Crêpes, with a Side of Pop

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A discothèque vibe colors these sweet and savory indulgences

By Shani R. Friedman

On a steamy Friday evening in June, a friend of mine and I sought air-
conditioned refuge and a soothing atmosphere after a long week. Unlike many other places responding to the unexpected heat wave with open doors and windows, Yorkville Crêperie offered cool relief and the prospect of savory and sweet crêpes.

A cozy crêperie offers relief from a stressful week.

We took a table near the back, past the bar, and were sandwiched between two flat screen televisions, with a sprinkling of late night diners around us. My friend ordered a glass of pineapple juice ($2) to perk him up while I checked out the colorful art on the walls for sale. Some Edith Piaf in the background would have been très magnifique, or even no music, but instead we got a random mix of pop songs.

The menu featured the sweet crêpes first. My kind of place, thinking of dessert before anything else. But I was going to save that for later and started with a Mediterranean panini ($6), made of turkey, feta, tomato and basil pesto on rosemary ciabatta. I asked the waitress to swap in sun-dried tomatoes, which she forgot to do (a sign of things to come), but it was better with regular tomatoes due to the saltiness of the feta and turkey. The different flavors of the panini melded together nicely, and it was such a generous portion that I only ate half in order to save room for the crêpe that I was already drooling for.

My friend, who was skipping the sugary side of the menu for the evening, chose the spartan crêpe ($8.50), made with spinach, garlic and ricotta. He said everything tasted fresh, but that he would have been OK with a little less ricotta.

While we were still eating's my fork, in fact, was in my hand's the waitress asked if we were interested in dessert. I noted the oddness of this, not sure if it had ever happened to me before. She came over twice more within the next few minutes, once while I was taking a call from my friends who would be coming for the last course.

Yorkville Crêperie lets you design your own crêpes, with ingredients such as Snickers, dark chocolate and candied walnuts, which sounded like a grand kind of indulgence. But I decided to keep it simple and picked the country crêpe ($8.50), with Nutella, bananas and strawberries. I"ve had a lot of crêpes over the years, some done with no care at all, looking like a sloppy mess on a plate, but this was a thing of beauty with a lovely presentation. There was no Nutella oozing out, the dough was light and delicate and the fruit was bountiful.

While we waited for my friends, we also wondered where my companion"s tea was, since my dessert arrived at the table but not his beverage. I had to call over to the waitress to remind her. My other guests joined us and, dazzled by what was left on my plate, ordered the same. I got a cup of tea as well, which came without delay. The waitress seemed to pick up her game as the evening went on, coming over to top off the hot water. The music situation, though, became more disruptive. We realized that the crêperie provided food for the bar next door and every time the door opened, loud songs drifted into our cozy confines.

Unless the bar moves out, chances are you"re going to have to deal with some excess noise. But grab a seat at the front on one of the comfy couches by the windows, gaze at the artwork and tell the staff you want la musique Français to go with your crêpes.

Yorkville Crêperie
1586 York Ave.
Near East 84th Street
Entrées: $6 to $14