The Tom Is Crafty: Colicchio Opens “Halfsteak” Tonight

Craft-man, Top Chef judge, and now: a hard salesman. Tom Colicchio’s been on the hunt for foodie-recessioneers in a far more high-profile way than many a New York restaurateur would (or could) pull off. First, he turned the Craft private dining room into his every-other-Tuesday, $150 prix-fixe resto TOM: Tuesday Dinner, which he further evolved into Damon: Frugal Friday — a collection of smallish plates by Colicchio’s main man/chef Damon Wise, where nothing is more than $10. But as if that were enough, they’re doing it to Craftsteak, too, in the form of — yes — “Halfsteak.”

The idea’s simple: Take the front bar room and give it a different, recession-priced menu overseen by Colicchio, chef de cuisine Shane McBride, and pastry chef Erica Leahy, with the namesake specialty being a half-cut of Craftsteak’s feature dish (the steak, obvi) served with fries for $14. They’re also cooking up a few sandwiches (example: an incredible sounding fried oyster po-boy), and they’ve devoted a section of the menu to “one-pots” (chicken & lobster pot pie; meatball, gnocchi, & smoked mozzarella casserole), in addition to a grip of small plates and haute snacks. This is coming off of Bloomberg resto critic Ryan Sutton’s four-star reminder that Craft is still as solid a meal as ever, and nothing but strong, positive buzz for Damon: Frugal Friday. We’ve posted the Halfsteak menu below — take a look for yourself, but based on the early reception Damon got, we think it’s gonna get a little crazy from here on out, so you might want to make it in on the first night (while there’s still a decent seat around).

cocktails = $7 1/2 Half Cocked Half Baked My Better Half Not Half Bad

half pints = $4 Victory, Prima Pils, PA Blue Point, Toasted Lager, NY Pork Slap, Pale Ale, NY Smuttynose, IPA, NH Tröegs, Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale, PA

snacks = $6 Fried Oysters with Smoked Cole Slaw Smoked Chicken Wings with White BBQ Sauce Chicken Liver Mousse with Pickled Ramps Lamb Spare Ribs with Cucumber Raita Sliders with Balsamic Onions & Truffled Pecorino Fried Mac & Cheese with Tomato Marmalade

leafy = $8 Arugula with Parmesan, & Meyer Lemon Iceberg with Smoked Bacon & Green Goddess Romaine with Truffled Pecorino & Creamy Garlic Baby Greens with Roasted Beets & Sherry Vinegar

small plates = $9 Chicken Fried Cod with Hash Browns & Tartar Sauce Duck Confit Omelet with Maitake Mushrooms & Fontina Pig Trotter with Frisée, Apple & Ham Merguez Sausage with Feta, Romaine & Grapefruit Country Ham with Deviled Egg & Pickles Fried Tripe with Roasted Tomato & Garlic Vinaigrette Lamb-Leg Steak with Cauliflower, Almonds & Arugula Wagyu Nachos Coullote Steak with Bacon, Mashed & Spinach

sandwiches = $12 “halfsteak” Burger with Hand Cut Fries Fried Oyster Po’ Boy with Creole Aioli Brisket, Sauerkraut & Provolone Patty Melt Grilled Cheese with Country Ham & Aged Cheddar

halfsteak with fries = $14 1/2

one-pots = $14 Chicken & Lobster Pot Pie Pork & Beans Bowl of Red with Corn Bread Croutons Meatball, Gnocchi & Smoked Mozzarella Casserole

dessert = $4 Red Velvet Cupcake Ice Cream Sandwich of the Day

And of course, just because we can, your daily dose of Beastie Boys:

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