Searching for Consistency and a Better Playlist at Craft, The Subject of This Week's Review

Categories: Whimsy

Thumbnail image for craft_interior.jpg
I've been alluding for a while now to a restaurant whose playlist rubbed me the wrong way. Turns out the mystery restaurant with the incongruous soundtrack is Craft Dallas, whose music selection is completely uncomplementary to the scene it's trying to set. The restaurant's manager would do well to stick his head just outside the massive front door that frames Craft's entryway and soak up the ambient electro music that plays in the W Hotel's lounge.

Check out the colorful florescent lights. The cool glass and stone. The lounge exudes a sleek and modern feel that is properly reflected in the music that's played there. The restaurant should do the same.

Bad music would never fly at the flagship NYC location, where tunes change constantly in an attempt to match the time of day, clientele and ambiance of the dining room. According to Graceanne Jordan, Director of Operations for the Craft family, every other restaurant in the group plays from an iPod of preselected songs tailored for that specific location.

But at Craft Dallas, the W hotel maintains control of the music. They've been exercising more management control over the restaurant since 2009, when the deal between the hotel and the Craft group was renegotiated. Sadly, though the dining room's vibe is as sleek as the hotel's, the W has turned over the role of DJ to a Pandora station featuring errant bad classic rock and the occasional errant Maroon 5 song. They'd do well to fish Colicchio's iPod back out of the office.

That's just one of my beefs with Craft -- a very solid restaurant that has some things to work on if customers are going to keep coming back for $30 entrees.

Read more about my experiences at Craft in this week's issue or on the restaurant page.

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6 comments
Scott DFW
Scott DFW

Nice to see the "Good as it's ever been" myth about Craft Dallas take a hit.

Jill
Jill

Hmmm...was just there for restaurant week and did not notice anything wrong with the music...maybe they took the hint.

Gipson
Gipson

Thanks for the review. The one time I ate at Craft - an anniversary meal over two years ago - is one of the most memorable in my life. Simply stunning from beginning to end (and it didn't end until our server ran up to us on the way out to hand us some parting muffins - lovely gesture, and good muffins too).

Side note: you mentioned arancini as an amuse. Two restaurant week meals this very week have served arancini as an amuse. Not a complaint - I love them - but is arancini some kind of de facto standard for the amuse? I don't have the pleasure of eating at restaurants that serve amuses very often, so it's been repetitious in a funny kind of way.

Lee
Lee

Nice review.  I have enjoyed all my meals at Craft, except for a large and expensive ribeye that we ordered to share.  The attention to the vegetables is amazing when you consider how simple they appear on the plate.

-- note missing "h" in "were", 1st sentence of 3rd par.

Tahini
Tahini

How was your RW experience?

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

It's easy, right? Cheese, deep fried.... What's not to like. I prefer smaller, more well thought out bites. They should arrive like a little present. They should delight.

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