Recently, Craft & Commerce updated both their lunch and cocktail menus. Here we get a little insight from Executive Chef Mike Kessler, and Bar Manager Ryan Fischer on what inspired them in this re-imagining of Craft & Commerce fare.
Mike Kessler: “The driving factor in making this was to create a menu that not only tasted great, but that would be affordable. Also, we really want to ensure guests that they could have a “quick” lunch at C&C.”
“The items I focused on were salads and sandwiches. It really seems like that’s what people want for lunch food. We brought back some of the Craft classics, like the Banh Mi and the Citrus Avocado salad, as well as keeping our signature items, like the Devils on Horseback, Corn Dogs, and Burger.”
“We also made some new items, like the Mac N’ Cheese grilled cheese and tuned up some favorites, like the Fried Chicken Sandy. We introduced fish tacos on the dinner menu and they have been flying out of the kitchen, so we added them at lunch, also (if San Diego had a signature dish, it would probably have to be the fish taco). However, we offer our tacos with your choice of sushi grade tuna (we use sushi grade tuna for our tuna salad as well) or black tiger shrimp. We hand-cut kennebec potatoes daily for our chips and cook them daily.”
“I know that Craft & Commerce has a reputation for for “bacon-centric”, somewhat “over the top”, food, but I tried to go a little healthier for lunch. We have four vegetarian options, plus a couple healthy fish dishes. We also allow you upgrade not only to french fries, but salads and vegetables as well. I think this is a good start for our lunch menu and am looking forward to feedback from our staff and customers to keep moving it forward. Cheers!”
Ryan Fischer: “The name may seem risqué, but the Brown Booby is actually just a type of bird native to Italy, where both Cynar(a digestif flavored with artichoke and 13 herbs) and Cocchi Americano (a fortified wine made with gentian, a bittering agent) come from. The inspiration comes from the Cardinale, which is simply a Negroni made with dry instead of sweet vermouth. The bitter earthiness of Cynar is tempered by the lighter white wine flavors of the Cocchi, which are then tied together by the herbaceous juniper in the gin and the Grapefuit peel garnish, which gives the cocktail its bright, summery aroma. A great introduction to bitter and boozy gin cocktails.
“Contributed to the menu by Christian Siglin, the Mexican Firing Drill balances the heat of our house-infused jalapeño tequila with the tropical flavors of pineapple and Demerara sugar. The smoked salt hits your nose first and suggests a beach bonfire, followed by the sweet/sour combination of lime, pineapple, and cane sugar, finishing with the piquant burn of jalapeño. Refreshing yet bracing, it’s the perfect cocktail for the collective San Diegan palate.
Our goal with every cocktail menu is to present new, interesting, and sometimes adventurous libations while maintaining a connection to the classic cocktails that inspire us. Each cocktail should form a new branch on the family tree that history’s great bartenders have planted for us. We hope you enjoy these drinks and are willing to join us on even further out branches in the future. Cheers!”