My wife and I are both foodies who have visited a number of celeb chef restaurants. Frankly they're about 50-50. Some great experiences and some "fine, but not worth the hype" meals.
Craft was without a doubt, one of the best dining experiences we've ever had. The cocktails were interesting and innovative without being pretentious. The food was fabulous--great, seasonal ingredients executed with the hallmark of great technique (and there was plenty going on there)… it just tasted "right." The beef short rib (lacquered to the point it was sticky, glossy and melt in your mouth tender); the risotto (having seen Tom pan so many contestants on Top Chef for risotto, we just had to have his… perfect); the gnocchi (never have I had such light gnocchi); and the pot de creme were huge hits.
However, it was the staff that set the meal apart. Every single server, waiter, host, bar tender, wine steward was friendly, attentive, helpful, and articulate. Each and ever one of them really conveyed an attitude of, "Dining at Craft is special and you're our guest. Please come in and let us serve you. Truly serve you." It was remarkable. And… after publishing a review on Open Table, I got a personal email from the staff thanking me, and asking me to please let her know if I was having a hard time getting a table again and she'd personally see that we got it. In NYC? I'm floored. Well, well done.
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