Photograph courtesy craftrestaurantsinc.com
Tom Colicchio may be the reigning arbiter of talent on Top Chef, but at heart he’s a Jersey kid who grew up on floppy pizza slices at the shore. There’s an unforced naturalness about the hit of garlic in the roasted Bintje potatoes or the way harissa paste electrifies the skate wing. The large portions fit in with the high-rises of Century City, so don’t be shy about ordering that loin of Berkshire pork or sucking on the jus-drenched thyme sprig that comes with the expanse of flatiron steak. Pastry chef Shannon Swindle’s work is sensational; his Mast Brothers chocolate tart has a dome top that crackles like a macaron.