Latte and Black Coffee
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Black & White Cookie
Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf, Lemon Raspberry Poppyseed Loaf, Blueberry Scone
Mixed Berry Poptart, Pecan Sticky Bun
Mixed Berry Kouign Amann, Almond Croissant
Cinnamon Monkey Bread
Greek Yogurt – Farmer’s Market Berries, Homemade Almond Granola, Mini Muffins
Bananas Foster Pancakes
Crabcake Benedict – Caper Hollandaise, Spinach, Tomatoes, English Muffin
Blackberry Puff Pastry
CK Chewy Granola
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Hazelnut Chocolate Macaron
Lemon Blueberry Macaron
Promoting local business should be the aim of anyone with a love for their city, and even when traveling it would behoove the current state of culinary affairs if more people skipped chains in favor of the husbands, wives, sons and daughters living out their dreams through their own personal idea of what great food and hospitality should be, a second visit in eight days showing Jaret and Tami Blinn’s CRAFTkitchen in Henderson to be everything residents of Southern Nevada should expect from a place built from scratch through its owners’ time, money, long-hours and creativity.
Still flying high with lines out the door on weekends, the place for “food with personality, delivered by people with passion” expanding an already sizable menu with added selections each Saturday and Sunday, it was the morning after a second successful #CKFridayRecess Happy Hour that the man who formerly cooked at Red Rock, the Ritz-Carlton and Le Cirque was seen briefly greeting patrons before returning to the kitchen, Chef Blinn’s front of house continuing to execute at a high level with several faces that have been present since the beginning.
Always greeted with a smile, and in the case of regulars often by name, it was after a brief perusal of the pastry racks that three guests were seated along the front window where beverages including Milk, Coffee and a smooth Latte were served a few moments later, the weekly brunch menu featuring prior CRAFTkitchen favorites that were nonetheless new to all, as too was the bulk of ten pastries served warm to start the feast.
Self-selecting some options, with others sent out from the kitchen compliments of Chef Blinn, it was with wide eyes and a thankfully large appetite that a total of three large plates plus two individual items were placed at the center of the table in two waves, a duo of Cookies including the newly launched Black + White each better than any other found in Sin City both in terms of size as well as texture, the trio of two Quickbreads and a buttery Blueberry Scone all equally impressive with the Banana Bread studded in Chocolate Chips moist and dense without being over-sweetened while the Poppyseed Loaf was lightly tinged in Citrus and packed with bursting Raspberries.
Working with Farmer’s Market produce as much as possible, both the overstuffed Poptart and shattering Kouign Amann stuffed with housemade mixed Berry Puree that comes across refreshing and sour, those looking for something a bit more sinful would be well advised to invest in the spiraled Sticky Bun chock-a-block full of Caramel as well as Pecans, or the oven-fresh pan of piping-hot Monkey Bread that eats light and yeasty beneath a generous Cinnamon-Sugar drizzle.
Falling a bit shy of Rosallie in terms of the Almond Croissant, admittedly a pretty high bar, it was with several items set aside that round three of Brunch began approximately thirty minutes later by way of three specials plus a lengthy plate of Greek Yogurt with Homemade Granola, the Banana’s Foster Pancakes far more fluffy than the Red Velvet version tasted in the past and loaded with warm Fruit and enough sweet n’ boozy sauce to make any thought of additional Maple Syrup completely unnecessary.
Always amused when people suggest that seafood should not be ordered in a landlocked area, especially with one of America’s busiest airports located just a few miles away, Chef Blinn’s Crabcake Benedict would make believers out of most by way of the two thick patties completely stuffed with fresh-picked Crustacean without a bit of filler, the briny Caper Hollandaise playing well off fresh Tomatoes and sautéed Spinach while the Cinnamon-Sugar coated Churro Waffles rank high amongst Sin City’s most addictive breakfast treats, each soft rounds soaked in Dulce de Leche.
Unwilling to let the table depart without trying one last thing, even though several half-Pastries had already been boxed in addition to a few bonus Desserts for later in the day, three flaky Puff Pastries arrived fresh from the oven and absolutely stuffed with Blackberry Jam beneath buttery Streusel, a few bags of CRAFTkitchen’s chewy Granola eventually taking a plane ride back to Ohio as a reminder of pending retirement and relocation plans while two Chocolate Chip Cookies and a trio of French Macarons barely survived the car-ride home, the Hazelnut Chocolate version rich but light as a feather while the Lemon-Blueberry Sandwich featured a halo of plump fruit around housemade Lemon Curd at the center.
FIVE STARS: Continuing to outpace the rest of the city as relates to all-week brunch, and happily adding intrigue by way of Friday Happy Hour and Weekend Specials, CRAFTkitchen has made a destination out of a space that previously failed despite good food and a talented Chef largely by focusing on the customer experience, Jaret’s commitment to both career and family palpable in every aspect of the restaurant making it the sort of place even better than the sum of its parts…a pretty impressive achievement as everything from the food to the fresh, open design and charming staff are excellent in and of themselves.
RECOMMENDED: Mixed Berry Kouign Amann, Cinnamon Monkey Bread, Pecan Sticky Bun, Black & White Cookie, Crab Cake Benedict, Churro Waffles, Chocolate-Hazelnut Macaron.
TIP: Weekend specials are only listed via Social Media. Follow on Facebook, @craftkitchenlv on Instagram or #craftkitchenlv on Twitter.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.