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[DFW - Dallas] Craft Dallas


Qwerty
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Anyone following the opening of Craft at the W Hotel? Gonna be HUGE.

who's running the kitchen?

His name is Kevin Maxey and he is the Chef de Cuisine. I THINK he used to work at Gramarcy with Coliccio, but I'm not 100% sure.

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Anyone following the opening of Craft at the W Hotel? Gonna be HUGE.

who's running the kitchen?

His name is Kevin Maxey and he is the Chef de Cuisine. I THINK he used to work at Gramarcy with Coliccio, but I'm not 100% sure.

That is correct Kevin Maxey is the chef and did work as tom's right hand man at Gramarcy ny. He then traveled to louisville Ky (while his wife went to school) ran a couple of kitchens there and also worked at the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton the only 5 and 5 in KY

Edited by bdkollker (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

What is up with Craft at the new W? I have not heard or read anything on this project lately? Is the hotel opening this coming weekend?

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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  • 4 weeks later...
Yep. Still scheduled to open on June, 21, 2006. Craft is slated to be similar to the one in New York, Tom Colicchio is supposed to be there to open...

The W is now open. Has anyone dined there yet? A friend of mine was thinking about checking it out and wanted me to go with her.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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  • 1 month later...

Probably still considered too new to review. I am interested in your impressions, I will be down probably next weekend and am thinking about checking it out.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Look for the reviews to start rolling in this week on Fri. The FW and DMN at least should both be on Friday.

Let us know how it goes.

The DMN review is out. You can read it on-line at the GuideLive.com site.

I had to push my reservation back a day. I'm now going Saturday. (my dining companion is a little under the weather today).

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I have read both papers reviews, but am waiting for your impressions before making final decision to dine there.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Here is my review/report for my dinner on Saturday, August 19, 2006.

Our dinner reservation was for 8:00 PM. The friend I went with thought that just maybe, if we showed up early, we might just get lucky and they would be able to seat up early. My friend was expecting the valet situation to be a mess, as she had a big problem with it last week when she went to the hotel to check out Ghostbar. We headed over to the "W" hotel at about 7:15 (just a short drive from uptown). No traffic. We were able to pull right up into the driveway of the hotel. No line. not wait. She was more relieved.. We headed inside and went to the restaurant. She told the hostess we had an 8:00 PM reservation and asked if we could be seated early. We were prepared to wait, of course, but they were able to seat us immediately. So, were off to a great start. No valet mess plus early seating.

The room is smaller than I thought. Light finish wood floor. Very nice wooden tables. Normally, i equate fine dining with white table cloths. But this was nice table, with stylish, yet simple place mats along with the quality silver and glass wear one expects. The restaurant was NOT a jammed mob scene like I was expecting. There were a lot of occupied tables, but they were not yet all full. The tables weren't crammed in together, either. Surprisingly, as the night wore on an the restaurant started to fill up, the noise level didn't get too high. Even with the music playing through the sound system and all t he hard surfaces, holding a conversation at the table was easy.

A waiter appeared shortly after we were seated and presented menus and the wine list. He asked if we wanted to start with a drink. My friend ordered a cocktail. There was no inquiry about bottled water or anything like that. He simply offered up ice water (i.e. good ol' Dallas city water). I didn't order anything at that time.

While perusing the menu, a manager type stopped bye to say hello and welcome us. He told us about the heirloom tomatoes that were available tonight. Duly noted. The cocktail was delivered and our waiter returned. He asked us if we had been there before (no, we haven't. The place just opened). He went on to briefly explain the concept of how the dishes are simple and a la carte, allowing one to "craft" your own menu. Now that was out of the way, it was time to order.

My friend asked him to suggest a salad as starter. He too suggested the tomatoes. Came from California instead of being from Texas since the really high heat we've been having for weeks is not good for the local crop. So, we ordered those. For an entree, she ordered a roasted red king salmon. She asked that it be cooked all the way through and the waiter said it would be cooked "medium", which would be all the way through. For a side dish, she ordered roasted asparagus. Now, my turn. I was debating on a few items. I was thinking of getting the pâté, but decided not too, as my friend wouldn't like it. So, I asked about some of the cured/marinted fish items. The waiter suggested the white tuna, so I ordered that. For an entree, I ordered the braised short ribs and a side of the potato purée. For wine, we went buy the glass. My friend really likes red wine, so we would up both getting a glass of pinot noir. I also asked for a glass of processco to start.

