Pecan Sticky Bun
Gluten Free Blueberry Honey Cake
Gluten Free Apple Honey Cake
White Chocolate Lemon Blueberry Scone
Kahlua Coffee Cake
Almond Kouign Amann
Banana Cream Pie
Carrot Cake Bar
Milk Chocolate Brownie
Forager Sandwich – Herbed Housemade Olive Focaccia, Grilled Vegetables, Asiago Cheese, Roasted Pepper Aioli
Chorizo Scramble Skillet – Cage Free Eggs, Chorizo, Onions, Cheddar Cheese over Smashed Potatoes and Micro Cilantro
Chocolate Waffles – Nutella, Bananas Foster, Chocolate Pop Rocks
At this point a known entity for residents of Henderson, with more eyes opening up throughout the greater Las Vegas Metro each day, Jaret Blinn’s CRAFTkitchen has continued to see new competition develop in recent months, but sticking to the theme of “Local. Quality. Eats.” while continuing a push towards creativity the space remains thriving as others struggle with egos and staff turnover while trying to maintain pace.
A family restaurant from a family man who chose to chase a dream rather than compromise his values, time and talent in the resort world for a guaranteed check, the focus of Jaret and his wife Tami on CRAFTkitchen has been the very definition of diligent since long before the restaurant opened and slowly adjusting the menu to highlight seasonality while educating the front-of-house on finer points of service the staff has evolved to one of the most warm and friendly in the city, ubiquitous smiles encouraging even those met by a long wait to stick around with a cup of coffee or a pastry.
A baker by trade but no slouch behind the stove, with a kitchen team that executes their boss’s vision with skill and speed, previous visits to CRAFTkitchem have occasionally seen small flaws in savories, but recent recent updates including a “Chorizo Scramble Skillet” that replaces Shepherd’s pie with scrambled Eggs mixed with spicy pork, onions and sharp Cheddar over crispy smashed Potatoes show a great degree of textural intigue while the “Forager Sandwich” features Jaret’s delicious Olive Focaccia with grilled vegetables from the local farmer’s market beneath a veil of Asiago and roasted Red Pepper Aioli.
Particularly impressed by the restaurant’s focus on off-menu specials, at least one sweet plus a savory rotated in weekly and occasionally praised highly enough to stick around, the first weekend of March coaxed me in to experience the trio of miniature waffles lightly imbued with cocoa powder, the topping of hazelnut spread and caramelized Bananas brought to a new level through the of Rum and the whimsical use of crackling chocolate candy.
Certainly not forgoing CRAFTkitchen’s ever evolving pastry case, at this point unrivaled by any Off-Strip in Sin City, those making their first visit to Suite 107 at 10940 South Eastern Avenue are likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and although one would be hard pressed to name a *best* option amongst such a cornucopia this most recent visit showed both the retooled Monkey Bread and Almond-filled Kouign Amann to be particularly impressive, the former served piping hot in cast iron with nuggets made of Danish scraps glistening in Caramel while the latter features the Brenton Butter Pastry piped with pureed nuts, the moisture imparted by fruit no longer at play and thus leaving behind a shattering top overlying densely stacked layers of lamination.
Temporarily retiring the exemplary Pumpkin Bread in favor of fresh fruits atop an Apple Butter imbued base that remains gluten free, those with Celiac or sensitivities are well advised to take a look at either of the two muffins as well as the Dark Chocolate Brownie or Apple Tart, those more fortunate left to decide between a gooey Sticky Bun, Banana Cream Pie Jar or a Citrus Scone with pockets of While Chocolate juxtaposing those of fresh blueberries.
FIVE STARS: While some may find fault in the name, cost, chairs or a 45 minute wait that indicates the popularity of the place more than any issue with the staff, CRAFTkitchen has nonetheless managed to impress more and more with each successive visit, the Blinn’s vision of family, community and quality visible in a way even their nearby competition cannot match.
RECOMMENDED: The Carrot Cake remains the best in Las Vegas while Monkey Bread, Almond Kouign Amann and White Chocolate Lemon Blueberry Scones are also top tier. For savories, limited by choice on this visit, it seems like anything – including the health-conscious Forager Sandwich – on that Olive Focaccia would be delicious based on the bread itself.
AVOID: If one were to quibble, the Milk Chocolate Brownie is a touch dense and fails to reach the highs set by the more fudgey dark chocolate version.
TIP: Open from 7:00am to 3:00pm with peak times early on weekends and lunches reportedly packed during the week those interested in dining in without a wait are encouraged to arrive during less obvious hours, those looking for something more ‘personal’ perhaps benefited by contacting the team directly about catering options or keeping their eyes open for upcoming special events.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor