My mom used to speak French. I took French for seven years in school. And I took cooking classes at the French Culinary Institute. You would THINK French fare would be running through my blood by now, but truth be told, I don't have it often, but if there's one thing I wish I did have more often, it would be crepes. This super-thin pancake is cooked to golden brown, then filled with delicious things like fruit, whipped cream, and more recently, nutella. Crepes have come a long way from when I was a kid, and I stopped by The Crooked Tree on the Lower East Side to experience the evolvement.
I brought Alexis (my best friend from junior high and coincidentally, French class partner), to help me taste some crepes. And there were plenty to choose from. The Crooked Tree has been in this spot for 12 years, and they specialize in crepes, so we ordered two savory crepes, and one dessert crepe. Prior to the crepes, we wanted some appetizers, so we got the potato leek soup, and the Crooked Cobb Salad. The salad was actually really good and fresh-tasting (though it's pretty hard to screw up a Cobb salad), and the soup was ok – it had a few too many herbs in it, which made it a little overpowering.
Crooked Cobb Salad…mmm salami..
Onto the crepes. The savory crepes at The Crooked Tree are made with a buckwheat flour mixture, which gives a chewier texture than the sweet crepes, which are made with sugar, vanilla, and a white/wheat flour mixture. I got the spinach and goat cheese crepe, and Alexis got the prosciutto and fresh mozzarella crepe. I thought the spinach was great - sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes, it was a little spicy, and the creamy goat cheese melted into the spinach and made it like spicy creamed spinach inside a crepe. How the HELL can you go wrong with that?? Delicious. The San Daniele prosciutto and mozzarella was a little disappointing; it wasn't very hot, so the cheese didn't get ooey or gooey (for lack of a better term), if it had been a little more on the melted side, we'd be in business. I would highly recommend the spinach though – that's something you could eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Garlicky, spicy, spinach crepe…nums
Now the dessert one was a special for the night, so I don't know how often they will have it, but they should definitely consider putting it on the menu. It was…wait for it…wait for it…….chocolate, almonds and BACON. With whipped cream on top. Holy crap. It was one of those things that you just had to try, regardless of how it sounds. To me, it sounded amazing right off the bat, but that's because I've had things like chocolate covered bacon and thought it was better than a box full of cash. This crepe was light and sweet, with PLENTY of crispy bacon inside drizzled with chocolate sauce and crunchy almonds. Dip it in a little fresh whipped cream and oh my god. Even Alexis liked it and she doesn't like chocolate (weirdo). The decision to go with this particular crepe was based solely on the addition of bacon, because otherwise I would have gone with peanut butter and jelly with bananas, or nutella and strawberries.Mmmm next time…
Chocolate, bacon and almond crepe…drool
While The Crooked Tree missed the mark on a couple dishes, they definitely have some tasty crepes that are worth trying. It is, after all, a creperie. But if crepes aren't your thing, they have a full menu with salads, sandwiches, sliders, and all kinds of finger foods. I also forgot to mention the passionfruit sangria, which is a lot stronger than it tastes…
hmm looks a taste good!.. i want to try the french food.