I’m an irregular follower of yours. I’ve seen you on Iron Chef, caught your show on the radio and read some of your stuff here and there. You seem to me to be one of the more accessible and sensible of the food critics out there.
My wife and I ate at Craftsteak last weekend and as much as I like Tom Colicchio on Top Chef and wanted our 400.00 dollar dinner to be the best we’ve ever had, it was terrible.
The steaks were the Wagyu rib eye and the house specialty, skirt steak. I’m the first to admit that my experience with top line restaurants in woefully lacking so I though I’d ask your opinion. I’d think that a top flight restaurant named craftSTEAK would have, well, the absolute best steak around and would know how to cook it absolutely perfect in every way. Short version. We ordered medium rare meat and what arrived were two steaks that were so far past well done that the skirt steak was actually brittle, bone dry and so tough I’d have called it filet of cowboy boot if I didn’t know what it was. My wife tried three bites and couldn’t eat any more because, “it’s so tough and dry I just can’t try another bite. It hurts to chew.” The ribeye was a bit more tender but still brown from the center on out, no trace of pink anywhere and equally dry from over cooking.
The rest of the meal was a high/low experience. The Yukon potatoes were very good and the jumbo prawns fresh and wonderful. The crispy sun chokes not so crispy, more like deep fried tofu and kind of tasteless. The service was terrific Victor and his staff were excellent. We both liked the decor and atmosphere. We left without commenting after leaving a 70.00 dollar tip (we feel the servers are not responsible for what the kitchen puts out in any restaurant, so we tip regardless).
My question is, have you reviewed Craftsteak lately and if you did how do you feel about the place? Secondly should we let what might have been a bad night put us off the place?
Crapped Out After Crappy Craftsteak
Dear Crapped Out,
We’ve eaten at Craftsteak many times since it opened, but not in the past year. What you describe is inexcusable for any steakhouse, but especially so for one trading on the name of Tom “I Might Be Wrong, But I’m Never In Doubt” Colicchio and charging the prices it does. (The last time we looked, Craftsteak was the most expensive steakhouse in Vegas, and any $400 steak dinner for two deserves to be perfect.)
Any restaurant can have an off night, but one as vaunted as this one is held to a higher standard — a standard that doesn’t allow for two mishandled pieces of beef showing up at the same table.
To your other question about how we feel about the place: we’ve always admired Matt Seeber (its executive chef) and the quality of the ingredients he brings in, but make no mistake, Craftsteak is a casino food factory pure and simple (and a celebrity chef food factory at that), serving hundreds of covers a night, so necessarily, there will be slip ups and let downs coming out of the kitchen.
Bottom line: you should have complained to your waiter as soon as those first bites were taken, and the management should’ve offered to bring you two new steaks or take the shoe leather off the bill.
Thanks for bringing your experience to our attention. Because of it, our staff is planning an incognito visit to Craftsteak soon, to see if it merits inclusion in this year’s EATING LAS VEGAS – The Fifty Essential Restaurants. Two strikes and it will most certainly be out.
Craftily Considering Canning Craftsteak,