Walking into the warm, aromatic embrace of the new, gingham-curtained, brightly austere café on Fenway's Restaurant Row on one of the new year's first frosty mornings felt a bit like walking into a hug after getting one's feelings bruised by an unkind word. Why let cruel Northeast weather get me down when there are crepes to be had?
And a fine assortment of crepes at that. The chill still ebbing out of my bones, I was momentarily distracted by the homemade baked goods in a display case at the counter. Sugar cookies, red-velvet chocolate cake, and a decadent-looking pumpkin-maple cake all proffered seductively sweet comfort, but I rebuffed their advances and focused on the task at hand. The crepes. Studying the menu written in chalk on a blackboard high behind the counter, I was torn. Savory or sweet? I finally decided on a classic — a lemon and sugar crepe ($3.95), which left me with another tough decision. White or brown sugar? I asked the lone, patient server his opinion. Brown, he told me decisively. Sold. Paired with a strong, well-brewed 12-ounce latte ($3.20), my crepe — which I hypnotically watched him ladle over a steaming griddle and fill generously with brown sugar — was enormous and delicious. Enormous enough, in fact, that I wrapped up most of it to go before bidding my crepe mentor adieu and heading to the office.
It was a brief goodbye. I was back that afternoon, eager to sample one of the savory options at the café, now bustling with a lunchtime rush. This time, I knew what I wanted: their Signature ($6.95), a slightly smaller delicacy stuffed full of arugula, feta, mozzarella, and tomato with a sharp balsamic vinaigrette, which will ever serve as my pizza alternative in the future. Crepe-frenzied, I stuck my fork in my dining companion's Garden crepe ($7.50) with roasted vegetables, herbs, and mozzarella drizzled with fresh pesto, which proved equally tasty. Paris by way of Sox Country. Who knew?
EAT UP :: 96 Peterborough St, Boston :: 617.262.7700 or neighborhoodscafe.com :: Mon–Fri, 6 am to 10 pm; Sat, 7 am to 10 pm; Sun, 7 am to 7 pm