Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub

Restaurant: Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub
Locations: 3116 N. Davidson Street
Website: http://www.crepecellar.com
Dress: Casual
Cuisine: Blend of European and American
Price Range:

  • Starters: $4-9
  • Entrées: $6-16 (most around $7-12)
  • Desserts: $4.5-9

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 spoons


The Scoop:

I’ve been mourning Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine despite the terrible service. Oh, red beans and rice! How I loved thee! But I have to admit, there’s a new restaurant on the block that does soothe my pain. You’ve probably noticed the Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub as you’ve driven through NoDa. I was anxious to see what the restaurant was all about, and was pleased with what I found.

The atmosphere is bustling, friendly, and casual. When we walked in one Sunday around noon, a guitarist was strumming by the bar, the windows were all pulled open, people were laughing and digging into some delicious-looking food; in short, it looked promising! The space is tight, and we were admittedly a bit crowded, but it added to the “neighborhood pub” atmosphere.

There was something very satisfying and rustic about the food, as well. My sister ordered a masterpiece of a crepe: the Smoked Salmon Breakfast Crêpe, comprised of smoked salmon, egg, spinach, Gruyère, and hollandaise. The flavors were delicate and delicious. I love the idea of salmon as a breakfast or brunch option — it feels fresh and light, just right for a lazy morning.

Smoked Salmon Breakfast Crêpe


My little brother, Alex, also made an excellent choice, albeit perhaps not as brunch-appropriate! He chose a Crêpe Cellar Burger from the sandwich menu, which included Gruyère (they must love this cheese, and I can’t blame them), onion straws, and garlic aioli on a toasted bun. The entire burger was delicious, but in particular, the onion straws made it stand out. The tang and crunch with the other flavors was perfect.

Crêpe Cellar Burger


The burger came with a choice of side: fries or slaw. Having not tried the slaw, I can’t tell you for sure that you should get the fries . . . but you should get the fries. You can get them with pesto and brie and they were, hands down, the best part of the meal. It might be surprising that a side of french fries trounced all of our other food, but remember two key words: PESTO and BRIE! Just look at these beauties:

Pesto Brie French Fries


Am I forgetting anything? Oh, right. And then there’s my meal. If this sounds like an afterthought, that’s because it is. My meal, in contrast to all of the yumminess above, was very unremarkable. I saw what looked to be a delicious plate of french toast as I walked into the Crêpe Cellar, and it looked even better on the menu: Brioche French Toast with Kahlua Batter. I ordered it, but sad to say, it was very, very regular french toast. In fact, it was a little dry. I like my homemade french toast better. They gave me quite a pile of the stuff, but when it comes down to it, I preferred snagging fries off my brother’s plate than eating my pile of bread.

Brioche French Toast with Kahlua Batter


Another small bone to pick may be obvious from the pictures above. I’m not snobby about presentation, but I do feel the appearance of food is part of the experience and some effort should go into it. Neither my sister’s crêpe nor my brother’s burger looks like a dish that’s going to taste amazing. In fact, they look like they could be pretty mediocre. Just look at the burger, slapped on one side of an empty plate with a stray onion here and there. I like the idea of having a rustic, comfortable restaurant and the food can look rustic and comfortable. But perhaps not . . . sloppy? Rushed?

Overall, I hope you’ll try the Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub. We enjoyed our brunch very much, and the service sure beats that of its predecessor, Addie’s (one reader recounts seeing Addie herself asleep on her restaurant’s couch). The food is (mostly) great, with lovely flavor pairings. Just skip the french toast!

Have you tried the Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub yet? Enjoy the atmosphere? Any particular dishes you love? Share your thoughts by clicking on the “Comments” link below!

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8 responses to “Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub

  1. I, too, believe Crepe Cellar is a nice addition to NoDa, and I agree with your comments on their plate presentations. However, of all the things you could have picked for your entree, you chose…French toast?

    Really?

    For a review of a restaurant, I would pick a dish that is singular to that restaurant, not something that practically every place in town serves for brunch. I had no issue with the choices of burger or french fries, as the Crepe Cellar obviously offers their own twist on these traditional items with the condiments. By choosing French toast, you don’t really tell me anything additional that this restaurant is trying to do that’s different from other places around town.

    • charlottespoon

      Hi MSF! I understand your point of view, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Actually, choosing a dish that other restaurants serve in addition to unique dishes is a great way to compare how the restaurant ranks among others. For instance, in an upcoming review, I try a popular Thai dish at several area Thai restaurants to compare.

      In this review, my sister had chosen a more signature dish (the crêpes, after all, are what the restaurant is named after, and I wouldn’t have left without trying one) and I felt comfortable ordering what I wanted. One thing you might have missed is that I’m not simply going to restaurants to review them — I enjoy eating, and visit restaurants to eat! I review along the way. So while I do consider this blog and what’s most apt as I order, it’s not my only consideration. When I saw the delicious-looking french toast someone else was eating for brunch, I wanted it . . . so I got it!

      I actually think this is a strength of this blog. I’m not simply eating to write a post, or ordering to take pictures. I’m a real person with real food cravings and offer a portrait of a real experience.

    • charlottespoon

      By the way, MSF, you hit on another thing that’s very important to me:

      I firmly believe that every dish a restaurant serves should be appropriate to represent that restaurant. I understand places have signature dishes, but no restaurant kitchen should put out food it isn’t proud of. If restaurants feel they have to offer a burger to please “burger people,” for instance, that burger should be representative of the restaurant’s unique style. I think the Crêpe Cellar actually did a good job with that, and seems like you agree.

      With the french toast, if they wouldn’t have picked it as a stellar representation of how they do food, it shouldn’t be on the menu; it’s merely a weak link in the chain of otherwise good food. Get my drift?

      Otherwise, you have a situation in which you have an inconsistent menu with “pitfalls” unsuspecting diners can fall into. It hurts business to have a dish lying in wait that may cause a customer to conclude your restaurant is mediocre.

  2. I agree about those pesto brie fries! I don’t remember what else my husband and I ordered for Sunday brunch at the CC. I do us debating over if we were hungry enough to get two entrees AND the fries for an app. and the waitress let us know we could have them as a side just like you did. I appreciated that, and we’ll be back for the fries.

    The presentation isn’t great, to be sure. Since they call themselves a pub, and “cellar” is in their name, I wouldn’t normally expect great presentation. However, their menu is clearly a step above pub fare, so I was expecting the presentation to be fancier too. But presentation is low on the importance list for me…

  3. charlottespoon

    I know what you mean, Cat. I think if I were ranking where presentation stood on my “must-haves,” it wouldn’t be very high either, depending on the environment. I love a good sloppy burger from a burger joint 🙂

    But here, like you said, the level of sophistication of the food and the sit-down environment made me envision something a little less . . . rushed.

    I’ll be back for the fries as well . . . mmm!

  4. Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. We take all comments to heart in order to constantly improve what we do.
    See you soon,
    Paul and Jeff

    • charlottespoon

      Thanks for visiting, Paul and Jeff. Look forward to coming back for some more delicious Pesto and Brie fries soon! Thanks for adding some great food to NoDa!

  5. I ate lunch there yesterday and I was very impressed! I ordered the spinach and goat cheese crepe. The spinach was fresh and wonderful. The buckwheat crepe was ethereal and melted in my mouth. I will be returning soon.

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