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Crooked Tree – Plate 28
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Crooked Tree – Plate 28

How many crepes can you have before you can’t take any more crepes?

Sim says the number is about 100 in a week. That was how many he made and ate on a seven-day binge in 1998 as he was conceptualizing what is now the Crooked Tree.

They use two different types of crepe batter depending on the crepe you order here. Sim figured out that savory and sweet crepes require separate batters for optimal tastiness and Simon (site) and I are inclined to agree with his findings. He spent his whole life in the vicinity of St. Mark’s Place and opened up the restaurant with two grade school friends from the same neighborhood.

With all the success they’re had of late, it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses for The Tree:

“When we opened up, there was a bench in front of the store where all the drug dealers used to hang out. I’m from the neighborhood so I knew ’em all and shooed them away,” Sim recounted, “Just last year, I saw one of them around and he came up to me asked me ‘how’s business?’ I said ‘It’s great.’ So the dealer says, ‘at least yours is doing well because you just about killed mine.'”

We sampled (more like devoured) four crepes, two savory to start and then two sweet for dessert. The first one I tried was the Chicken and Goat Cheese (pic) with Simon claimed that he hadn’t appreciated goat cheese until a few years ago at a wine tasting where a certain pairing just about blew his mind. He says he sometimes still needs the wines to get a hold on the meatier, more pungent cheeses. The combination of chicken and goat cheese worked well for both of us. There was a bit of tomato and pesto in here as well that spiced it up a bit.

The Brie, Tomato & Arugula (top) really impressed us both. Sim threw a few slices of prosciutto into the mix that gave us that essential meat portion of breakfast. I’m guilty of using that one to sop up some of the runny yolk. When I was growing up, every so often, my mom would get us brie and Stoned Wheat Thins as an appetizer for dessert and my dad’s ratio of brie-to-cracker was always far more brie-heavy than mine and my brother’s. I always thought it was unfair until I heard Chris Rock’s “Big piece of chicken,” bit.

The Nutella and Banana (above) crepe; if you’ve ever been here, you’ve probably had this one, it’s the most popular for good reason. I don’t know exactly why hazelnut paste and bananas work so well together, but they do. Sim wanted to know what he could do for us as a second sweet crepe:

“How about a Chocolate, Strawberry, Grand Marnier crepe (above)?” He asked, “Would that be acceptable?”

Can someone tell me when has Chocolate, Strawberry, and Grand Marnier been unacceptable? Never, I tell you. Never. He flambeéd it at the table (can’t really see the flame during the day) and we killed that one, too. Can you look at someone with a straight face and tell them that you don’t like that combination of confection? I doubt it.

Here’s our visit in a nutshell:

Crooked Tree executes crepe excellence. Completely laid back atmosphere; very chill staff, great crepes. First date, second date, whatever date, this is a complete winner.

Guest Writer: Simon DangHere’s his post

The IRL Arts Foundation and The Wandering Foodie thank Crooked Tree for providing this meal.

Crooked Tree
110 St. Marks Pl
New York, NY 10009
(212) 533-3299

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