Friday, November 16, 2012

Craftsman and Wolves-afternoon tea

Here we are at the new kid on the block, CAW. That's Craftsman and Wolves to y'all. We had a fun adventure here, checking out their avant-garde afternoon tea. We made a reservation (required) for a Tuesday afternoon and while the bakery/restaurant was relaxed, there was a lot of action happening.  Our waitress was very accessible and gregarious in spite of the hustle and bustle .

Tea Time Alert! Afternoon Tea at Craftsman and Wolves has been suspended. We will update this post as soon as they resume service. Of course you should still check out their scones and tea (and desserts and if you're there, order a Rebel for us).

CAW has a Prix Fixe menu for afternoon tea, and they have a limited array of loose leaf oolong teas (and a tisane for the non-caffeinated among us). However, this allows them to specialize and perfect their new afternoon tea business.

Afternoon Tea Menu:
apple and cheese scone, buckwheat crumpet
with clotted cream and lemon curd
salt cod rillettes, parsley, brioche
laver, lobster mushroom, radish, smoked butter, on rye bread
savory beet root madeleines
caramelized hazelnut financier
pâte de fruit-raspberry
chocolate praline tile cookie
bottomless pot of tea

Bottomless pots of tea for 2.
Asian style cups for our tea.

The 3-tier tray.

Dessert, scone/crumpet, 'sandwiches'
CAW has kept the traditional tiered serving tray to host its array of afternoon tea delights. The mega-cheesy scones were a savory, scrumptious delight! Most tea scones we get are sweet, which we also like; however cheese is a Great idea. The buckwheat crumpet was the perfect size for J.K., and had a nice texture. Sometimes crumpets are our least favorite part of tea, but these top the list as favorites, perhaps since they're homemade? The clotted cream was housemade too, not so thick as double devon, but much better than regular whipped cream (which some restos pawn off on us). The lemon curd was very fine and smooth, not too tart.

Apple and cheese scone, buckwheat crumpet with cream
The deconstructed 'sandwiches' offered by Craftsman and Wolves were a definite departure from traditional afternoon tea. The lightly toasted bread paired with the cod rillette was crunchy and salty. The beet root Madeline's also used the trick of turning a "cookie" into a savory bite. The rye bread open face sandwich was very interesting and unusual; the bread had a very whole grain mouth feel while the toppings seemed a bit ephemeral.

Madelines, rye bread sammie, cod rillettes to spread on toast.
Mmmm, dessert! The best part of any meal. The raspberry pate-de-fruit was an eye opener for Angela, who doesn't normally like gelee/fruit foods. This bite had rich flavor and a more gummy candy like texture which made the difference. The financier featured hazelnuts and the 'tile' cookie was not too pretty to eat, but almost! This menu paired well with our oolong tea which was lovely to watch unfurl in the hot water. While this meal is quite filling, there is no way Tea Time can leave a bakery without trying something from the counter. So it was a good thing that our small desserts left us room to share something else. We had to peruse the visual menu, so we'll let you have a peek into what we saw.

pâte de fruit-raspberry, financier, tile cookie

Cakes! If only we had an occasion.

Wait, maybe we should just share another scone.


Maybe cookies? Too many choices...

Wait, what's that one?!

The winner! Brownie with caramel (of course).
This brownie sandwiched a layer of caramel inside. The texture was dense (but not chewy) and the flavor was chocolatey deliciousness. We also got a homemade caramel on the side (good, maybe even competition for the ones J.K. makes). We hinted above that CAW was in the middle of some interesting happenings, and here is the scoop. While we were there, Craftsman and Wolves was being filmed for a segment about Valenica street restos by Channel 5 news. They were having afternoon tea as well! So if/when we find the link to this video, we'll put it up here, and look for us, maybe we made the cut. 

Camera Camera Camera.
Craftsman and Wolves is an A number 1 bakery/deli creating new traditions from old with their afternoon tea for 2. They are open to critique and want feedback from customers (our waitress asked us our opinions, no paperwork needed). If you want to treat a friend to surprising eats, check it out and enjoy! Next week we'll share with you a visit to a warm welcoming tea shop, though you might be to stuffed from Thanksgiving to go taste test it yourselves.

UPDATE: March 2013
Tea Time made it our business to stop back by (and take pictures this time!) to document some other foods available at CAW. We chose a la carte for this luncheon as we hadn't made a tea reservation, but of  course we had to get the scone! Thai Mango--This scone is full of texture with chopped dried coconut and mango complimenting the green curry and ginger flavor explosion. We also got the Rebel Within, a savory cheese muffin with a whole egg (runny yolk) baked in the middle. Angela knew the about the secret surprise inside, but JK said, "How did that get in there?" Better look it up on the internet! This amazing idea seems to be a version of Scotch Eggs, but you better just go over to Craftsman and Wolves to try one and figure it out for yourself. Tea Time knows there's going to be a lot of mouths on research for us concerning this mystery. We also shared one other small dish, Mac and Cheese with Carnitas. Smokey and rich this dish filled us up leaving just enough room to dash next door and fill it up with Hot Chocolates from Dandelion

a note: CAW changes their menu fairly often, but there are some mainstays (such as the Rebel Within). You may not find what we had to eat, but their online menu shows what should be on offer (it includes what's on your tea tray as well!)

The main scone on the menu during this visit was Thai Mango.
The Rebel Within and our whole scone.
Mac n Cheese with Carnitas.
Hoppy Easter!