We made our second attempt at Crave last night. We actually tried to go to Crave several weeks before. The first time we tried to go, we stopped in at about 8:45pm on a Friday evening and learned that they were no longer seating people. I found this sort of strange. The place was packed so I had to find out for myself whether the Galleria had installed Sydney’s 2.0 or something more interesting.
Crave is located in The Galleria near Southdale. The restaurant is in a newly renovated space where Sydney’s used to be. I think they did a nice job with the renovation. The same basic setup still remains except Crave features a sushi bar along with some of the familiar rotisserie meats and flat bread pizza options that Sydney’s had. Overall Crave feels like a higher end dining experience then Sydney’s did. But it is still mall dining. They have a reasonably priced wine list that is dominated by California selections.
The menu overall is not all that unusual in fact it is really safe, no surprises. Even the sushi preparations are predictable. I think this approach is fitting for a place like the Galleria. It is a very Minnesota friendly restaurant.
We looked over both the fresh fish menu and the regular menu. We began our meal with the Tuna Tartar and the Mozzarella and Tomato Tower. The Tuna was pepared well enough but it was completely overpowered by everything else it was served with. Way too much sesame oil and between the beet chips (which were good), the shitake mushrooms and all the crap they mixed in, the tuna was barely noticeable. The Tomato and Mozzaella was good. It was a stacked Caprese with some avocado added. The ingredients were fresh. Though is did find it odd that they would serve this both with basil and rosemary as a garnish. I was like someone in the back said. Hmmm, we need to make this taller…I know let’s out a rosemary sprig in it we can get a couple more inches that way.
For entrees I tried the short ribs and my wife had a steak salad. Both were pretty boring. My dish was under seasoned, but it was prepared reasonably well. It was the first time in a long time that I had to reach for salt and pepper shakers in a restaurant. The short ribs were of mediocre quality and served with carrots and mashed potatoes (yawn). The steak salad was …well…. steak and salad. Not much to report there.
We skipped dessert and just had some coffee. The dessert menu was equally safe. Molten chocolate cake, two cheesecake preparations and some sort of Apple crumble. Nothing was all that inspiring.
Wine selections are just as predictable. Whitehall, Robert Mondavi, etc. On the higher end of the list you will find Kistler and Chalk Hill all presented with no vintage designation.
Service was good and so was the bread they brought out for the table. The host had tried to seat us at the worst possible table in the restaurant when we arrived so we waited at the bar for something more private to open up. Crave is fine if you live nearby and want something reliable or if you don’t want to drive to uptown or downtown for sushi. Otherwise for the price point, I would much rather spend $20+ on an entrée at JP’s