Let me begin with our departure from dinner. As we left the dining room and passed the open kitchen on our way out the door, I noticed Tom Colicchio, the celebrity chef and meticulous critic himself, standing next to me. I offered my had to introduce myself and what I said in my head was, “how is it possible we just ate a mediocre meal with you standing here managing the kitchen? You served up overcooked steak. Come on!” However, the words that actually came out of my mouth were, “Well, hello. I’m Mary Rambin. Thank you for having us…oh yes, we did enjoy it. Have a good night.”
Chicken! I know. But you can’t insult a man in his own kitchen, can you? Certainly not.
Backing up now, I’ll tell you what led me to my internal aggressive commentary. Colicchio closed CraftSteak saying he would reopen the venue as a more comfortable, personal space. I had never eaten at Craftsteak so I couldn’t compare the two, but I do know that what I saw when I entered was anything but cozy and quaint . With sleek dark wood and vaulted ceilings, the decor was actually quiet modern. However, it is a beautiful space to dine. I’m not a fan of open kitchens so the fact that his was right behind the hostess stand was a bit audacious, but I was willing to let it slide because it was SPOTLESS.
Looking back now I see the Tap Room as being the key to enjoying this restaurant. The setting is more casual, the brews on tap are distinctive, and the menu is a-la-carte.
In the main dining room, the noise echos off the high ceilings so you can barely hear the person sitting next to you screaming that their steak is dry. Yes, you heard me, overcooked sirloin! The rest of the prix-fixe meal was nothing to write home about either so I’m not going to bore you with the details.
The writer for New York Magazine seemed to share my sentiments and goes into much more detail in her review if you are interested.
I honestly was disappointed with Tom’s showing. He failed to offer a more personal experience or decent food. I might return for a pale ale and something simple in the Tap Room if I’m downtown meeting up for drinks, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to make it over to the west side.Tweet this!