February 25, 2010

Crepe Night

The owners of Smorgas Chef recently opened up a new venture in their downtown Manhattan location. Crepes du Nord (which I discovered has put a link to MY BLOG on their site! Thanks, guys!!!!) is a fusion crepe restaurant with French & Scandinavian flavors, and as I'm on Smorgas Chef's email list, I got a note about this new opening. It's a very small place, only 18 seats, so it's not really the place where you throw a big 'Grand Opening.' Instead, the email offered, they would give us a free bottle of champagne with dinner if we came in before March 1st. Oh yeah, we sure did...and we throroughly enjoyed our bottle of Veuve de Vernay Brut. It was dry, only slightly sweet, and our server kept those glasses filled all night, God love her.

The only requirement was that each person order 1 crepe, but we planned to do that anyway! There is also a deal that lets you get 1 savory and 1 sweet (dessert) crepe for 15.95. I wasn't sure we'd be able to combine that with the champagne, but our server said absolutely. Ring-a-ding-ding, I do love a tasty deal!

ABF ordered the soup of the day, a chunky tomato soup with garlicky croutons and a scattering of fresh chives on top. I had a scant spoonful and thought it was tasty, but I was saving room for dessert, so I didn't want to try too much of it. ABF seemed very happy with it. It was also a decent portion for an appetizer--more than a cup, but not a huge heaping bowl.

They have an excellent assortment of savory buckwheat crepes, and about half of them are vegetarian. The crepe with black forest ham, Jarlsberg cheese and mushrooms called out my name. My crepe, pictured above, was delicious. It wasn't too thick or heavy, and the buckwheat was a nice, nutty flavor. I was worried the buckwheat might overpower the ingredients, but instead it was a perfect, buttery background to the filling. The mushrooms were fresh and raw, apparently added to the crepe at the last minute so as not to make them wilt. I ate every single mushroom without a second thought. :) I didn't see a lot of prosciutto, but the cheese and the mushrooms were tasty without weighing me down at all.

Did I mention the FREE BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE? Oui?

Once again, however, I would soon have dish envy thanks to ABF's choice: herb-roasted chicken with ratatouille (first crepe pictured in this post). Holy moley--this dish was a keeper. I mean, mine was really good. HIS was GREAAAAAAT. I helped myself to two bites, and made a mental note to come back to order one all for me. The chicken was moist and tender and herby--but not reeking of rosemary, and the veggies were soft without being mushy--a lovely mix of zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.

The star of the show here, though, is the dessert crepe. I saw Nutella and instantly pounced on that option. Mine was a crepe with Nutella, bananas, and vanilla ice cream on top. The dessert crepes are flour-based and a bit lighter, except mine was a bit more cooked, as I think they wanted to make sure the Nutella was really melted and super oozy.

ABF's crepe was perfect---exactly what I think of with a crepe. Soft, yielding, slightly spongy, and a dream to eat. His had fresh blueberries and while the menu said it came with ice cream, it came instead with heavy cream. I shared some of my ice cream with him, and that is a definite must for this dessert.

Were these the most amazing crepes I've ever eaten? Well, no, those would be either my Mom's, or the savory one I ate years ago somewhere in a small town in France. But these are very good, and hey, if you don't have that kind of travel time, this is a great spot for good food at an excellent price! It's a tiny spot, but you don't feel cramped, and the server is just lovely. Check them out and let me know what you think!

Also, check their website for any new promotions--right now they're offering a free glass of champagne through May 2010!

1 comment:

me! said...

Yum! Looks like a spot I'll be checking out soon!

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