Je parle un peu francais. J’ai pris des cours au lycée. J’ai utilisé Google translate pour cela. Je suis désolé, Mademoiselle H!
(Translation: Crepes and croissants for lunch with my husband. I speak a little French. I took classes in high school. I used Google translate for this. I am sorry, Ms. H! – who was my high school French teacher)
The other week (by now it’s been like a month) I walked to lunch with Patrick at Crepes et Croissants, which was a pleasant surprise. It was not busy but busy enough to know that Columbia seemed to be embracing the French food from the French owner, Laurent Prescelti who was hard at work there, at the griddle and out at the tables delivering food to hungry customers.
With but a short wait in line to make our orders, we sat down with our table number to wait for our made to order crepes. Looking around the cafe, I noted that I loved the moody blue-gray wall color was fantastic. The decor was a bit sparse though, not as plush and French as I imagined it might be. I’m sure it’s because they are so busy that there’s hardly any time to focus on the decor when there are amazing dishes to create. The big stovetop-griddle cooking implement is visible to the tables so if you stood up at the counter you could see your crepes being cooked.
We chose to remain seated and I snacked on a bag of meringues that we got from beside the register. The egg white sugar bites were whipped into a fluffy batter and squeezed out into the perfect little swirls. Meringues are a great low-calorie treat and are easy to make, though I haven’t mastered the art of making them gorgeous, like C&C has.
Our food arrived at the table and I dove right into my Greece crepe, which contains baby spinach, goat cheese, and honey. The freshness of the spinach, the savory creaminess of the brie and the sweet tang of honey all came together in each bite to make this crepe feel very flavorful without being heavy or overwhelming. The baby spinach isn’t chopped at all though, which make for some awkward bites that I would have been embarrassed about having to take if I wasn’t eating with my husband who has seen me through all manners of ungracefulness and discord.
He was busy dissecting his croque monsieur, something he had been on a kick making at home so I am assuming this was for comparative purposes. He said it was “Tres cher. . .mais tres bien.”
In my mind the mark of a really great foreign restaurant is seeing people that are from that country eating there, and who should we run into while at C&C but a professor who is French from Patrick’s former workplace? Overall it was just a pleasant lunch experience and one a place that I hope we walk to many more times for lunch especially once it cools down a tad more. C&C serves both savory and sweet crepes, and they even have a lunch special where you choose one of each, which is the perfect amount of food for lunch.
Crepes that caught my eye were the Provence with homemade ratatouille, the Marne with brie, goat cheese mozzarella, and pretty much all of the sweet crepes especially the sweet lemon and the cinnaple. They also have weekend brunch now which will be great for people who want to try it out but also don’t want to hazard the midday parking situation downtown.
This is the only French restaurant in the Columbia metropolitan area. It would be great to see another one that reaches its menu out a bit further than crepes in town because Cola-town… it looks like you’re embracing French cuisine tres bein for a place that took so easily to the stupid “freedom fries” thing a few years back. Vive la la cuisine française en la Carolina du Sud!