This post is in collaboration with Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails.
Last week, I was invited to Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails to sample their vegetarian dishes. Decked out in reclaimed wood and exposed brick, Handcraft specializes in craft beers, tasty cocktails, bar snacks, and comfort foods. Good thing I wore flannel as this place feels like Brooklyn in Manhattan. The area in the front by the bar is great for grabbing an after work drink or two with a friend. If you’re in the mood for a more intimate sit down dinner, grab a table in the back. There’s plenty of space for group gatherings too. (Photo credit: Handcraft)
I was surprised by how busy it got on a weekday evening. The half price wine on Mondays really does draw a crowd. As we were finishing our dessert, there was even a live band setting up in the front. Live music on a Monday? Yes, please!
We kicked off our Handcraft experience with two refreshing cocktails. Such pretty warm tones! Handcraft makes their ginger beer in-house and mixes in vodka and lime juice for the Handcrafted Mule. It was no surprise that I fell in love with the English Channel as it combines many of my favorite things: gin, St. Germain, lime, sugar, bitters, and bubbly. I later moved on to the Aviation for more gin-based goodness.
Most of Handcraft’s appetizers are around $12, and their meatless entrees are under $20. Keep in mind that the portions you see below may be slightly different from what they normally serve as this was a tasting of their vegetarian dishes.
First up, the ricotta toast with wild mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, and truffle oil on ciabatta bread. If I am remembering correctly, the ricotta is made in-house. The ciabatta is extra thick, but you need it to complement the juicy mushrooms and other rich flavors in the topping. Great way to whet your appetite and get excited for more goodies.
The colorful kale salad looks like springtime on a plate and tastes like it too. Kale, farro, quinoa, roasted corn, tomato, scallions, carrot, burnt lime vinaigrette, manchego cheese. There are a lot of ingredients here, but it comes together nicely and satisfied all my leafy green cravings. I know it seems slightly lame to order a salad at a comfort food restaurant, but you really need to try this salad.
Roasted cauliflower is all the rage these days, and Handcraft does it well. This is the ultimate veggie power dish with cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, crispy kalettes, olives, pickled red pepper coulis, and crispy carrots. Initially, I wasn’t so sure about there being a puree and a coulis, but they worked together as sauces to balance the roasted and crispy items. Kalettes are a hot new thing in the veggie world. It’s a cross between kale and brussels sprouts and combines the best flavors of both worlds.
I see zucchini spaghetti on the menu at vegan and vegetarian restaurants all the time, but this was the first I’ve seen it at a not-strictly-veggie joint. Kudos to Handcraft for adding zoodles to the mix! Tossed with arugula pistachio pesto, this was very rich and tasty for a zoodles dish, which can easily go bland and boring. There were kalettes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, asiago cheese, and breadcrumbs in there too. Are all those ingredients necessary? Probably not, since the pesto and noodles alone already make an impact, but all the extras were tasty enough.
We ended the evening with vanilla panna cotta with mixed berry sauce, strawberries, and brownie bites. There was something cozy and comforting about this dessert. Since the last couple of dishes were pretty rich, it was nice to have a (fairly) light end to the meal.
Note: This post is in collaboration with Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails. I was invited as a guest to this establishment and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.