Monday, December 15, 2008

Highlight #121: Birthday at Craft

Girlfriend J had a big birthday this year and, with all her advanced planning, she had forgotten to set something in motion on the day of her actual birthday! So to make things right, I promised to meet her for dinner with husband in tow straight from the airport after a two day work trip. Being in love with the head judge of Top chef, girlfriend J settled on the new Craft for her big day.

Walking in, the intimacy of the interior immediately warmed me up from the drizzly weather outside. Husband J and I had one of our first pre-date meals at Craft New York, so this brought back fond memories.

I have no idea why some of my photos are missing from this evening, but we actually started the night with a good platter of oysters and enjoyed slurping the cool and briny flesh out of the shell. It's so wonderful to have these things that taste like the ocean in a mouthful in the cold winter months. The lovely 1998 Pol Roger Brut Chardonnay supplied some vigorously refreshing bubbles to send the oysters down in style.

What you see above are girlfriend J's delicate scallops. Uncomplicated and well seasoned, the scallop satisfied and comforted. Although I am still not sure about paying almost ten dollars for a single scallop. I guess four years away from New York has made me more resistant to such price scale.

I almost always order sweetbread when it's on the menu. Craft's version is less disguised with breading than most other places. The creamy whiteness of this protein foretold a soft and supple center. This was a large appetizer portion at less than half of the price of the scallop, which considering its richness, was quite economical. :)

The husband was in the mood for duck and it came out beautifully arranged in the largest shinny copper coated pan. Cooked quite precisely from medium to medium rare, its decadence was further enhanced by the ample duck confit underneath. In my book, anything with duck confit is good. Others seemed to agree.

The mixed mushrooms side was, in many ways, the best dish of the night. Embodying the simplicity that unifies the menu, the array of mushroom varieties were pan fried in plenty of sizzling butter and came to the table still sizzling. Salty and fragrant, my favorite was the meaty hen of the woods.

Girlfriend J smiled big with her chocolate thing. Like me, she really enjoys every birthday. Turning a year older just does seem bad at all when one is having a good time in life.

We also asked for the apple pie, because, well, I can't live without some ice cream. The ice cream didn't disappoint and had a wonderful mouth feel. The apple pie looked adorable in its own shinny pan and tasted just like butter, of which it is saturated in a good way. :)

Just before our bill came the cookies, which is always a nice touch in my book. After all, we all need something to ease the shock, especial when one realizes that the restaurant practice of doubling retail wine prices also applies to the bottle of champagne husband picked out (not so shocking when the wine is supermarket price, but much more so when it's a few rungs up...) Then again having a great birthday is really priceless. :)

The Masion on Peachtree

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