Crepes may have been born in France but they've traveled well, showing up frequently these days on menus Islandwide.
At Fresco, the offshoot of a Long Beach favorite, the tender filled pancakes are the whole point of the place. Get them with either savory or sweet fillings. If you order the former followed by the latter, you've got a balanced meal -- or, at least, a festive one.
A magazine rack near the entryway lends a Euro vibe. Early in the day, think about reading a newspaper and sipping a cafe au lait.
Among savory crepe choices, a favorite is the country- style crepe, its filling of ground sausage and sliced potatoes melding with caramelized onions and Cheddar. The harmonious complete (Gruyere, ham, egg and onion) lives up to its name. There's a sumptuousness to the seafood crepe, with baby bay scallops, shrimp, roasted red peppers and peas in a light cream sauce. A close second is the lush chicken, spinach and Gruyere crepe.
Although crepes are plated with a well-dressed toss of field greens, I can't resist ordering the entree-size bresaola and Brie salad. Quite good and beautifully plated, with carefully draped slices of air-dried beef and long thin cuts of soft cheese over greens with almonds, red onion, olives and roasted red peppers.
One meal ends with a fine cinnamon apple crepe topped with vanilla ice cream. I'm even more enamored of the tart-sweet orange caramel crepe. Hot chocolate, in a tall glass crowned with freshly whipped cream, is dreamy. In warmer weather, consider a cold mocha fresco, a blend of espresso, Belgian chocolate and yogurt and ice.
Both red lentil and beef barley soup are OK but lukewarm. A crepe filled with smoked salmon, mascarpone and chives suffers because the flavor and texture of the delicate smoked fish becomes harshly salty when heated. A simple ham and Gruyere crepe is simply boring.
The place is still awaiting its liquor license.
How many restaurants feed you so well while charging less than $10 for the main course?