Maple Pecan Scone
Pear and Streusel Puff
Pumpkin Pecan Cake
Apple Cranberry Turnover
Acai Bowl – Acai Blended with Coconut Milk, Fruit of the Day, CK Almond Granola, Toasted Coconut Chips
Smashed Avocado Toast – Grilled Ciabatta, Sunflower Seed Pesto, Micro Greens, Poached Egg
French Onion Soup – Gruyere, Housemade Bread, Lots of Onions
Korean Shrimp Street Tacos – Soy Marinated Trio of Shrimp on Soft Corn Tortillas topped with Kimchee Slaw, Garlic Chili Mayo, Pickled Jalapenos, Micro Cilantro
Gobbler Sliders – Pulled Turkey, Cranberry Orange Jam, Traditional Sage Stuffing on CK Whole Wheat Rolls
Cuban Sandwich – Ham, Pickles, Mustard, Housemade Grilled Panini, Side Salad with Potato Chips
Tiramisu, Chocolate Pudding, Lemon Meringue, Pumpkin Pie, Carrot Cake, Raspberry Macaron
Now in the season of new menus, temperature drops in Sin City indicating the return of Winter residents and conference-goers, it was with one other that a visit was made to CRAFTkitchen just weeks before their first anniversary, Jaret and Tami Blinn’s labor of love continuing to entice residents of Henderson and every bit as good as it has ever been.
Continuing to see new competition in the past twelve months, imports such as Kneaders putting in half the work or passion but hoping to win patronage by way of lower prices, Autumn at CRAFTkitchen sees Chef Blinn and his staff slowly adjusting recipes to embrace the best in local produce despite ever-increasing food costs, several menu staples still present from a previous visit while those tasted make up a small part of newer items and specials from the weekend brunch.
Still brewing some of the city’s best coffee, each cup steamy and made to order with a rich mouth-feel and complex taste, it was after a long chat with the Chef about everything from Community involvement to Little League Baseball that the meal got started, a quartet of new Pastries continuing to show the skills Blinn honed during his time at Red Rock while at the same time expanding on those ideas with items like the flaky Autumn Turnover and delicate laminated Puff packed edge-to-edge with Pears and Streusel, plus a smooth Custard layer within.
Continuing to focus on natural, honest foods while expanding healthful options to those with dietary restrictions or patrons simply looking to eat something lower-calorie and great, opening plates included Smashed Avocado Toast upping the ante on other locales by way of housemade Bread and herbal Pesto, the Acai Bowl a trendy choice made better as the creamy Superfood Pudding was buoyed by fresh Bananas and Berries along with housemade Granola and Coconut Crisps.
Moving next to richer flavors, the majority of the five-course meal focused on lunch options as opposed to breakfast, CRAFTkitchen’s French Onion Soup avoids the traditional mistake of being too beefy by focusing more on a plethora of caramelized onions beneath the Cheese and Bread layer, a trio of Street Tacos placing snappy Shrimp beneath housemade Kimchee and Garlicky Mayo with an extra kick added by Jalapenos and Chili.
Telling us of his October mission to raise money and awareness for cancer by Going Pink, a concept carried over from his days at Red Rock Resort and Casino, it was with two Sandwiches that the bridge to dessert was made as the table grew fuller, the weekend-special Cuban perfect in its crisply-pressed bread and meat selection, despite being a bit heavier in Pickle than tradition may dictate, while the “Gobbler” riffs on Capriotti’s Bobbie and upgrades it considerably by way of freshly roasted pulled Turkey and housemade condiments including Cranberry Orange Jam plus traditional Sage Stuffing.
Continuing to shine with small desserts, each just enough to offer diners something sweet at the end of their meal, all six Pink Plates offered showed a balance not often achieved in casual local eateries, the Carrot Cake still a standard-bearer in bar form while the traditional Pumpkin Pie and Lemon Meringue are equally well worth tasting.
FIVE STARS: Still burning the candle at both ends as relates to running a business and raising a family, Chef Blinn truly embodies what it means to be part of the community by way of his approach to business as well as his commitment to charity, all these things plus the quality of his food continuing to make CRAFTkitchen one of the city’s most important Off-Strip places to eat.
RECOMMEDED: Pear and Streusel Puff, Apple Cranberry Turnover, French Onion Soup, Gobbler Sliders, Carrot Cake, Lemon Meringue.
AVOID: If one were to issue a complaint it would be that the bottom Avocado Toast lacked the finishing salt of the upper layer, an easy fix whether in the kitchen or by way of one of the tableside salt shakers.
TIP: The Pink Pastry promotion goes all through October with additional charity-based initiatives including special dinners soon to come – pay attention to Social Media for these as well as weekend specials.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.