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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: Tom Colicchio Applies His Craft in Buckhead

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tom Colicchio Applies His Craft in Buckhead

Despite the incredibly busy holiday season, I was able to make my first visit to Craft last week with much anticipation. Craft and Craftbar are located in a stand-alone structure in the Mansion on Peachtree complex on Peachtree Rd. near Lenox. Craft and its various incarnations (Craftbar, Craftsteak and Wichcraft) are the babies of Chef Tom Colicchio and has locations in NYC, LA, Vegas, Foxwoods, Dallas and now Atlanta. Its location in the super high-end Mansion hotel and condominiums, where condo prices start at $2.5 million and go up from there. The prices at Craft aren't quite as outrageous, but this is no cheap night out either. In fact, Steakhead was even priced out of the two steaks on the menu.

As I mentioned, Craft is housed in its own building, where Craftbar (which has its own menu) occupies the ground floor and Craft lays claim to the 2nd floor. One step inside and you know you are at one of the more formal restaurants in town. The decor is elegant, the dress was predominantly coat and tie, and the service was top notch.

The menu changes nightly, but on this night I found it to be somewhat limited. For the first course there were a handful of raw oysters and one dish of hamachi sashimi. There were also a couple of non-Steakhead like starters like Country Terrine and Roasted Sweetbreads with Boiled Peanuts. My Dad went with the Sweetbreads and said they were excellent. And since this is the man who would bring home things like calf's brain when I was a kid, I'll just take his word for it.

For the main courses, there were 6 fish/shellfish entrees and 6 meats. However, two of the meats were $50+ steaks (including a Waygu skirt steak). But I just can't see paying $50+ for a steak, at least not in Atlanta, so I went with a braised Sea Bass with Horseradish. This was very good, and at $27, was easier to stomach. Dad had the braised short rib, which he liked but thought the size of the portion could have been a little larger. I told him that's what happens when you order the cheapest meat dish on the menu ($28).

I mentioned the great service here and it is worth calling out that they were absolutely fantastic about not rushing the meal. The appetizers came out without much of a long wait, but they really let us enjoy that and gave us some time before bringing out the main course. I hate it when the main courses come immediately upon clearing the soup bowls. By the time our meal was over, it was 11:30 and we were the last folks to leave, and even with that, I never felt rushed.

Craft is definitely a fine dining experience, and in Atlanta, it may well rate amongst the best of them. The menu tends to be a grade-level higher than this Steakhead can appreciate. I may well be back, though it may have to be an expense account meal the next time.

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