Written by Lyn Dobrin, Editorial@antonnews.com Friday, 12 July 2013 00:00
It’s Bastille Day when the French mark the beginning of their revolution and what better way to join in the festivities than to eat crepes at Fresco Crêperie, the only restaurant in Nassau County where crepe is king (Sorry. I mean, the food of the populace).
There are two Fresco Crêperies — the original has been in Long Beach for 13 years, and the other in Williston Park for three.
Back in the 20th century, owners Louis Corcione and Steven Guaso (two food-oriented Italian guys, says Corcione) were working in a restaurant where Guaso was the chef and Corcione the general manager when they decided to form a partnership. They liked the concept of a small place with reasonable prices and good quality. Both had traveled extensively in Europe and were inspired by a creperie Corcione had eaten in on the Amalfi Coast. Long Island had enough pizzerias and bagel joints, they thought.
It took months for them to develop the perfect batter for their crepes. “In Breton, the area of France famous for crepes, they use 100 percent buckwheat,” Corcione said, “and we felt it needed to be adapted to American tastes.” He ended up with a blend of white flour and buckwheat, about half-and-half. “Buckwheat is what makes it authentic. It’s a flavor you can’t place because we don’t use buckwheat much here.”
The effort paid off. The crepes, which are made fresh for each order (you can peek over the counter and watch them being prepared on a double griddle), are light and have a wonderful taste even without fillings. Savory filling choices include gruyere cheese and ham, mixed vegetable with ricotta, granny smith apples and brie, spinach and goat cheese with shallots, and country style — ground sausage, potato, caramelized onion and cheddar cheese. There is a great balance of crepe and filling. The savory crepes are served with mesclun salad.
The sweet dessert crepes are a must. You can go simple with the classic crepe of sugar, butter and cinnamon or ratchet it up to combinations like dulce de leche with fresh strawberries or “hedgehog style” — coconut, almonds and Belgian dark chocolate.
With the exception of Nutella and dulce de leche, the fillings for both the savory and sweet crepes are made in-house.
There are lots of good choices for hot drinks: espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, mochaccino and hot chocolate made with Callebaut Belgian chocolate. They’re especially proud of their café au lait, made with lots of steamed milk. All can be had with decaffeinated coffee and skim milk. For cold drinks they’ve blended non-fat yogurt and espresso with chocolate or caramel, popular beverages in the summer. The beers include a wheat beer, which Corcione says goes especially well with the crepes. He also recommends pinot noir as a good accompaniment. Pitchers of red sangria are popular.
Other menu choices include salads and soups.
Fresco Crêperie – Williston Park, 72 Hillside Ave.
Fresco Crêperie – Long Beach, 150 E Park Ave.
Crepes in Nassau County:
Sage Bistro Moderne
7955 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury
387 South Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview
1362 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn
335 New York Ave., Huntington
Sweet ‘n’ Savory
A crepe and rice pudding bar
104 East Main St., Port Jefferson