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Craftbar bridges the gap between fine and casual dining

The Smoked Pork Chop at Craftbar
The Smoked Pork Chop at Craftbar
Photo by Blair Branch's iPhone

I hate to fight with the B.F., I really do. But I do love the making up part. After a recent spat, I was elated to accept his apology in the form of dinner out Tom Collichio's Craftbar.

Touted as the more affordable and less pretentious version of Craft, Craftbar occupies the bottom level of Craft. But nothing about this food is second rate.

Though we were seated in Siberia—a tiny two-top table in the very back of the restaurant—this meal reminded me why I don’t stay home and cook. Everything from the service to the pacing of the meal to the food itself was thoughtful and perfect, and the prices were reasonable considering the quality.

The wine list was daunting (17 pages!) so the B.F. and I stuck to the “tastes”—three ounce servings of selected wines for $6 each. I’m admittedly wine-ignorant, so I love when restaurants serve tiny portions so I can try several varieties as opposed to the fishbowl sized glasses that leave me drunk by the time dinner is served.

We started the meal off with the Crispy Risotto Fritters—enormous fried, well,… balls, filled with creamy risotto and served with a fruit jelly and crème fraiche. They were delicious and different, though I think the B.F. would’ve preferred the Bone Marrow appetizer (um, no thanks).

Though I’ve heard the Craftbar Burger is the stuff legends are made of, I stuck to my normal diet of meat and potatoes. I chose the Hanger Steak with potato puree, roasted root vegetable (also known as carrots) and garlic confit. Though I would never stray from my beloved Hal’s, this Hanger steak was unbelievable. This slab of beef was huge and cooked exactly to my specifications. Aside from this, the flavor was phenomenal. It was smoky and savory with all of the meaty goodness I expect from a steak. The sides complemented well, though I could’ve done with less of the jus that the steak was sitting in. A piece of meat cooked this well doesn’t require anything fancy.

After debating on ordering the Craftbar Burger, the B.F. chose the Smoked Pork Chop served with fingerling potatoes, smoked bacon and grilled apples. No offense to my Daddy, who cooks a pork chop better than any, this was some of the best pig I’ve ever tasted. The chop was large and the meat was smoky and fall-off-the-bone tender. Paired with the bacon and potatoes, this was probably one of the best dishes I’ve ever tasted.

Before we even saw the dessert menu we agreed that we would branch out and try something out of the ordinary—which for us meant no chocolate torte and no cheesecake. Surprisingly, all of the desserts were an out of the ordinary, inventive take on American favorites. S’mores, Apple Streusel Tart and Butterscotch Pudding are just a few of the treats available at Craftbar. We settled on the Banana Ice Cream Sandwich made with peanut butter cookies and caramel sauce. The serving was perfect for sharing—large scoops of banana ice cream served between moist peanut butter cookies. It was something I’d never normally try, but I’m sure glad I did.

Craftbar’s menu includes a selection of appetizers ranging from deviled eggs to cheese plates to grilled oysters, as well as a selection of soups, salads and meat plates. Entrees consist of pasta dishes, fish (the pancetta wrapped monkfish sounds interesting), meat and sandwiches. Prices run anywhere from $5 for apps to $25 for the Hanger Steak (no, I didn’t try to order the most expensive thing on purpose).

With its seasonal menu (selections change daily) delicious enough to pacify even a sparring couple, as well as its prime location at The Mansion on Peachtree, Craftbar bridges the gap between fine and casual dining., And yes—the B.F. is forgiven.
    

           ~Blair Branch

Craftbar is located at 3376 Peachtree Road at The Mansion in Buckhead

Open daily for dinner

404.995.7580
 

Comments

  • Jon C. 5 years ago

    I just re read this to make the evaluation of your use of the "D" word. I feel that since you only used it twice that I will let it slide... You're welcome

  • Lindy 5 years ago

    Great review. I would love to go there. The steak sounds devine and the pork chop plates looks even better. I love a good steak, but if a restaurant can grill a good pork chop I'm there.