After a long and tiring day, I was happy to find Crawford's when I found myself in Sioux Falls.
The decor is beautiful and very fun. The waitress was attentive and helpful.
However, for the price point, the food was not what I would have expected based on many other restaurants I've frequented with similar menu and pricing.
For starter, ordered the charcuterie, which billed itself as containing artisan cheeses. Both the smoked gouda and the hard cheese, parmesan I presume, were mediocre grade commercial. Certainly not artisan. As someone who has had out-of-this-world charcuterie plates at this price AND is a serious high end cheese purchaser personally, this was a disappointment. The seeded flat bread that accompanied was great, as was the whole grain mustard.
I chose one of the featured dinners, a pan seared duck, roasted squash, cherry demi-glace and broccoli. Again, having had duck in various high end restaurants, I was disappointed in this chef's version of 'medium rare'. The very end of the breast would fit that description, the rest of it was raw enough I couldn't chew it. The roasted squash puree was heavenly seasoned, the demi glace was nice. The broccoli was lightly steamed, not seasoned at all, and dry.
The chef's featured dessert was a blueberry cobbler with house-made berry sorbet. The cobbler appeared to have been freshly baked when ordered. Presentation on the plate with berries and flowers beautiful, only to be ruined by two massive slabs of the sorbet slapped on top of the piping hot, straight from the oven cobbler. These didn't appear to be scooped with a round scoop or any attention to detail. They were huge sloppy slabs that completely covered and overwhelmed the beautiful dessert underneath. The sorbet was delicious, but I had to pull half of it off the dish to try to save the cobbler. The cobbler was fantastic, with a delicious, inspired crust.
All of that being said, the waitress was supremely gracious when I stated I couldn't eat the duck. I had indicated earlier that I was interested in the chef's dessert and she offered to comp it. She made a lovely recommendation for wine by the glass. In the end, she comped the entree as well, although I had not expected nor asked for that.
I will definitely give Crawford's another chance when returning to SF, as I see great potential and the place is beautiful. Better luck next time!
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