After a week of promoting the restaurant that has replaced Ecco, which closed last year, owner of Craft Table & Bar on Porter Street couldn’t have been more happy with the turnout Friday during the new restaurant’s grand opening.
Frank Peace, CEO of New England Craft Restaurant Concepts, who owns several restaurants and coffee houses between Boston and Worcester was busy Friday night greeting the hundreds of customers that turned out for the restaurant’s launch.
Craft Table & Bar is a nod to the Porter Street location’s past successful restaurants. The inside remains sleek like Ecco, but has been made brighter and roomier and the legendary wall signed by Boston sports legends like Bobby Orr and Larry Bird that was a piece of local history that dates back to the location’s Sablone’s days has been preserved.
At Friday’s grand opening Peace said he wanted to create something that everyone would enjoy. Craft Table & Bar borrows a little from Ecco’s innovative menu, a little from the location’s Italian restaurant past but adds its own flare.
Remaining on the menu are the lamb lollipops and short rib pappardelle that made Ecco a hit and classic Italian standards like chicken parmesan and fried calamari.
However, Peace said he’s upped the menu with offerings like a N.Y. Strip with Jack’s Abby glazed brussel sprouts, sweet mashed potatoes and tri-mushroom ragout or Spice Crusted Rib Eye with purple fingerling, butternut squash, swiss chard, rosemary compound butter and cranberry gastrique.
“All our steaks are cut in house to order which gives it that extra tenderness you want,” said Peace.
There’s also braised short ribs with shoestring fries, an assortment of interesting flatbreads like poached pear with maple cream, spinach and bleu cheese and the Craft Burger which seemed to be a big hit among the crowd Friday night. The burger blends four different cuts of meat, porter marbled Irish cheddar and applewood bacon on brioche bun.
For desert there is blueberry cobbler white chocolate cheesecake served with a rosemary and ginger infused honey and fresh blueberries or caramel nut crunch with an Oreo cookie crust stuffed with ice cream, crumbled Heath bars, pecans, caramel, and fudge served with whipped cream and more caramel and fudge.
Peace has also created an extensive beer menu. With the Brew Garden in Worcester as part of his restaurant domain, Peace knows a thing or two about finding the perfect beers to compliment the food Craft serves. Peace added that, like some of the menu, the beers will change seasonally at Craft. There is also a solid wine list, specialty drinks and cordials.
Craft Table & Bar is located at 107 Porter St. and will operate seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., with the kitchen open until 11 p.m.
Peace said on Feb. 24 the restaurant will start serving brunch on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.