Let me preface this by saying that I think I experienced the most gluttonous long weekend of my entire life. I've never, ever been one to advocate crash diets but I might be glancing in that direction this week. Or at least drastically decreasing my solid food intake and O.D.-ing on diet coke, seltzer, and iced coffees.
Insane? Absolutely. Likely? Not reeeeally.
So yesterday, to keep on with the "throw all caution to the wind and continue to eat whatever you damn well please" we happened upon Craftbar. After perusing ABC Home followed by Fish's Eddy for new stemless wine glasses with my mom, she spotted Craftbar out of the corner of her eye. "How about that for lunch?"
How about that for lunch?! We were seated in a corner booth near the back and presented with their menu printed on brown craft paper for Sunday, November 29th (changes daily). I noted, with a bit of hesitation, that I'd never done any research on the restaurant and/or their menu. Something that I hadn't realized till then was a bit unnerving to me when in reality, it should be thrilling.
We decided to split the following: white anchovy bruschetta with slow poached egg and leeks, Spanish octopus with fingerling potatoes and lemon confit puree, and the veal and ricotta meatballs.
Not often (although more often than not as of late) am I blown away by food. And I mean really, truly, OMFG, I can't believe how unfreakingbelievably delicious everything is that I'm eating. But yesterday afternoon, I had one of those moments. The bruschetta could not have been more perfectly up my alley if it had tried. The briny, slightly sweet white anchovies mixed with the soft, silky slow poached eggs, hints of muted onion via the leeks, all served atop the epitome of perfectly toasted country bread. I could have been served two or three of these and called it a day. A week. A month! This was my perfect bite of 2009. Yes. I said it.
The Spanish octopus, too, was delectable. Not a hint of chewiness, the meat was gorgeously tender and quite substantial when paired up with a piece of fingerling potato, some delicately dressed baby arugula, and a swipe through the lemon puree. If the first dish was an A (are A+'s allowed?), I'd grade this an A-.
Lastly, the veal and ricotta meatballs arrived at our table and they were absolutely just that. Impeccably seasoned, and ridiculously juicy, I don't think I've ever encountered a meatball quite as good. Even the tomato sauce was mind boggling because of it's simplicity. There were very few ingredients going on (that I could detect) but each and every one was of such pristine quality, that little else was needed. If my stomach had allowed me to, I wouldn't have left a drop in the bowl.
But alas, my weekend food fest had finally started to catch up with me. I was officially stuffed. And thank God.
Tom Colicchio, it seems, knows absolutely what he's doing. Not that I ever really had a glimmer of a doubt, but everything was solidified upon dining at one of his many establishments. Craftbar, my friends, is kind of phenomenal. I can't wait until the next time I'm able to indulge.
That is, after this upcoming anti-solid food phase is over.