The Weekend Dish February 20, 2008Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food, Shopping.
During my blog reading, I came across a review of a few new openings in Old Town. Ramona over at The Houndstooth Gourmet did a review on Fontaine’s Caffe and Creperie and the Grape + Bean. At her recommendation, Casey and I thought that we would pop in over this past weekend.
We headed to Fontaine’s for brunch on Sunday. The restaurant is quite charming and what I imagine a bistro in the heart of Paris to be like. The atmosphere is cozy, so from the second you walk in, you want to sit and talk for hours over their delicious coffee. On an everyday basis, I typically drink Illy coffee which I love for it’s strong, bold flavor. Their coffee was no different. Fontaine’s serves Bristot coffee which is a strong cup of coffee without that bitter aftertaste. We decided to start with savory crepes and then enjoy a sweet crepe for dessert. Casey had the Alexandrian full of ham, swiss cheese, and mushrooms. I went with the Norwegian because how could I pass up on the combination of smoked salmon and caramelized onion topped with cream fraise. Fontaine’s savory crepes are served with a small, mixed green salad on the side which is coated with a delicious vinaigrette. We followed suit with the Lemon Drop crepe filled with a fluffy lemon cream. The flavor reminded me of one of my favorite Girl Scout Cookies, Lemon Creme Sandwiches (now called Lemon Chalet Cremes). Keep in mind that the food is light and delicious, so this isn’t the type of meal where you’ll leave feeling completely engorged. I would suggest going here for lunch or a light dinner. We’re already making plans to go back with some out-of-town friends and family.
After getting our fill of crepes, we headed across the street to the Grape + Bean. They should rename the store the Vice-a-Rama because it holds all of my vices under one roof: wine, coffee, bread, and cheese. We met one of the owners, David Gwathmey, who gave us the scoop on the store which has only been open for barely a week. They carry a unique selection of wines (David handpicks all of the wines from small production wineries), specialty beers, locally baked breads, artisanal cheeses, whole bean coffee, and other various gourmet food items. At the coffee bar, you can order a cup of joe or take the beans home with you. At the time of our visit, they had approximately seven different varieties which had been roasted only the week before…talk about fresh! The description of all of the breads sounded so delicious; however, since I was still operating on a “crepe high” we didn’t purchase any. They plan to have a couple of bottles of wine open for tastings during the weekend afternoons which I’m sure will be expanded as they get up and running. The Grape + Bean certainly fills a gap in Old Town for much needed small, independent businesses. This is the kind of store where you go when you want to get personal attention, enjoy a laugh, learn something new, and then leave with great-tasting quality products.