It took almost an entire year, but I finally made it to Craft Atlanta.
I wanted to go for the opening last year. No reservations… Thought that maybe I’d have my birthday dinner there. Restaurant was bought out for an event… Was pretty sure that if I got girlfriends to go for drinks, we’d end up eating upstairs at the restaurant. We stayed at Craft Bar – and it was not love... It just never happened for me. Everyone told me that I should be patient until it was my time. I waited…
And THEN, a colleague gave me a very nice gift certificate for dinner at Craft. My time had finally arrived!
Over the past year, I’ve heard a spectrum of praise and critique regarding Craft Atlanta. Karen thought it was the best meal she’d ever eaten. Mr. B thought it was overrated and the service left a lot to be desired. I was just hoping for a Tom Colicchio drop by… With some degree of skepticism, Slick and I arrived at the restaurant last Friday ready to form our own opinions.
We were escorted upstairs, again - I’d only been downstairs at Craft Bar for drinks before, and we noted the art in the staircase and the warm modern feeling of the dining room. They put us in one of the large half booths which provided for excellent people watching. Our server was from Texas, which made me feel right at home, and we chatted about Longhorn football, the Hill Country and Dallas schools. We ordered drinks and the server and I had a little pep talk with Slick about ordering our favorite vodka on the menu, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is delicious (smooth and smokey), made in Texas and is NOT – as the name insinuates – plastic bottle liquor. Our Tito’s assisted drinks arrived, were shaken for us at the table and we were very pleased.
The meal was good. Very good, in fact. We started with the yellowfin tuna (delicious) and a few belon oysters. I am not a big oyster fan, but Slick liked them and I thought the presentation was well done. For entrees, I had the monkfish + pancetta and on our server’s recommendation, Slick ordered the braised beef short rib. Both were amazing. Mine was very tasty, artful and nicely presented in a cast iron skillet. Monkfish, “the poor man’s lobster,” was perfectly complimented by the pancetta wrap. Slick and I loved his short rib and were pleased at how easily it melted off of the bone. We also shared the potato gratin and the seasonal risotto, which were delicious but maybe too plentiful for the heaviness of our entrees because we cringed when the dessert menu arrived. Instead, we opted for another cocktail and little cookies sent out to us from the chef.
Overall, the meal was thoughtful and delicious. It was very expensive. Maybe overpriced, but it was hard for us to pin it as such because we had such a nice experience there. We could easily see, though, how the meal could go wrong. However, we quickly developed rapport with our server, ordered well and enjoyed the atmosphere. We were pleased.
Bacchanalia and Aria are still my preference for a special occasion or celebration, but I would recommend throwing Craft into the mix – especially if you are a first timer. And if you go, make sure you ask for the Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
Craft – Atlanta
3376 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326