craftsman is among my favorite places in town to take surprise out-of-town visitors for a special dinner when i don't have reservations. no matter where they are from, they're always impressed with the pretty, airy space, the locally-sourced menu, the marvelously executed food.
although snow still blanketed the small patio when dh and i visited, it was a reminder of leisurely evening meals nibbling on chef mike phillips' charcuterie plates featuring rabbit confit, home-pickled vegetables, and three-year aged ham. phillips (formerly of chets) does great work, especially with game, for dinner: how then, we wondered, would brunch at the craftsman be?
we ordered beverages and quickly selected from the short brunch menu-- perhaps too quickly, we'd learn! we overheard a server describe the pheasant and goat cheese quiche menu item after we'd already received our plates and dh instantly regretted not ordering it. so take note: when "seasonal fillings/ingredients," are attached to the description of a dish on the menu at craftsman, *always ask,* because they can be wonderful. despite the momentary regret (the quiche, when it was served to tables around us, looked wonderful), we were very happy with our brunch mains.
i ordered a fried egg sandwich with fischer bacon and mixed greens salad on the side, dh got "the craftsman breakfast," a hearty plate of eggs, smoked fischer ham, and a side of biscuits&gravy. when the plates arrived we were struck by the large quantity of food we received for quite moderate prices ($7.50 and $9, respectively). dh's portion of ham, in particular, was very generous, so i got to share! the fischer ham looked dry on the plate but was in fact meltingly succulent and delicious. i also took a bite or two of the biscuits&gravy. the gravy was studded with a coarse mirepoix (carrot, onion, celery) that made it chunky and a little sweet. a good take on b&g but not my favorite. my fried egg sandwich (on grilled, chewy sourdough) was very tasty but a little hard to eat without picking it up-- got a little sloppy. the bacon was very good. great dressing on the portion of mixed greens.
i drank coffee & dh had a bloody mary, which he thought was okay but had too much worcestershire. service was good, but the 2 servers working the whole place got a little busy at times. there were brief delays with beverage service but the food seemed to come out very promptly. the dining room is very bright and lovely in the sunlight (!), and the craftman seemed to be full of happy, relaxed diners getting away with brunch on the cheap. though not as polished as more formal brunches elsewhere, the craftsman does a fine job with great ingredients, all in all a terrific brunch value. coffee, a call bloody mary, and our two mains came to less than $25. next time we're trying the quiche!
bunch menu: http://www.craftsmanrestaurant.com/br...
4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406