Brunching in the 203 :: Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar Delivers Traditional with a Twist
I am a Brunch girl. I could Brunch 7 days a week. Although I do think that what makes brunch so special is that it's primarily a weekend event. I say event because it's so much more than a meal featuring a couple of egg dishes served in between the breakfast and lunch hours. Brunch has become more than a meal. It's an attitude. There's something about ending the weekend in a leisurely, relaxing manner, lingering over a slow and much anticipated meal with family and friends and perhaps even a cocktail or two. Some people look forward to a Bloody Mary as much as they look forward to their brunch, if not more so.
We've switched the clocks forward this morning. Daylight Savings is upon us and our days are officially getting longer. What this means for many of us, however, is that we'll be stumbling out of bed earlier in the morning, which makes waking up all that much harder. Today is the first day. And as we lose that extra hour, the day will end earlier as well. I'm not sure why but this always throws a wrench in my own personal clock and it usually takes a few days for me to adjust as though I've just stepped off the plane from a grand European adventure. This time change, however, also means I can eat earlier... and if your life and food (not to mention most of your waking thoughts) center around this topic, it's a good thing!
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to try out Craft Kitchen + Bar's take on the Sunday Brunch. I had eaten there numerous times before and I love their twist on comfort food, delivering a bit of the unexpected along with the expected. I wanted to see how they would treat Brunch. Armed with my children and a camera, we headed over.
Now, I can't enjoy brunch without a good Bloody Mary. Mostly I prefer mine without alcohol, especially early in the day - later on the story changes. I ordered a Virgin Mary. A really good Bloody Mary starts with a good base, otherwise it's just tomato juice and vodka. Craft's is no such thing, spicy and kicky and stands strongly on its own or with Vodka. They make a killer Bloody Mary. While I sipped my kids noshed on the bowl of mini croissants that was delivered to our table.
Some chocolate filled, some plain, and delivered with two types of jam, these sweet treats were the perfect way to keep the kids at bay while our food was being prepared. (It should be noted that I have 1 pre-teen and 2 teenagers who are always hungry!)
The first item to arrive (also see top photo) was the Pulled Pork Potato and Onion Hash. A beautifully poached egg perches atop a nest of tender, soft pork which sits on a bed of a crispy onion and potato which is a cross between an oversized hash brown and a potato pancake. Think decadent with this. Deliciously decadent as the texture of the egg, pork and crispy potato join together in perfect harmony. I'm not much of a pork person but I would order this again in a New York Minute,
One can never go wrong with a Classic Eggs Benedict, the one item, in my opinion that is completely synonymous with brunch. Hollandaise, an English Muffin, bacon, and home fries, this is Sunday Morning comfort food. Always.
Our greatest surprise, and possibly the most fun (for us) was the Skillet Huevos Rancheros. Beautifuly presented in a personal sized skilled, an over-easy egg sits on top of a Mexican inspired dish with layers of black beans, pulled pork, in a picante tomato-based sauce over a corn tortilla. Tex-Mex lovers will delight in this creation. Digging in, each layer promised a new and unexpected flavor. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this dish, but it might be one of my favorites, deep and rich with flavor.
And maybe you're not really in a Brunch mood.... or you're not wanting eggs or something sweet. You can't go wrong with Craft's BLT Panini. This is everything you would expect in a really good BLT and more. Generous amounts of wood-smoked bacon, thickly cut tomato slices and crunchy lettuce sandwiched together in a crispy panini. Seriously good eats.
On a prior occasion I had the opportunity to try a perennial southern favorite, and something I had never had before that's quickly growing in popularity in this area, Chicken and Waffles. A well seasoned exterior encapsulates incredibly tender, moist white meat which is accompanied by waffles that have a hint of cheese and scallion, offering a nice twist on the traditional. For those who likes some sweet with their salt, a generous side of maple syrup awaits, perfect for dipping or pouring.
But maybe you don't want brunch. Maybe you're craving a juicy delectable burger. Or maybe you want lunch AND a burger... in this case the Wood Fire Craft 14 Burger, a special blend of ground beef, crisp pork, charred tomato, fried egg, warm cheese, chipotle aioli served over a brioche bun is not to be missed! This is sure to satisfy any burger lover's craving.
Now maybe, just maybe, you need dessert... though does anyone "need" such an extravagance? Maybe you're really after something sweet and nothing else will satisfy... Then, yes, this extravagance is very much needed. In fact you won't know so until you've tried so.... It's like any addicting substance... you'll need stay away from this because I assure you that once you take a bite, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STOP! Heed my words. Take my warning. Then, dig in! Craft's Nutella Banana French Toast is intoxicatingly sinful. The sweet caramelized banana sandwiched in between two pillowy pieces of French toast are sinful on their own but add to it the Nutella and BAM! You've gotta whole lotta delicious, dangerous, sinful going on... Just one bite you say? Ha! I dare you... I triple dog dare you!
Or maybe you really don't want desert and you're holding out for a celebratory 'the weekend isn't quite yet over' cocktail. Yep, Craft has those too... Bellinis, Mimosas, Pisco Sours, and many more... all you'll need to do is pick your poison!
Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar is conveniently located in the heart of Wilton right by Stop & Shop. They're under the bright orange awning. For those of you who don't reside in Wilton, Craft 14 is a mere 15-20 minute drive from most surrounding towns - New Canaan, Weston, Westport and Fairfield. It's a cold but gorgeous day out... Bundle, hop in the car and tell them I sent you!
* In full disclosure Craft 14 Kitchen and Bar is a client of mine.
Craft 14 Kitchen + Bar is located at:
5 River Road, Wilton CT
M-Th, 11:30 - 10:00
F- Sat, 11:30 - 11:00
Sun 11:00 - 4:00
Visit their website here