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Conflicting vibes at Craft Hill

Craft Hill is a fine dining restaurant that prides itself on its use of locally produced ingredients. Despite the friendliness of the service, it requires much improvement in efficiency.

When my family and I entered the building, the restaurant hostess immediately greeted me and led us to an open table. Once seated, I noticed the fancy dining adornments, such as candles, that, while visually pleasing, took up too much space on the table. Large pictures of vegetables lined the walls, reinforcing the concept of locally grown produce. Despite the work put into the decorations, the ceiling was left bare, exposing pipes and leaving a messy feel to the building.

After we had been seated for about five minutes, a waitress came to make recommendations and take our orders. She gave us an overview of the restaurant’s use of local produce, assuring us that no additives would be used to supplement our meals.

Taking the waitress’s recommendation, my family ordered a Bourbon Pork Belly as an appetizer. My sister ordered a Mushroom Pappardelle while I ordered the daily special, a soft-shell crab sandwich and a lemonade. The lemonade was cool and refreshing, yet a little too sour. I was slightly disappointed with it as it lacked much substance and was a little too watery. Although the lemonade came with a free refill, it was not enough to compensate for the drink’s high price of $4.50. The overall cost was unreasonably high, with a total of over $50.

The Bourbon Pork Belly we ordered as an appetizer arrived following a 20 minute wait. Although it was an appetizer, I still found the portion size to be to be too small for the price we paid. The first bite filled my mouth with a rich, succulent taste as the fat melded with the meat to create a mellow flavor. The sweet and sour glaze on the pork was an interesting contrast to the meaty flavor of the dish and left a pleasing aftertaste on my tongue. However, I would have liked the pork to be slightly more tender and moist to improve the texture. The pork rind attached to the meat was extremely tough to chew, most likely due to the way it was fried.

After another 20 minutes, our main meal arrived. The Mushroom Pappardelle came first, soon followed by the soft-shelled crab sandwich. The Mushroom Pappardelle is a creamy Italian dish that was composed of large, yellow, egg-yolk pappardelle noodles and mushrooms. Although the dish had an extremely satisfying flavor, I felt that it relied too heavily on the sauce to produce flavor rather than its original ingredients. The sauce was creamy and similar to alfredo sauce, yet slightly more rich and flavorful.

The soft-shelled crab sandwich contained soft-shelled crab, red onions, lettuce, tomatoes and a white sauce. The tangy white sauce was slightly overbearing as it added a strong flavor to the sandwich. In addition, the sauce overpowered the weak flavor of the crab, making the crab’s flavor hard to identify. The fried crab gave the sandwich a crunchy texture while the tomato added a juicy texture to the mix.

Between the time I ordered, received my appetizer and was brought my main meal, a total of 40 minutes had passed. I was quite dissatisfied with the service time, especially considering it was a weekday with few customers in the restaurant.

Returning to Craft Hill is a decision that I would hesitate to make. Although the establishment’s food quality is undoubtedly high, its service time and prices definitely need improvement. Serving time aside, the service was good. The waitresses and hostess were very friendly and were always smiling, making me feel very welcome in the restaurant.

By Issac Le, Staff writer

Photo by Issac Le

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