One of the perks of my job is meeting with members and getting to break bread with them. The other night we did just that at Craft in Vancouver. Given the size of the group there was a set menu with two options for appetizers and desserts, and about five options for the entree. I can’t comment on the price as I was a guest, but I can comment on the food.
Luckily I had salad for lunch so the choice between a soup or salad as a starter was easy. I had the Craft House Soup, and it was amazing. It is made up of cheddar, jalapeno, and Village House Ale. I enjoyed it immensely and could’ve had a second helping. It had a touch of heat, just enough to announce that the jalapeno was there. It was smooth and creamy, but not being a beer drinker, I could not detect the ale notes to the dish.
The entree choices from memory included a Yucatan salad, fish tacos, a flatbread pizza, a burger, and the Craft mac & cheese. I chose the Craft mac cheese, definitely not to be confused with the Kraft version (no offense). The menu describes it as a “blend of cheddar, gouda, mozarella, and swiss cheese, tossed with bacon and poblano peppers, topped with parsley and garlic breadcrumbs.” What you don’t get from the description is that it is served on a smoking hot cast iron pan, and is a larger-than-average portion. My pic doesn’t do the size justice. I have a pretty good appetite and still could only finish half the pan. The dish had a great sauce base, a cheese-pull factor, and was very generous with the gouda. I’m not an expert on pasta but I think they used Pipe Rigate or Cellentani, providing more ridges to pick up on the cheese sauce and bread crumbs. I didn’t eat the diced poblanos mixed into the dish but the heat was present. The bacon was found here and there, not crispy, nor salty, just enough to add something to the dish when you were looking for some meat.
To top off the meal came the dessert. We had a choice between the Butterscotch Budino and the House Made Ice Cream Sandwich. I chose the sandwich, note the singular. Again, I was not the only one surprised by the serving. When the platter arrived it held not one, but three sandwiches! The ice cream was Ernest Salted Caramel and it was divine! The cookies were chocolate chip and house made, and there were six of them. I finished all of the ice cream but I only ate two of the cookies. The three sandwiches were also laid on top of a generous smear of butterscotch that added another layer of flavour.