A short while later, my procesco came. A server brought the glass, plus the bottle. Poured me a small sample, then poured the rest of the glass. I like this type of service for wine by the glass. My experience is that you don't always see this in fine dining establishments. It was nice. (can't recall the name, and the online wine list doesn't show wines by the glass). A bit after that, a server presented the amuse bouche. I didn't totally understand what he said. He spoke fairly softly as he plopped it down on the center of the table. Most I made out was "red pepper mousse". That's what it was. A pepper mouse on top of a small crouton. I don't know what it ws garnished with. But it was tasty. We both enjoyed it.

The starters came shortly after that. The tomatoes was a plate of tomatoes of all colors and sizes. Green, orange, red, a deep plum, etc. Looked good. A fair sized portion. The white tuna was chunks of white tuna served with a corn "salsa". The tuna was great. When the waiter returned, I asked how it was prepared. I had been smoked with (IIRC) cherry wood. My friend, who was worried she wouldn't like it, thought it was fantastic. As for the tomatoes? I'm not a raw tomato fan. But I decided to have some. They tasted like a tomato.. Ehh... Just not my thing. But I don't know a good one from a bad one, so it's hard to judge. But my friend liked them. We finished all the tuna and maybe half of the tomatoes.

After the starters were done, they brought the pinot noir. They poured me the "taste" and when I approved, they poured the glass for my friend, then for me. Good. Again, can't recall the name and can't look it up on line. After a bit of a wait, the main courses and sides arrived. Salmon, short ribs, roasted asparagus, and potato purée. The salmon skin was very crisp. Cooked all the way through, just as requested, but still moist. Very good. The braised short ribs were presented in a tiny cast iron pot. Just meat, with a sprig of thyme, a little baby carrot, and a pearl onion. Very, very tender. It just melted in your mouth. Flavor was OK. I was expecting a tad more. The potatoes were also presented in a mini cast iron pot. There were a lot of them. And the were most excellent. Very, very rich. A little goes a long way. The asparagus was nice, too. Good browning from the roasting. Good flavor. Really simple. We had a lot of food there on the table, but didn't eat all of it. We left one or two spears of asparagus, a bit of fish, some of the short ribs, and a lot of potatoes.

Dessert was next. My friend was very impressed with it. There were lots of options. By this time, she was stuffed. Earlier in the meal, she said she was going to skip dessert. But when she spotted the champagne grape sorbet, she changed her mind.. I had a tough time deciding. I wanted to try a few different things. I thought about a gratin of fresh berries, but that was $12, while everything else was $4 or $8. I just figured a few $4 desserts would be better than one $12 one. So, I went with the roasted bananas and the chocolate cocoa nib ice cream. We both ordered a glass of a Moscato d'Asti. A pre-dessert came.. It was a "lemon fool", served in a short, skinny shot glass with a demi-spoon. Very creamy, with a bit of a tang, then the lemon flavor. I enjoyed it. My friend didn't care for it. The dessert wine came next. We both thought it was great. I am finding I really prefer these types of desserts wines as opposed the the really thick, syrupy kinds like a Tokaji. The desserts were out shortly after that. Bananas were served in yet another mini cast iron pot (this time, an oval one). Just a few slices in a carmel sauce and two skinny vanilla beans. These were great. Soft and cooked, yet not really mushy. The carmel sauce they were cooked in was tasty. The champagne grape sorbet was my friend's favorite. She enjoyed it a lot. Very light and refreshing. I thought the chocolate cocoa nib ice cream was outstanding. Very creamy. Intense chocolate flavor. Went well with the banana.

Overall, and excellent experience. No mishaps, no mis-steps. Everything was very smooth and easy. I was a tad concerned that things might be a bit rough since the place had just opened, but there was really none of that. They either hired a lot of people that had lots of fine dining experience, or they had a very good training program that is coupled with good management and oversight.. The damage, before tip, was $198. In summary, here is what was ordered.. A cocktail, a glass of processco, two starters, two mains, two sides, three glasses of pinot noir (my friend ordered a second), three desserts and two glasses of dessert wine. We tipped 20%

Would I recommend it? Yes. very much so. A lot is made of the concept and the menu and how it's all a la carte. I really didn't find it to be a problem. It's much like going to a traditional, high end steak house, except that in addition to everything being presented a la carte on the menu, it's broken down into cooking methods. That's probably not a problem for food people, but I guess I could see it for people who just want "a steak" or "a piece of fish". Everything really is super simple in preparation. While that can generate some excellent results, some people may prefer to have more elaborate dishes and preparations when dropping this amount of money on a meal. Personally, I sorta kind of lean that way myself. But it's not as if I regret my decision to go there. I'm glad I did. I was a good experience.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Great report Jeff.

