by Constance Hernandez
There’s an old Greek adage that says “It is difficult to argue with the belly, as it has no ears.” Well the Greek author Plutarch must have patronized the new spot in West Plano’s Lakeside Market, CraftWay Kitchen. The former Ziziki’s Greek restaurant has been transformed into a beautiful modern rustic concept that is being described as “an elevated American bar” by COO Mike Hutchinson.
Upon entering the newly remodeled venue, we were immediately greeted with the smell of grilled meats, the sounds of anxious dinner chatter, and a warm hostess. After being led to a group table for the evening, several contemporary avant-garde dishes began rolling out of the kitchen, filled with samples of their most anticipated menu items: Chicken lollipops, crab stuffed mushrooms, flash fried asparagus, and candied bacon. While the crab stuffed mushrooms were a hit with my dining companions, the candied bacon failed to deliver that sweet candied texture as promised.
The heavy handed ancho chile flakes on the bacon strips blew out our palates, but the sweet crab stuffed mushrooms and lemon caper aioli helped extinguish some of the heat.
Our server shared a little behind the scenes secrets while we waited on our next tasting course. COO Mike Hutchinson is the most excited about the French onion soup, a recipe he perfected as a chef in Michigan in the ’90s. When the dish landed on our table, cell phones immediately whipped out, and an Instagram star was born! The broth was rich in full bodied flavors, and the onions were just right on bite.
The dish is a beautiful, rustic presentation with melted gruyere cheese and a crusty puff pastry to balance out the dish. My dining companion and I were both wow’ed by the beef filet sous vide in duck fat, served with garlic whipped potatoes. The potatoes could have used a little more “tooth” to stand up to the beautiful CW-branded filet, but overall, the flavors worked nicely together.
In between courses, our group imbibed in custom craft cocktails such as frozen old fashioned’s, and a cucumber fizz. We were treated with the chef presenting the table with a bourbon bread pudding. The dish is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a shot of bourbon for the guest to either shoot or pour over the bread pudding. Giving the guest an interactive option over their food was a creative way to wrap up a warm, inviting evening. The CraftWay menu has something tempting for every palate.
CraftWay Kitchen is at 5809 Preston Road, Plano