When I heard that Chef Chris Nicosia had opened a new restaurant, we were excited. We got to know Chris originally at Desert Mountain and then followed him to Sassi where he was the Executive Chef until it sadly closed.
His new venture is The Craftsman Kitchen & Cocktails and it is located Grayhawk at the corner of Hayden and Thompson Peak. It has a lovely patio with a firepit and the front of the restaurant has retractable doors that gives it an airy feel.
While the menu is on the casual side, the food itself is elevated and delicious. There are many options from very healthy to more decadent – It just depends on your mood!
We tried several things and everyone enjoyed their meals. Here were the dishes that we sampled:
- Heavy Handed Grilled Cheese – This decadent sandwich was on thick crusty bread and came with perfectly melted cheese and prosciutto. To cut through the richness, there was a spicy fig jam that also gave it a bit of sweetness.
- Fish & Chips – We saw another table having this dish and made sure we ordered it. A large portion of perfectly fried fish was accompanied by tasty fries.
- Distiller’s Burger – My father said this was the best burger he has eaten. The patty is a combination of brisket and short rib, with a porcini mushroom rub. Served on a brioche bun, it also has caramelized onions, fontina cheese and arugula.
- Shipwright Ahi Salad – Lightly seared ahi is served with greens, carrots and shitake mushrooms. A yuzu aioli and ginger passionfruit dressing add wonderful flavor. It is topped with wasabi peas for a satisfying crunch.
- Oyster Special – On the night we were there, there was a Baked Oysters Gratin with pork belly special. Rather than go the Rockefeller style with spinach, there were caramelized onions and fennel instead. They were so delicious, we ordered a second batch. We hope that these become a permanent fixture on the menu!
We did enjoy some of the cocktail offerings. The drink menu is creative and appealing – think pickled jalapenos or mole bitters. There is also have a nice selection of craft beers.
We cannot wait to go back! And, if you want a casual night at home, you can order online.
The Craftsman Kitchen & Cocktails
20469 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
– Open Daily for Lunch and Dinner
– Brunch served Saturday and Sunday
– Happy Hour 3PM to 6PM Monday through Friday