Craft NY gave us muffins for breakfast the next day as a little parting gift.  Did you get anything in Dallas?

nope. Nothing. I can't recall seeing anything like that brough out to other tables, either.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Lunch at Craft at the new W hotel in Dallas

First course

Heirloom tomato salad - assorted heirloom tomatoes sliced with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper and a few sprigs of baby basil with a tomato gelee.

Second course

Braised short ribs (very tender but just a bit too fatty for my taste, excellent flavor) and a side order of sauted wild mushrooms (which included baby shitakes, wood ear, trumpet, chantrelle and some I didn't know, great flavor, just salty enough to work with the richness of the short ribs).

Third course

Beignets - not really exciting, small hot balls with a chocolate dipping sauce and fresh raspberry compote.

Over all, a pleasant lunch although at $59 a bit pricy for what it was.

THe service was attentive without being overbearing. The room was fairly empty during the hour and a half that I was there. I loved the black cowhide wall. You pretty much have no choice but to park valet. With construction of the Mandarin across the street going on there is no available street parking anywhere that I could see.

I do want to go back for dinner, I looked at the breakfast menu and it didn't rock me very much.

edited to correct spelling errors, I originally wrote this on my blackberry and always make fat finger errors.

Edited by joiei (log)

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Lunch at Craft at the new W hotel in Dallas

First course

Heirloom tomato salad - assorted heirloom tomatoes sliced with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a few drops of balsamic vinegar, fresh ground pepper and a few sprigs of baby basil with a tomato gelee.

Second course

Braised short riibs (very tender but just a bit too fatty for my taste, excellent flavor) and a side order of sauted wild mushrooms (which included baby shitakes, wood ear, trumpet, chantrelle and some I didn't know, great flavor, just salty enough to work with the richness of the short ribs.

Third course

Beignets - not really exciting, small hot balls with a chocolate diping sauce and fresh raspberry compote.

Over all, a plesant lunch although at $59 a bit pricy for what it was.

THe service was attentive without being overbearing.  The room was fairly empty during the hour and a half that I was there.  I loved the black cowhide wall.  You pretty much have no choice but to park valet.  With construction of the Mandarin across the street going on there is no available street parking anywhere that I could see. 

I do want to go back for dinner,  I looked at the breakfast menu and it didn't rock me very much.

Was this a price prix fixe for three categories of limited course choices or did you order a la carte? Your side order of shrooms makes me think it was a la carte.

What did you think about the atmosphere? I'd be curious to know whether the scene is, as all other W's I've stayed/dined in, painfully hip.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I ordered a la carte. The menu is set up so one "crafts" their dining experience.

It did have that urban modern cooler than you feel with the techno music playing and the valets were dressed in polos and bluejean shorts, but considering the temperature was 103, I do not begrudge them. A heavy uniform would of been unbearable. Everything was designed to scream hey, this really isn't a hotel, it is a lifestyle, are you hip enough?

But most of the people I saw in the lobby were middle age approximately. And they were dressed as lightly as possible because of the heat. It is brutal.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I ordered a la carte.  The menu is set up so one "crafts" their dining experience.
Duh... I forgot which resto we were talking about. Sorry. :blush:
It did have that urban modern cooler than you feel with the techno music playing...
Great, I love chewing to a beat! :hmmm:
Everything was designed to scream hey, this really isn't a hotel, it is a lifestyle, are you hip enough?
Good ole W!
But most of the people I saw in the lobby were middle age approximately.  And they were dressed as lightly as possible because of the heat.  It is brutal.

Not as bad as China!! :cool:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 3 weeks later...
Mark Stuertz reviews Craft in the Sept 7 edition of the Dallas Observer.

I liked this descriptor

rich juices flow with the intensity of a toddler's drool;
. I don't know that it would make me want to order the dish but I sure did get the image. I did enjoy my lunch there and still want to go back and have dinner on a visit to Dallas.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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His descriptions can get pretty out there and yeah, sometimes it doesn't quite do the dish alot of good.

This is the first review of Mr. Steurtz that I've read - besides being hit over the head repeatedly with "brevity," I have to say, that drool comment really made me go :blink: ... :laugh:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've eaten there three times and have been favorably impressed each time. Very high quality of ingredients and good preparation. Wine list is average at best, however. Not it keeping with the quality of the food. Variety on the list is fine, but not too much in terms of quality, especially at the top end. Service was quite good on each visit. If they would just upgrade the wine list, they would be in great shape.

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