Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Lost NY Weekend: Birthday Dinner at CraftBar

We accomplished a lot on Friday but Saturday was truly amazing! To mark her 30th birthday, Amanda chose Craftbar for dinner. As in, one of Tom Colicchio's restaurants. Anyone that has watched every season of Top Chef - like Andrew and I - knows Tom Colicchio. I expected a good meal because of this association but dinner was amazing - I'm still salivating at the memory of it.

As a group of seven, we scored a very comfortable booth that was offset from the main part of the restaurant.

From L to R: The birthday girl; Carli, a childhood friend of Amanda's; Adam; childhood friend Laura and her husband Mike; and Andrew and me:
We went a little crazy ordering appetizers for the table and had basically one order of everything and two orders of things like the Pecorino Risotto balls and the Pecornio fondue with honey and hazelnuts (yum!!) and full charcuterie plate - half the table was drinking bottles of Malbec wine and the rest of us (including me) were enjoying G&T's:

After the deluge of food, Andrew and I wisely decided just to split an entree - on the urging of our excellent waiter, we went with the pork special (I can't remember what it was called). He was telling us that the chef for Craftbar buys one organic pig a week from a farm in upstate NY and tries to use as much of it as possible in crafting the menu for the week. I also have to say that I was incredibly impressed by the service - knowing that Andrew and I were splitting the entree, our waiter brought us individual portions that were plated beautifully - it consisted of pork belly wrapped around a pork sausage. I'm not doing it justice on the basis of that description but it was incredibly good and filling. On the side, the most amazing and flavorful broccoli I've ever tasted. Little kids would be begging for broccoli every day if they tasted Craftbar's broccoli:
Amanda and Adam seemed very happy with their wine and meal choices:

What is a birthday without something bubbly to celebrate it:

Laura and Mike were adorable - in fact, the whole table was great at keeping up a lively conversation (including a debate on the artistic ability of Lady Gaga):

Then it was time for dessert - Amanda's "birthday cake" was an olive oil cake with orange-cardamom ice cream, pear and spiced walnuts:

I loved my dessert and was very satisfied with it - a butterscotch pot de creme with caramelized apple and creme fraiche. It sounds simple but think of a very decadent, thick, rich butterscotch pudding. And I could eat buckets of the crem fraiche:

We linger at Craftbar for over three hours and enjoyed every minute of it. It was easily the most expensive meal I've ever had, but was so worth the experience!
The evening didn't end there - for those who live in the Northeast, this was the weekend that a HUGE snowstorm hit right before Christmas. So as we dined outside, it was snowing like mad outside and we were about to walk right into it.

No comments: