Inside Craftsman & Wolves
Media hype has been high for pastry chef/owner William Werner’s new Craftsman & Wolves, a unique Mission bakery/cafe/patisserie for creative baked goods and sweets, changing sandwiches and salads, Sightglass Coffee, Naivetea, crave-inducing Valrhona drinking chocolate and (you’re hearing right) dreamy, sippable caramel made with salted butter and mini-croissant crostini to dunk.
At a media preview on 6/13 a few days before the cafe opened, I ideally sampled through nearly the entirety of offerings (though they will continue to change), a helpful way of grasping the menu’s breadth and vision. In keeping with Werner’s past, it’s an impeccable selection that thankfully does not duplicate what you find in many top notch cafes and pastisseries around the city. In fact, it does its own thing entirely: foods made with a fine dining aesthetic and forward-thinking creativity, but served casually to-go or in the inviting, skylit, brick-walled space.
Besides my early taste-through, I’ve been back for a couple visits during initial opening days. Below is a photo journey with stand-outs noted:
Visually appealing as they are to taste: Crafstman & Wolves’ baked goods, including a favorite of mine already, passion fruit sesame croissant (R)
Peach, buttermilk, lemon verbena, granola cube cake
Another meaty highlight: flaky pain au cochon laced with pig, displayed appealingly on tree bark
Cube cakes: set to be popular items (like the middle cake: chocolate, caramel, Vietnamese cinnamon)
The already much-discussed Rebel Within, an herb, cheese, sausage-studded muffin with a sous vide egg hidden inside; I am taunted by a tweet from Werner talking about the possibility of the next Rebel housing one of my beloved meaty pleasures, black pudding (aka blood sausage)
A muffin, travel cake and pan au cochon
Vegetarian sandwich on ciabatta rolls is brightly fresh, filled with lightly roasted carrots, goat cheese, cucumber, mizuna leaves
Delicious: an herbed, roasted pork loin sandwich on ciabatta, laden with with bacon, grilled squash, radishes
More changing bites, salads and savory snacks
Salad of beets, hazelnuts and fennel
Another standout, changing verrine cups of yogurt layered with various ingredients; it was best on my first visit laced with white chocolate (roasted so as not to be too sweet), peanuts and kumquats; another visit I enjoyed – but not as much – yogurt with Santa Rosa plums, matcha green tea, sesame
My favorite item on the entire menu: “The Devil Inside”, a savory chocolate muffin silky with foie gras and caramel – they’re working on a way to maintain foie flavor as the frustrating foie ban takes effect today, 7/1, in California
Apricot matcha macarons
All photos and articles © Virginia Miller.