Craftbar – Colicchio Experience with the Littles




900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Tel. 212-461-4300

High Chair/ Stroller Parking

Weekend brunching is always a delicate balance between finding the right spot for littles and seeking the most optimal culinary experience for grown-ups.  Lucky for us establishments for Craftbar exists (e.g., just enough sophistication for grown-ups, but without so much fanfare that you need to worry about toting around a mini-me, or two, or three!!).  For info: there are Craft locations in New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles, and Craftbars in New York and Los Angeles.

As it happened… we were a party of seven (four adults, three little ones under the age of three… yeep! That’s right, there were two two-year olds, and one miniature munchkin who’s just about four months old, nutso right, it’s a wonder we even left the house.

That said, the dining experience at Craftbar, fun by the celebrity-TV chef Tom Colicchio à la Tom Chef struck all of the right notes – the food was the right blend of up-market cuisine creativity suitable for your typical foodie, the ambience was slightly upscale/sophisticated but definitely casual, the space was open and very bright (it helped too that we were seated right next to the windows), and the price point was just suitably affordable so as to not scare away your dining companions (though calibrated much higher it might just turn away some!).

It was unfortunate that munchkin had a wee stomach bug kicking in… and couldn’t enjoy his Skuna Bay Salmon (he didn’t even go ga-ga for the banana caramel ice cream sundae!), but that was no fault to the chef, more like the inescapable hazards of preschool here in wintry New York.

Food/Drink tips:

-  For the munchkins, we ordered a series of items from the menu (which were all delicious) and basically shared across the table.  There was definitely an ample variety of deliciousness, between small plates and standard “brunch” menus that you can find something for everybody.

- My personal favorite was the buttermilk fried chick and waffles with sausage gravy and chili honey (but then again I’m a piggy when it comes to eating so you may want to scout for something more slimming).  We ordered salmon with chickpea and apricot for the munchkin, which ordinarily we would have devoured… were it not for the stomach bug.

- Mimosas and cappuccino all around for the parents!  Honestly, that would have been enough for me alone.

- We also ordered the burrata with marinated beets and croutons to share (not pictured), which I would highly recommend.

Baby/Kiddo tips:

- The staff were ultra-friendly straight from the bat, which really set the tone for our dining experience. We were immediately seated at what I viewed as the best seating in the house (a long set of table all to ourselves right by the window).  This was perfect for us, as we were a large group and also the view of the street and traffic served as great diversions for the littles.

- It being Gramercy (and situated on Broadway), the space was also quite plentiful, compared to some places in the East Village or Greenwich – at one point our dining party had to walk up and down to soothe a sleeping newborn (you know how it does), and nobody looked twice… Love it!  (Oh, and same goes for breastfeeding, which pretty much should be a written-rule as far as I’m concerned).

- We also saw other littles strolling in for dining (but don’t worry, littles were welcomed but largely in the minority)… this is not a crèche, the way you’d find certain places.  Personally, I prefer that – which is bizarre, I know… but there’s just a part of me that doesn’t want to dine at a restaurant resembling a crèche, call me crazy.

- Plenty of space for your strollers (we didn’t bring ours but our dining companions did).  You may need to check it in at the front w/the hostess, though that is largely par for the course these days.