Searching for Consistency and a Better Playlist at Craft, The Subject of This Week's Review

I've been alluding for a while now to a restaurant whose playlist rubbed me the wrong way. Turns out the mystery restaurant with the incongruous soundtrack is Craft Dallas, whose music selection is completely uncomplementary to the scene it's trying to set. The restaurant's manager would do well to stick his head just outside the massive front door that frames Craft's entryway and soak up the ambient electro music that plays in the W Hotel's lounge.

Check out the colorful florescent lights. The cool glass and stone. The lounge exudes a sleek and modern feel that is properly reflected in the music that's played there. The restaurant should do the same.

Bad music would never fly at the flagship NYC location, where tunes change constantly in an attempt to match the time of day, clientele and ambiance of the dining room. According to Graceanne Jordan, Director of Operations for the Craft family, every other restaurant in the group plays from an iPod of preselected songs tailored for that specific location.

But at Craft Dallas, the W hotel maintains control of the music. They've been exercising more management control over the restaurant since 2009, when the deal between the hotel and the Craft group was renegotiated. Sadly, though the dining room's vibe is as sleek as the hotel's, the W has turned over the role of DJ to a Pandora station featuring errant bad classic rock and the occasional errant Maroon 5 song. They'd do well to fish Colicchio's iPod back out of the office.

That's just one of my beefs with Craft -- a very solid restaurant that has some things to work on if customers are going to keep coming back for $30 entrees.

Read more about my experiences at Craft in this week's issue or on the restaurant page.

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