|Restaurant:||Crêpe Cellar Kitchen & Pub|
|Locations:||3116 N. Davidson Street|
|Cuisine:||Blend of European and American|
|Rating:||3.5 out of 5 spoons|
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!