Twice I have been drawn into Crave by the diverse menu with options from sushi to pasta to steak, multiple taps with local and rotating featured brews, sake sampler and lengthy wine list. The first trip I tried the salmon with citrus and buttermilk mashed potatoes and a red zinfandel. The meal wanted to be nice, but the rich taste of every bite and sip mixed in my nostrils with a pungent aroma left over from the last wipe down of the bar.
This most recent visit found me in the mood for no particular meal so the varied selections and local brews on tap appeared to be an invitation to consider the options. As soon as I sat at the bar with my selected pint I remembered the wet bar rag smell. I will try anything twice. Maybe the first experience was just a fluke or a bad ingredient or timing. Unfortunately, not in this case. The flavor that may have been in the juicy medium rare rib eye steak was masked by the thick coating of pepper, but the red wine reduction was more of a plain brown gravy. The buttermilk mashed potatoes were basic mashed potatoes. The blue cheese fritters were a salt and cheese lover's dream. Hovering unpleasantly through the entire experience was that wet bar rag smell. I did sit at the bar, but it would have improved the experience if the staff or management had the hygienic sense to spritz some disinfectant on the bar or run the bar rags through a washing machine with some bleach once every couple of months.
If I ever go back it would be to snack on the blue cheese fritters while I sip a beer or wine and ponder where I am going to eat dinner.
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