Went there this week – one of Tom Collichio’s joints. When in NYC, what else could a Top Chef fan do? (Well, Perilla, but that’s for another day.)

Appetizer: Rabbit Ballotine with cherries and pine nuts, on the waiter’s suggestion. It was that, the veal sweetbreads or the braised octopus – I’m not going all the way to New York and ordering a salad. I didn’t know what a ballotine was and will let wikipedia describe it rather than bluff my way through.

Entree: Daurade Royale (that’s a mild white fish) with truffle-honey glazed turnips and charred onion tortelloni.

Here’s the thing. You go to any of a hundred expensive restaurants and you get clever-sounding recipes, with inconsistent quality. This stuff at Craftbar wasn’t like that. The ballotine was so simple and delicious and served with two pieces of toast. Delicious, charred, perfectly seasoned, perfectly crunchy toast that worked so beautifully with the meat. Yes – exciting toast.

Then the fish really only had three components in evidence – fish, turnips, pasta – and it was undoubtedly the most perfectly cooked piece of fish I have ever eaten. Not fussy, not swimming in sauce, no fancy presentation.

Simple. Perfect.