Why Wasn’t I Completely Floored by Craft?Dear Grub Street,
I’m hoping someone can explain Craft to me. I was taken there the other night for my birthday dinner and came away completely confused and disappointed. Really, what’s the big deal? What’s with all the glowing reviews?
Back of the House
The Great Chef CrisisRecently, apropos nothing much, a prominent young chef we were chatting with launched into a tirade about the restaurant world’s “labor problem.” “None of us can get enough good cooks!” he exclaimed, by way of explanation. Between 2000 and 2006, only a handful of high-end restaurants — Lespinasse, Meigas, Quilty’s — have closed, and there has been an avalanche of major openings: Robuchon, Ramsay, Per Se, Masa, Craft, Del Posto, Morimoto, A Voce, the Modern, Lever House, Buddakan, Cafe Gray, Alto — the list goes on and on. “And it’s not just the massive boom of restaurants,” Adam Platt tells us. “They also have to be either bigger, or chefs have to open multiple places, so that they can enjoy the economies of scale they need to compete.”
Hearth’s Marco Canora Opening Two Restaurants in OneMarco Canora, whose Italianate cooking at Hearth has been a big hit lo these past few years, will also be taking over the former Limoncello space in the Michelangelo hotel come March. “I want to do two menus at once,” the chef tells us. “One will be old-world — no-frills, no bells and whistles. Just the dishes that have been around for 500 years. The new-world side will involve more global sourcing and be more composed, but still Italian.” (The beet-and-Gorgonzola risotto at Hearth, with its julienne of fried beet bits on top, hints at what you can expect from the latter.) “This is not Marco Canora as a molecular gastronomist,” Canora says, speaking grandly in the third person. “This is Marco Canora as an evolving chef.”
Kobe Club, a Future Gastrosaloon and After Hours at Suba [Nation’s Restaurant News; scroll to bottom of post]
What to Eat Tonight
Nantucket Bay Scallops, Ripe for the Shucking
Rob and Robin recently described, in mouthwatering detail, the nuances of Peconic Bay scallops. Our thoughts quickly turned to their Nantucket Bay cousins, which are currently appearing on some of the best tables in the city.