Magazine article The New Yorker

Colicchio & Sons

Magazine article The New Yorker

Colicchio & Sons

Article excerpt

Tom Colicchio closed his Craftsteak flagship in New York earlier this fall and vowed to make its revamp personal: he'd be there, behind the stove, doing what he loves to do. The other night, a waiter confirmed that Colicchio was indeed wearing his whites most evenings, including this one. The room itself hasn't changed muchgreens replace beiges, flowers replace slabs of pink salt rocknor has the clientele, though you sense that more than a few diners are drawn as much by the owner's "Top Chef" celebrity as by the food. One table grilled their waiter about Colicchio's familydid he really have sons? (Yes, two: Dante and Luka.) The recent shift to a prix-fixe menu might reflect the ratio of gawkers to gourmands; it's to encourage people to order courses rather than share, the waiter confided. "I hate to say we're twisting arms, but . . ."

Unfortunately, Colicchio seems to have become a bit sloppy in the kitchen. Most everything was fine, but only that. A first course of gnocchi offered succulent doses of bone marrow but was unevenly seasoned, giving the middle of the dish a peppery burst and leaving the outer fringes bland. The agnolotti, packets of lemony white-bean pure, came with spongy chunks of octopus and extraneous cubes of chorizo. The loup de mer was nicely cooked, but a stray piece of foil betrayed its method of preparation; the venison, at least, had no major drawbacks, aided by some buttery trumpet mushrooms.

In the front room, now called the Tap Room, a cozier, more casual atmosphere is reflected in the -la-carte menu. …

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