KINGSTON — Larry Thoreen wasn’t surprised when the results were announced that J’aime Les Crêpes was voted best creperie in the region. Thoreen visits daily, sometimes for a sweet or savory crêpe, sometimes for a coffee, but always for the customer service and friendly banter. Does he have a favorite crêpe of the 40 or so made here?
“I like ’em all,” he said.
Others agree. J’aime Les Crêpes, which is celebrating its 10th year of serving French-style buckwheat crêpes near the Kingston ferry landing, was voted best of 50 crêperies in the region by respondents to an Evening Magazine online poll. It’s the second time the crêperie has won top billing: It won first in 2010, second in 2011, and third in 2009.
A crêpe is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from buckwheat flour, served with a variety of sweet or savory fillings. Common savory fillings are cheese, ham and eggs, mushrooms, ratatouille, and various meats. Common sweet fillings include custard, fruit spreads, maple syrup, Nutella spread, preserves, whipped cream, and sliced soft fruits.
Paul Pluska, owner, was U.S. Navy musician when he was introduced to crêpes in France. He returned to France to study crêpe making — “I learned at the source” — and based his crêperie on La Crêperie in Paris.
J’aime Les Crêpes is decorated with street signs from France, and jazz often plays over the speakers. On this particular misty morning, however, crêpe chef Chelsea Harsila has top 40 hits from the 1980s playing. She’s serving sweet and savories with some Pet Shop Boys.
Popular sweet crêpes include the chocolate and strawberry crêpe with whipped cream. Popular savory crêpes include the chicken and spinach crêpe. Pluska tries to keep the crêperie authentic — the atmosphere friendly and lively, the crêpes true to France.
“The best compliment is when someone from France comes into our shop and tells us we know what we’re doing,” Pluska said.