Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails caught my eye while strolling 3rd Avenue a few weeks ago with my boyfriend. Usually not a fan of brunches in this neighborhood, I was actually gung-ho about trying Handcraft because from the outside it reminded me of a favorite from back in my college town called Madison Social.
Hoping to relive the glory days, I was delighted when Handcraft invited the Bitches in for a brunch tasting. I hadn’t seen my friend Emily in forever, so I thought it would be fun to catch up over some cocktails and bites. Handcraft was the perfect place to do just so.
Handcraft offers a pretty standard bottomless 90 minute special for $19.95. They’re cocktail list beyond the bottomless deal was quite extensive, so we decided to forego the special and order a few more in-depth cocktails instead of the traditional mimosa. First up was the Brunch Punch, which was disappointing. Promising a concoction of gin, citrus, and fizz, the brunch punch didn’t have much flavor at all– probably because it was mostly fizz.
You know the saying, “first is the worst”? Well this was definitely the case because our other drinks were fabulous. The handcrafted mule was refreshing with just the right amount of bite, and the berry vodka lemonade was a perfect mix of sour and sweet.
We were given the heads up by our waitress that we absolutely had to try the truffled fried burrata because “almost every single table orders it”. It wasn’t tough to convince us. Truffle, burrata, and fried in the same dish– just yes. It was just as yummy as it sounds, and the arugula bed was a nice touch.
For entrees, we split two of their most popular dishes, the Eggs Benny Ranchero and the Croaker. I have a serious love affair with huevos ranchero, so when I saw Handcraft’s benedict version I got really excited. The traditionally poached eggs were complemented by pulled pork, polenta, refried beans and topped with guac, pico de gallo, and an innovative chipotle hollandaise. This dish was just as delicious as it was creative.
Then came the Croaker, which was a French Toast breakfast sandwich. I loved the way Handcraft combined traditional brunch items into over-the-top, memorable dishes. Two slices of brioche French Toast were filled with ham, gruyere cheese, eggs, and bacon béchamel. This is definitely not an entree you should try to conquer alone (unless you are ISO a serious hangover cure), but oh my was it tasty.
To finish off every brunch, Handcraft serves their signature espresso shots to each and every patron as a sweet surprise. Emily and I were nervous about it because one, it’s a shot and two, I can’t remember the last time I took a shot. Fortunately for us, we came to learn that the team at Handcraft infused this vodka with espresso for three weeks so it wouldn’t be harsh whatsoever. They then cut this mixture with half a shot of cold brew and top it with a layer of heavy cream. Needless to say, we are now both fans of shots.
The Bitches say: A. Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails is serving up tasty gastropub fare and an extensive list of creative cocktails. When looking for a brunch spot that’s both boozy and delicious, Handcraft is your place.
Handcraft serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.