to the most lovely card and the sweetest smelling flowers my true love also gave to me…the leftovers.
(which are also taken from you in return for a claim check that you can turn in at the hostess stand upon leaving. No doggie bags on the table at Tom’s place.)
That’s (clockwise) the leftover butternut squash, risotto, cavatelli and short rib.
My love for Tom Colicchio and Top Chef shows no signs of waning after this meal I’ll tell you what. I want to say hi to him and buy his cookbook and have my friend tell him personally how much she adores his restaurant while tipsy after a 5 course meal.
Oh wait. That actually happened. :)
However you chose to spend it - whether you were like me a few years ago an hosted a ‘Cupid Can Kiss My Ass' party for all your single friends serving Rachael Ray’s You Won’t Be Single for Long Vodka Cream Pasta (the bitch lies btw) or like the girl in front of me at CVS wearing sweats and buying a pregnancy test or at a delicious dinner with a wonderful person you adore – I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day.
* I have to say I by far got the better end of the deal. My Valentine’s gift to Dave included…an Applebee’s gift card. :) It's a long story but...still!