Craftbar (CLOSED)

Restaurants, American creative Flatiron
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Craftbar (CLOSED)

After opening Craft to rave reviews in 2001, Tom “Top Chef” Colicchio launched this more casual spin-off to a lukewarm reception. One gets the feeling Mr. Critical may not be as fastidious with his own joints as he is on TV. The second incarnation of Craftbar—the once-intimate restaurant relocated to this enormous space (formerly Morrell’s Wine Bar) in 2005—is characterized by cold industrial touches. Track lighting, high ceilings and brown butcher paper on the tables are features in both the casual bar, loungelike front area and in the more formal dining room. Last April, Philippe Besson (Gramercy Tavern, the Modern) replaced chef Akhtar Nawab (now at E.U.). Ordering from his Pan-European menu should be easy—but it’s not. Among the mind-boggling selection of first courses are so-called snacks, appetizers, salads—26 options in total. What we did try failed to impress. Sausage-stuffed fried sage tasted more of oil than meat or herbs. The duck prosciutto sandwich with Taleggio and maitake mushrooms was just plain dry. The wine list is by far the best thing about the place: You can get a bottle for as little as $35 and choose among more than two dozen wines by the glass. But frankly, we expect more from Tom.

By: Time Out New York editors


Venue name: Craftbar (CLOSED)
Address: 900 Broadway
New York
Cross street: between 19th and 20th Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Wed noon–10pm; Thu, Fri noon–11pm; Sat 10am–11pm; Sun 10am–10pm
Transport: Subway: N, R to 23rd St
Price: Average main course: $20
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4 / 5

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Last week I went to Craftbar for the first time ever during NYC Restaurant Week and was so shocked to hear that it'll be closing at the end of April due to rent hikes, since it was so delicious! For the first course, I had the beet salad which hit the spot with burrata, pistachios, citrus, and pickeled fennel. It filled me up, while leaving room for the rest of the meals. The main dish was an assortment of fried chicken with greens, a hearty little corn muffin, and grits. The grits could have used some cheddar, but the fried chicken was legit! I had so much that I was able to bring 4-5 pieces home as leftovers to reheat in the oven. For dessert, I chose carrot cake, which departed from the typical cream cheese frosting by having an accompaniment of pineapple compote and vanilla bean ice cream in addition to a swirl of cream cheese frosting. If I had to rank each course: Beet Salad - 5 stars, Fried Chicken - 4.5 stars, Carrot Cake - 3 stars.