There’s a new girl in town. And she owns a small crêperie which has been getting lots of good press in the food magazines, in spite what some might feel is a relatively obscure address.
To me, though, it’s not all that obscure because I go over there all the time, as it’s located near one of my favorite buildings in Paris, which I keep walking by thinking that one fine, lucky day, there will be a A Vendre (or A Louer) sign up so I can move into one of the fabulous retro apartments. (And as a bonus, I could have fresh crêpes whenever I want.)
I kept meaning to ask owner and crêpe-maker Sophie Le Floc’h how she came up with the name West Country Girl for her French crêperie, located in the nondescript passage Saint Ambroise. But it’s an address I’m happy to travel to, even if I wasn’t apartment-hunting, because she’s a true Bretonne and really know how to fry up a crêpe.
She offers a number of crêpes and buckwheat galettes, and like her, I prefer the simpler ones.
We both agree that things like vegetables and other frou-frou additions detract from the taste of the crêpe. So while you can order crêpes filled with camembert & bacon, chèvre & spinach, salmon & pine nuts, bacon & mushrooms, or andouille sausage (which they say, correctly, that you have to be French to appreciate) from the menu, I usually stick with complète, a buckwheat galette filled with ham and melted cheese with a fresh egg, sunny-side-up, broken on top.
If you don’t order the reasonably-priced prix-fix menu at lunch, or even if you do, you can start with homemade rillettes of sardines. But there’s so much food in the lunch menu that I had, which includes a glass of sparkling hard Breton apple cider, it’d be hard to eat much more. Unless you get there on Wednesday, the day the fresh oysters arrive from Brittany.
And when it comes to dessert, I like to keep it simple too, preferring butter and sugar, perhaps a squeeze of tangy lemon juice, or a swirl of dark honey. But when I saw the deep, darkly-sweet vat of homemade salted butter caramel she was mixing up, I couldn’t resist. And the decision was sealed with a warm, sticky swirl.
Lastly, the coffee I had was really good, which is a sign of a thoughtful restaurant owner. The care that they take with the final coda on the meal is the last impression that’s made before you walk out the door and here they draw shots of Illy espresso, and they do them right. Hence, I’ll be back.
Do be aware that often on Tuesday nights, the kitchen may close and a local musician might come and play, with the bar open and the tables pushed aside in case anyone feels like dancing. I haven’t been, but Sophie’s eyes glimmered with excitement when she told me about it. It sounds like a pretty fun time, if you ask me.
Just don’t misbehave. You don’t want to end up like the radio.
Although I can think of a few things worse than being handcuffed to such a charming crêperie.
West Country Girl
6, passage Saint Ambroise (11th)
Tél: 01 47 00 72 54
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