My lovely new slate blue velvet sectional (with down cushions!) arrived yesterday. Scotch-guarding was a huge priority given the kid and red wine factors. After spraying the cushions, we couldn’t sit down for 3 to 6 hours afterwards so we decided to take the family out to dinner. I had both heard some good things about Crave, the new tapas and tini bar in town, and decided it might be a good place to celebrate my birthday-eve. And we were all impressed! The menu had a lot of different options, but was not overwhelming. Best of all (for this area), there were flavor profiles on the menu that were not completely predictable. All of the food was well-cooked. The service was great, and the bill – about $130 for the four of us including tax, tip and a bottle of wine – was pretty reasonable considering that most of us had a salad course and dessert as well as a couple of other plates.
I have to say, I was also terribly impressed with my children. When I told them to go put on some jeans and a collar-shirt, W went above and beyond and put on a button-down and tucked it into a pair of khakis. Too cute. Ultimately, he had to switch back to jeans with the button-down tucked in because he couldn’t find his dress shoes and didn’t want to wear khakis with his Vans. Of course, B had to be wrestled into a long-sleeve polo shirt… At the restaurant, they each ordered three or four small plates so confidently, I had to smile. B’s favorite was an iceberg lettuce wedge with buttermilk blue cheese salad dressing and apple-wood smoked bacon (I think his dessert, fried cheese cake was a very close second). When the waiter brought the salad with the tomatoes B had asked him to leave off, he sent it back (his aunt would be proud!). W’s favorite was an espresso-dusted filet with a ghiradelli chocolate sauce. He ordered it medium rare without my prompting. His take – steak, coffee and chocolate: what’s not to love. I am not sure which of my plates I liked best. I really enjoyed the crabmeat rangoons with duck sauce -- particularly since I haven’t had decent Chinese food in something like years now. But the orange-glazed shrimp with corn risotto – one of evening’s specials – was also really good.
I didn’t try any of the martinis. I've never been a big martini drinker, but some of them sound intriguing so I may go back another night without the kids and try one or two. They offer a nice selection of wines by the glass. The House Tier wines are $6.50 a glass or $21 a bottle. The Silver Tier wines are $8 a glass or $24 a bottle. The bottles on the official wine list are quite a bit pricier than that -- in the $40 to $200 range – so we went with an Argentinian Malbec, Las Moras Reserve from the Silver Tier. They also offer flights, any 3 from the House Tier for $9 or any 3 from the Silver Tier for $11. The pours looked pretty generous and I like the idea of choosing different wines for different plates, so I suspect I’ll do that next time. After martinis, of course.