Great weekend in the ATL with Knothead. Drove up Saturday afternoon, and despite miserable weather, was giddy about eating at Craft. (Yes! Colicchio has a restaurant in Atlanta, seems to be a trend of “celebrity” chefs of late). Because of the horrific traffic near Lenox/Phipps and the fact that it was cold and raining sideways, we decided to drop in early for our 730 reservations and have a few drinks at the bar. When we arrived at 640, they asked if we would like to be seated early…so that’s what we did and planned to make a full night of it (much to the chagrin of our waitress, who didn’t turn our table over once, ha!).
First of all, we elected to eat at Craft Bar, not quite as intimate as Craft, and even though we were near midtown, had little desire to be viewed as a “couple”. When entering Craft Bar, I was struck by the awesome firepit where lots of tasty meats were being grilled over mahogany and white oak…excellent first impression.
After much debate, we decided to order single items for sharing in a methodical order, allowing enough recovery time in between sucessive dishes to avoid over bloatation. We failed miserable, but powered through 7 dishes.
First, we starteds with Risotto balls, listed as a snack. 3 perfectly cripy risotto balls arrived filled with what I believe was a mascarpone cheesse mixture…nice start.
Second, Pork belly, apple, curry, maple syrup. I can’t tell you have good this freaking thing was…I’ll be dreaming about this dish for months. I am definitely going to have to find a pork belly purveyor in the near future.
Third, Sweetbreads, bacon jam, kumquat. All I can say here is, “very interesting”. The sweetbreads were perfectly fried and almost pillowy and creamy on the inside. The bacon jam was interesting, but way too salty. I ruined half of my experience with this dish by smearing a huge dollop of this stuff onto my first bite of sweetbread. All I could taste was salt for 10 minutes, and I tried to clense my taste buds by swilling some vino, but alas… I didn’t like the kumquat whatsoever. It was candied and tasted too much like an orange slice candy. Got nothing against those things, but I didn’t think went with the rest of the dish. Kevin liked the whole thing, and he was reluctant to even taste it.
Short rib cannelloni. Wow. My favorite of the night. Sounds good, doesn’t it! Colicchio is a master of the braise, but it was the sauce that made this truly rememberable. The sauce was a dark sauce, ?veal-based. It was a bit sweet and had red and green peppers. It tasted like a refined version of a gumbo. There certainly was some alcohol as well, perhaps this was the sweet we tasted, Sherry?
Veal meatballs, pappardelle. This was my least favorite dish. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I could make something identical at home on any given weeknight. It was kind of a play on spaghetti and meatballs, the canned kind you’d eat as a kid. The sauce was a similar thick, orange colored sauce as the canned stuff.
Carrot, oat, ice cream sandwich. If you like carrot cake, you’d LOOOOVE this. Very simple and doable at home. Basically you had “carrot cake” oatmeal cookies with a cream cheese ice cream filling. Fabulous!
Finally, Smores, homemade graham crackers, homemade marshmallows, fancy chocolate cooked over that fabulous fire pit. Good stuff.
Arrived at 640, left at 1040, in bed by 11. Didn’t eat again until 1PM the next day. Cheeseburger and a Miller at the Falcons/Saints game. Not a bad weekend at all.