.::e&m: little james gets crafty, tries bone marrow::.

6 11 2009

my friend MK and i happen to have a slightly more expensive taste than our other friends, sometimes… which may explain why, last year when we were in hawaii, we ate the most ridiculously expensive meal we’d ever paid for, EVER, at la mer, a restaurant in the halekulani hotel (which, coincidentally, also had a number of high-end boutique shops inside… including chanel…!). i think we got this, like….. RIDICULOUS ten course “tasting menu” which cost [a number i’d rather not say] a person. and then there was wine… let’s just say i spent more at that place than i ever thought i’d spend on *food.* but, don’t get me wrong. it’s was amazing.

MK & I decided to have dinner the other night and catch up after my trip to spain, and decided to go to Craft Bar. I’ve always wanted to go there, but it wasn’t until it was suggested by someone at work that we considered it (since our first choice got shot down). we were told that Craft Bar was so much better than Craft, the restaurant upstairs. so, we decided to try it… and it was definitely an interesting experience!! the Craft complex is located on Peachtree, near the Maggiano’s across from lenox, and right in front of The Mansion on Peachtree. a little valet parking, checked in with the hostess, and we were sitting down almost immediately.Craftbarforweb

we each ordered a glass of wine and took our time perusing the menu… lots to choose from, all of it intriguing. the whole concept of Craft centers around quality ingredients and simple (yet exquisite) presentations, with a number of interesting choices of meat and fish as entrees. we were both excited to see *cheese* on the menu… three selections for $15. i guess there could have been more cheese on the plate, but it was delicious anyway! sometimes, with good food, i find it easier to forget about the price tag and just enjoy the taste in my mouth. perhaps that’s why i don’t know where half my money goes 😉 whoops. we choose goat cheese (always a winner), gouda, and manchego (since james has spain on the brain). it was served with a few apple slices, some pear mustard (…? dunno how they pulled that off, but it was really good), and a little piece of honey comb (…!) as well as some crisp flatbread. it was nice to enjoy the cheese (…and honeycomb!) and wine for a little while, while trying to decide on a main course… our server asked us if we wanted to “course it out”… sure we did! little did we know that meant that she wasn’t even ordering our food until she asked us if it was ok. oh well… guess that’s the way at a fancy place like that.

even though there were some awesome looking soups and salads on the menu, we decided to try a strange little thing (to both of us) called… bone marrow. yes, these crazy girls ate the marrow out of some little bone bowls, and i’m not gonna tell you whose bones they were. because it was good. and because i don’t wanna get all sad about it. it came at the recommendation of our server, and i actually loved it! there wasn’t a LOT to love, but it was probably just enough. it was smoky, it was rich, and it reminded me of the blood from a medium rare steak. i’m not grossing anyone out here, am i? 🙂 we spread it on grilled bread, so it wasn’t like spooning weird stuff into our mouths. did y’all read Julie & Julia? reminded me of the story in there where she had to do something with bone marrow… anyway, it gives a great story to tell, at the very least! WE ATE BONE MARROW!

for the main course, we ordered two entrees with the intention of sharing them… veal ricotta meatballs with fresh pasta and sauce, and pancetta-wrapped monkfish served with creamer peas & razor clams. yummy! monkfish is really, really good…. never had it before, and apparently it’s a crustacean according to our server… the texture reminded me more of a scallop or something than lobster (how it was described to us). i realized, after i got home & looked it up, that i’d seen a monkfish at the market in madrid… grabbed a picture of him just for you… a freaky little guy, but totally yums. it came in a really cute cast-iron mini steam pot, too. loved it. the meatballs (i’m a huge meatball fan) were delish, the pasta was just right, and i wish i’d’ve had room to finish it… between those and trying MK’s monkfish, we got full. so full, in fact, that dessert was out of the question. that, and the fact that we’d been sitting there for two and a half hours by the time we were done. 🙂 but, for future reference? they have s’mores. oh yeah, craft! monkfish

yup, ate that. it was grand. overall it was a great meal, and the service was excellent… i really wish i could’ve tried more on the menu, but my stomach (and wallet) is only so big. we’ll have to go again! and maybe a bit earlier in the evening. the menu changes daily, but i’m sure they’ll always have a great selection. check it out if you haven’t already, and remember that Craft Bar is on the ground floor, a bit more casual, and less pricey than Craft Restaurant (upstairs). according to some, the better food can be found at Craft Bar… apparently at the restaurant everything is served à la carte, and choices are much, er… bolder. and unappealing to some. they have a sample menu on the website. let me know what you think, either way, if you’ve been.

so, you might be wondering. what was the point of my little intro story? as MK & i were finishing dinner and paying the check, we were reminiscing about that meal in hawaii and i told her that i just didn’t know anyone else who would have eaten (and spent that much money) on a meal with me like the one at la mer, and that this meal reminded me of that one. i don’t know anyone else who would try bone marrow with me, and for that, MK, i thank you. 🙂 y’all have a great weekend! see you next time….

peace,
james

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