When I began writing about the local dining scene five years ago, the Henderson foodscape was thoroughly saturated with chain restaurants and not much else. While Eastern Avenue is still weighed down with corporate eats, a new breed has sprouted up sporadically, weed-like, as chefs with Strip restaurant experience set off on their own in the ’burbs.
One of the latest to join this growing fraternity is Jaret Blinn, whose Craft Kitchen is located near the entrance to Anthem in the old Bread & Butter space. If you’re not living or working in the southeast part of the Valley, you should still make an effort to visit the former Red Rock Resort executive pastry chef and his locally inspired fare. The daytime-only dining spot offers what is essentially an everyday brunch, with a menu split evenly between breakfast and lunch items.
The Croissant Sammy ($10.75) combines my love of breakfast sandwiches with Blinn’s expert baked goods. Ingredients shine; thick-cut bacon, cheddar cheese and an over-hard egg are nestled between an immeasurably flaky croissant. Blinn has also served as pastry chef for the Maccioni family at Le Cirque and Circo, and it’s obvious where his expertise lies—so much so, in fact, that the crust is sorely missed from the crustless quiche of the day ($11.95). Served in an individual crock, this dish is better described as soufflé-esque. During one visit, it was wild mushroom-based, falling short in both texture and flavor; I suspect a more robust option like bacon cheeseburger makes for a more successful choice.
More flavorful is the Chicken and What? ($11.75), although its breading—akin to fish-and-chips batter—could benefit from a bit more salt and pepper. But the fowl is perched atop airy waffles and benefits from the side of jalapeño-maple syrup.
There’s no question that Blinn’s baked goods are outstanding. Like museum pieces, daily pastry selections are housed under glass at the front counter and should be treated with reverence. No matter whether you’re ordering a chocolate croissant, cinnamon roll or pecan sticky roll, you’re getting some of the Valley’s best. The cinnamon roll is a divine blend of butter and sugar, while the pecan sticky roll hints of maple.
For a healthier option, try the smashed avocado toast ($11.50). Sunflower seeds offer a textural contrast to the smooth avocado spread on grilled ciabatta with a gooey poached egg.
Be forewarned: Craft Kitchen is much less crowded on weekdays than during prime weekend brunch hours, with buzz building fast. Regardless, you should try it, and remind yourself how far the area’s dining scene has progressed. Five years ago, we were lamenting the nonexistence of places like this. Now, thanks to this chef and others like him, we can debate exactly how good they are.
Craft Kitchen 10940 S. Eastern Ave. #107, 702-728-5828. Daily, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.