Dinner at The Craftsman, a photographic farewell to Mike Phillips
When my friend suggested we head to The Craftsman for one last hurrah with Mike Phillips at the helm, I jumped at the chance. We got the last remaining reservation for Friday night dinner and ordered according to Phillips's M.O.: Meat!
We started with the classic charcuterie platter. Numerous types of salumi, lardo on toasted bread, and pate help us begin our fond farewell.
To wash everything down I knew I must have one of The Craftsman's signature cocktails. Not being one to pass up a good bloody Mary, I ordered the Bloody Bull. All the same ingredients as the classic with the addition of beef stock; an umame lover's heaven.
The real question of the night was what to order for dinner. My companions had their orders in place, and I continued to waffle until the server realized she hadn't told us about the specials. She got my attention when she mentioned fresh pasta, but then added that it would be tossed with bits of Phillips-made charcuterie. I was here to eat meat after all. Done and done.
Kyle ordered the always delicious duck confit (is it even possible to mess up duck confit?). This version seemed to have a hint of nutmeg or cloves, a spicy surprise that was well received. But the best thing on the table was hands-down the smoother than silk potato puree that came with the pancetta-wrapped trout. Never has something so velvety touched my lips. I was not even remotely ashamed to lick my friend's plate clean (well, with my finger).
Fortunately for us, Philips isn't leaving town but is now putting his head down to concentrate soley on making delicious cured meats. Along with Kieran Folliard of the Local et al., Phillips will be at the reins of Green Ox, focusing on local, sustainable meat products and charcuterie.
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