Upon first glance, Crafted’s hodgepodge of too wide a variety of Western dishes is a bit of a turn off – can a menu offering ribs, pizzas, seafood, tacos and more really be trusted? But being lovers of the team’s original joint Bistro Burger
and its awesome boozy shakes, we had to give this new spot a chance. The prices are modest, and the rooftop terrace is a great place to spend an afternoon sipping wine. Overall, minimal risk involved.
Take a leap and tuck into a few of your waiter’s recommendations and that risk pays off. The lobster mac and cheese – a dish so often resulting in the ruin of one element or the other – is quite simply fabulous. The mac’s aptly thickened sauce is sharp, gooey and herby; and arrives in hot copper pan topped with half a lush baked lobster whose meat you can spoon from the shell like butter. Damn good.
The eatery’s sign specifically identifies ribs as its thing, and rightly so: Western expectations will be pleased by the slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone barbecue-glazed or black pepper-coated pork rib varieties, while the roasted then deep fried Sichuan-spiced or fennel-rubbed versions match local tastes. Both methods result in mouthwatering meat, and you’ll be gnawing down to the last tiny bits on the bones.
Desserts like Baked Alaska and pecan pie aren’t bad, but not quite memorable either, so instead opt for one of the aforementioned classic or spiked milkshakes carried over from Bistro Burger’s menu. Always a treat.
Is it a ribs joint? A bistro? A standard casual Western restaurant? Who knows, but for lobster mac like this, we’re willing to brush the identity crisis aside.
By Elysia Bagley