This time of year, friends and family come to visit from near and far. Entertaining everyone at home can be fun and it can be very overwhelming. Maybe you don’t have the energy to clean up your living space. Maybe you don’t have time to cook up snacks or a meal that you want to serve to your guests. It all takes work and time — for some it comes effortlessly and for others it is a nightmare and creates anxiety. Fortunately, we live in a city where there are loads of places where you can entertain you guests without any hassle. Many local bars and restaurants are great places meet up with friends and family.
Recently I had a lovely dinner at a restaurant in downtown Edmonds called Leftcraft. They have been open for a little over two years and seem to have settled into a comfortable place with their food and drink menu. Chef Jesse Emser is relatively new as the executive chef at Leftcraft, although he and his wife, chef Myranda Carrubba, helped Chef Andy Walls open up Leftcraft two years ago. (Carrubba is now the executive chef at 32 Bar & Grill, which is located in the Kraken Community Iceplex in Northgate,and Chef Andy Walls heads up several kitchens in Seattle that are part of the Craftbend Restaurant Group).
Leftcraft is a perfect spot for impromptu family, friend and office gatherings. The menu (drinks and food) offers a wide variety of selections that are wonderful for sharing. There are lots of options for alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, including some delicious mocktails. There is ample indoor and outdoor seating (with heaters). Some of the shareable offerings include flatbreads and boards, which can easily be passed around the table, and the portions are generous. Many of these dishes are also offered during their Happy Hour, which is Wednesday to Friday from 3-5 p.m. Here’s a sampling of the boards available:
Rotisserie Half Chicken Board $26
Organic, free-range chicken served on flatbread with a side of seasonal vegetables and choice of potato, macaroni or mixed grain salad, served with side of Carolina gold, bourbon stout barbecue or teriyaki glaze sauce
Rotisserie St. Louis Ribs Board $28
Half rack pork spareribs served with house-made corn bread, collard greens and choice of potato, macaroni or mixed grain salad. served with side of Carolina gold, bourbon stout barbecue or teriyaki glaze sauce
Brewer’s Board $20
House-made pretzel knots, bratwurst, marinated Beecher’s cheese curds, beer cheese, bar nuts, pickled vegetables and selection of mustards
Roasted Beet & Mushrooom Flatbread $15
Currant tamarind fig sauce, mushroom blend and goat cheese, topped with lemony arugula, hazelnuts and roasted beets
Pear & Blue Cheese Flatbread $16
Roasted pears, crumbled blue cheese and onion jam, topped with arugula and balsamic glaze
Veggie Flatbread $14
Roasted zucchini, red peppers, and red onion on top of chunky tomato sauce topped with balsamic glaze
BBQ Chicken Flatbread $15
Bourbon stout BBQ sauce, pulled rotisserie chicken, red onions and shredded cheddar cheese, topped with green onions
Spicy Kimchi Flatbread $16
House-made kimchi, white cheddar cheese and soy-glazed pork belly on a base of spicy gochujang sauce, topped with green onions and sesame seeds
I recently had a quick dinner on Art Walk night and the place was lively but not overly crowded. Service was excellent and the food came out quickly. We shared two different pints of beer from their selection of 26 on tap. Both beers complemented our Roasted Beet and Mushroom Flatbread ($15) and the Bacon & Blue 6-ounce grass-fed beef burger ($19). The burger can be substituted with a chicken breast at no charge.
The burger comes with a variety of sides and we chose the Caesar salad — although I am disappointed that a place like Leftcraft does not offer fries! There’s nothing better than beer and fries. I hope that they will consider changing that — even if they offer oven-baked thick fries (maybe jojos). In place of fries we had an order of their mini twice-baked potatoes ($12), which are small yukon golds topped with sharp cheddar, bacon and green onion accompanied with chipotle aioli. They were not true twice baked potatoes in the classical sense, but they were delicious (and yet I still missed having fries with our beer and burger). Leftcraft offers many vegetarian options and a few vegan options as well. Salad and sandwich offerings are plentiful.
Everything they offer can be ordered for takeout. So if you want to entertain at home but don’t want to cook Leftcraft is a great solution for holiday gatherings. In fact, just in time for the holidays Leftcraft is selling “Family Meals” to go starting Dec. 1. They will be offering:
A full rack of St. Louis Style Ribs @ $175
A whole rotisserie chicken @ $100
A pork tenderloin @ $150
Each meal will include the following:
– Leftcraft Winter Salad – Mixed greens, blue cheese, candied pecans, figs and balsamic dressing.
– Sweet Potato Casserole
– Cran-Apple Crisp Dessert
– Choice of one other side: Oven-roasted succotash or rotisserie vegetables.
Note: You have the option of adding extra sides and proteins for an additional charge.
The atmosphere at Leftcraft provides a great space to for intimate or large gatherings. They have a variety of seating that accommodates two people to 20 people. If you have a large group, I would call to give them a heads up. They do not take reservations. They will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
519 Main St.
Open: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Happy Hour: Wednesday-Friday, 3-5 p.m.
— By Deborah Binder
Deborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share her experiments with her family and friends. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and freelances around town for local chefs. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at email@example.com.