Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails is in an unassuming space in Murray Hill, but once you walk in you immediately experience the welcoming ambiance. The exposed brick, low lighting, and candlelight really creates a cozy atmosphere, especially for those cold NYC winter nights.
We started our evening with some cocktails, which were created by Handcraft Head Bartender, Steven Lakeman. The first one we tried was The Enchantress. Inspired by the woman that put the spell on the rose in Beauty and the Beast, the beverage has a smoky effect that lingers due to the display glass that it is served in. This is brought to the table so you can see all the smoke that was infused in the beverage… and Instagram it obviously. Persephone’s Dream was a delightful mix of gin, honey, lavender and lemon. A refreshing concoction for any time of the year.
For our light bites, we split the Truffle Fried Burrata, Shrimp Fritters, Truffle Tater Tots and Mac N’ Cheese. This was all we really needed because the portions are tremendous, so we definitely recommend coming with a group to try more items. We’ve never had Fried Burrata but now we’ll never forget it. The burrata oozed perfectly out of the fried shell and the mixture of soft and crunchy was perfect. The greens were perfectly seasoned to boot.
The Shrimp Fritters were a pleasant surprise and reminiscent of an upscale corn dog, minus the dog! You will want to put the chipotle dipping sauce on everything, so ask for extra! The truffle on the tater tots elevate the dish and this is another serving that goes a long way!
And the Mac N’ Cheese is unlike any you’ve ever had. The restaurant infuses the cheese sauce with kale, which gives it the herbal quality and green appearance. The thick cut bacon pieces and bread crumbs are perfect complements to the asiago and gruyere cheese. This is a must to order, but also a must to share as the portion is huge!
For our second round of cocktails we opted for the Aloha Bonfire, a mixture of mezcal, aperol, lime, pineapple and cinnamon syrup. The drink was expertly balanced and deceivingly strong. Our other cocktail, Harvest Moon, also has a mezcal spirit base, but included a frothy concoction of ancho reyes, blood orange, cayenne, jalapeno and egg white, so it definitely had a kick. Word to the wise, it is not for someone who does not like a spicy cocktail. We ended our night with the house shot, vodka infused with espresso and then topped off with fresh espresso, it is a must! It was a perfect ending and night cap to a perfect night.
Monday through Thursday the restaurant offers specials. Monday is half price wine and discounted cocktails, Tuesday is Burger, Beer & Bourbon, where $19 will get you one of each, Whisky specials are on Wednesday and Thursday is $10 “Mule” night. For those interested in a boozy brunch they have that option on Saturdays and Sundays where $20 will get you 2 hours of unlimited brunch beverages with a purchase of an entree. They also periodically do special tasting nights, so keep an eye out for those evenings.
The restaurant constantly celebrates occasions big or small. Handcraft has strong cocktails, stellar staff members and the type of vibe of a place you want to frequent. The next time you’re in the area, this is the type of under the radar place you want to check out.
– Stephanie Carino
Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails
367 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10016
Photos via Handcraft Kitchen and Cocktails and by Socially Superlative