I've never gotten into reality TV, never seen Top Chef, so I can only judge Tom Colicchio on the basis of his food which I think is pretty damn good. It was over a luxurious dinner at Craft in 2005 that G requested permission to officially court me. I still remember coyly nodding my head as I stuffed in a mouthful of roasted chanterelles. This was a man who knew the way to my heart. (Which one?
you're asking...) I've also been a loyal fan of Craftbar over the years, especially during the reign of Akhtar Nawab, when you could sip some delicious Campari cocktail at the bar while noshing on fried sage leaves stuffed with sausage. These days, in its new location on Broadway, Craftbar is still a fun spot—and a good deal—for lunch. During the abbreviated run of Craftsteak, I had one of the best steaks of my life, a flatiron. But I remember being rather appalled at the blasting air-conditioning (for all those sweaty, rib-eye-eating Wall Streeters) and the equally affronting price tag. Now this huge, wood-filled space has been reincarnated as Colicchio and Sons
—a more modest but also more ambitious restaurant. As Sam Sifton of the Times
said in his 3-star review
last week, "A lot of testosterone has been drained off, and a combination of flowers and a Grateful Deadish soundtrack do much to counter the boom-era feel of the restaurant’s towering ceilings and soft leather seats." I took a friend there for her birthday lunch yesterday but arrived early, so decided to perch at the bar while I waited. Of course this led to a cocktail (at noon!), a wonderful combination of thyme-infused vodka with lemon and ginger ale called the Hard Thyme, accompanied by a teensy bowl of chile-roasted nuts. When my friend arrived, I was pleasantly loose and ready for anything.