Dear Tom Colicchio,
First off, let me admit that I am big fan of yours – because of Top Chef (of course), and because of that story that you saved someone’s life with the Heimlich maneuver, and even because of that kinda-cute Diet Coke commercial (oh you and your kinda-sexy baldness and kinda-intriguing seriousness). But we ate at Craftsteak last weekend (we were in Foxwoods for the night) and I was kinda disappointed. Okay, I was pretty disappointed. I do want to give props to the big, sleek, sexy dining room and the impressive service (more on that later), but the food just wasn’t that great…
When we were presented with hot salted rolls in a mini iron skillet, I remembered Mooo – a top notch steak house in Boston that I didn’t even love that much but I can’t stop singing praises about their rolls. Unfortunately, your rolls weren’t as good. We had a couple of drinks (my merlot was good and the boyfriend’s cocktail was awesome) then had the grass-fed rib eye (after reading Michael Pollan, how can I possibly choose corn-fed over grass-fed?) and a caesar salad to share. Um, the caesar salad was not garlicky enough, could’ve used more parmesan crisps, and I think the white anchovies just didn’t deliver the same salty flavor as regular anchovies (I know it’s probably more expensive and more “gourmet” but I want salty anchovies on my caesar, please don’t get mad at me).
And the rib eye? Meh. It was actually kinda stringy on some parts (isn’t grass fed beef supposed to be more tender and richer?) and for the price ($55) I’ve had waaaay better steaks from KO Prime, Sorellina, Mistral, Abe & Louie’s and even… Texas Roadhouse *gasp* The dipping sauces (tamarind-based, horseradish cream, and chimichurri) were also pretty… blah.
Halfway through the meal we realized that the waiters actually forgot to bring us our oyster appetizers. When we told them that, they were very apologetic and offered to bring it out right then, but the boyfriend said we’ll just eat them after the steak. And then, we suddenly had 3 or 4 waiters standing a few feet away, casually talking but really observing us, so that as soon as the boyfriend placed his fork down to signal “the end” of the steak course, VHOOOM the oysters appeared!! Funny, but appreciated. Thanks.
And even more appreciated? The dessert was on the house: a sweet, creamy maple creme anglaise and 2 oatmeal cookies. I actually was just going to give 2 stars on Yelp but free dessert always gets me so I bumped up my review to 3 stars (I know, I’m easy).
That said, if you presented that whole meal at the chef’s table on Top Chef, you definitely will not win. Maybe you won’t be at the bottom 3 either, and you’ll just luckily cruise on to the next challenge. Maybe we ordered the wrong things, maybe it was an off night, maybe I’m too picky, but really, I expected more from you.
PS – You’re still my favorite judge on Top Chef.