Friday, July 29, 2011

Crespella Review

An Italian Crepêrie
Although the crêpe is usually associated with French cuisine, it is a commonly consumed treat in many European countries.  Crespella, a quaint Italian crêpe shop located amidst the bustle of Brooklyn’s 7th Avenue, showcases the Italian version of this European delight.  Less than a year old, Crespella is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene in Park Slope.

You might be wondering how an Italian crêpe differs from the French version.  The answer is that the divergences are subtle, but definitely noticeable.  For one, French cheeses, meats, and vegetables are replaced with traditional Italian ingredients, and secondly (and less obviously), Italian crêpes are made from chickpea flour, rather than the wheat flour traditionally used in French crêpe batter.

Although Crespella should be noted foremost for its food, its interior deserves attention as well.  For a physically small area, and a mostly take-out business, Crespella is an unexpectedly spacious and attractive shop due to its high ceilings, large glass front wall, and clean décor.  Attractive wooden floors and white marble countertops contribute to this handsome aesthetic.  The left-hand wall is painted a matte red, and is adorned with cutesy Italian culinary phrases and idioms (“fresca, fresca,” “alimentari,” “classiche”).  Crespella’s service is cheery and welcoming.

Crepes are available in both their sweet and savory forms, and feature fantastic combinations of flavors and textures.  Individuals with gluten allergies are welcome to participate in the consumption, as the crêpe batter is prepared sans-gluten.  Savory crêpes include fairly standard, yet no-less-delicious ingredient pairings of tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto ($7.50), and ricotta, spinach and mushrooms ($7.50).  The prosciutto crêpe ($9) was pure culinary pleasure: rich layers of salty, flavorful meat, spears of moist roasted asparagus, and downy slices of mozzarella, all wrapped in a fresh crêpe and polished with a reduced-balsamic lacquer.

 My order only had one blemish: the ingredients should have been more evenly distributed, as prosciutto-dominant, mozzarella-absent bites were not uncommon.  One notable rendition of the dessert crêpe is an indulgent ricotta cream, crushed cannoli shell bits, and chopped pistachio ($7.50); another features rich homemade lemon curd paired with fresh raspberries ($7.50).  Additional menu perks are breakfast pastries, locally made baked goods, and Brooklyn roasted Strumptown coffee.

It is unlikely that anyone fond of the French crêpe will be disappointed by Crespella’s take on the Italian version.  Fresh ingredients and an attractive space will leave you sated and happy.  

Location: 321 7th Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11215

Price Range: $

Cuisine: Italian Crepêrie and Espresso Bar

By Sarah T.


Bryan F. Warsaw

OMG. I wish I was near Brooklyn. Think they'd deliver out east to the Island? :) Excellent review!

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