Quick — name 50 types of crepes. That’s how many general manager Agnes Aleksander can make at The Crepe inside Tivoli Village, 420 S. Rampart Blvd., Suite 150.
Born in Bulgaria and partially raised in France, a portion of Aleksander’s teen years were spent learning how to make crepes from her uncle, who had a popular creperie, sugar and bakery shop/eatery in Paris.
“Crepes were my favorite food that my grandmother made for me,” she said. “… I’ve traveled around the world, and anywhere I go, that’s the first thing I always (order in a restaurant).”
It has always been her intent to make it her livelihood, as well, but life intervened and took her in a different direction. That direction included meeting her husband, Alex, and discovering that they both had a love for the papery-thin creation, a love that went beyond merely consuming it.
“He has a picture of when he was 8, making crepes,” she said. “His mom went to work and when she came back … the kitchen was a mess, and she took a picture of him holding a crepe pan … so we have a crepe story between us. Every Sunday, I make him crepes.”
Now living in Summerlin, the pair was strolling through Tivoli Village when they saw the available space on the ground floor below the Market LV. They decided to take the plunge, follow their dream and open a European-style
creperie. Both their mothers are partners in the venture.
The cavernous space exudes an urban chic, slightly industrial feel. Fifteen cafe tables for two with metallic-looking tops line the back wall. Four more are outdoors. Hanging lights are made from mixing bowls.
Aleksander said crepes may start with a simple recipe of milk, eggs, water and flour, but it’s what she does with them that allows her to list more than 50 types, making them an international tour of the world’s flavors, including Switzerland, Bolivia, Australia, Japan and, of course, France.
“Every region has their own variation,” Aleksander said. “Most people know the French crepe, but if you go around the world, every culture had their own (crepe).”
As if to underline this, the patron loyalty card — the ninth crepe is free — has “crepe” in various languages all over it. If you think a crepe is solely a dessert food, think again. Aleksander will educate your taste buds with how it can be tweaked for lunch or dinner. Prices start at $9.
“Summerlin has a very diverse population, and we would like to have something for everyone,” Aleksander said.
The menu also includes quiche and cake, both based on crepes.
Patron Derrick Flanders works at the Poppy Den at Tivoli Village. He stopped in the first day The Crepe opened.
“Walking by, somebody came out and greeted me, invited me to stay and study and use the free Wi-Fi,” he said. “The espresso is very good, very savory. Everyone should try it.”
Ellie Scholtz came in with her 5-month-old son, AJ. They had just been to a stroller workout class for new mothers. She said she was drawn in by the aromas wafting out the open doors. Scholtz said that she and her husband loved crepes and he’d be glad she’d found a place nearby. She ordered one to go.
“I love any place with breakfast food. I’ll eat breakfast any time of day, so it’s nice to have another option. … I’ll definitely be back,” Scholtz said.
Tivoli Village provides a backdrop that’s perfect for the cafe, Aleksander said, with people strolling the streets.
“Just like in Europe, it has that feel, that lifestyle we’re going for,” she said.
Part of the charm of The Crepe concept is that it follows the European regard for the Earth. Organic ingredients are sought. Fruit must be fresh and at the peak of flavor. Figs will be picked fresh from the shopping center’s own trees when they come in season soon, Aleksander said.
Europe is also cognizant of recycling, and so is The Crepe. Its flatware and serving dishes are made with sugar cane, which is compostable.
“It’s broken down in three months,” Aleksander said. “They become nothing.”
Aleksander has plans for keeping the family-owned place filled — jazz nights on Fridays and Saturdays, Argentine tango nights, Mommy & Me promotions and promotions to acquaint patrons with its tea menu.
She said she wants to make it into a social setting and to that end is in talks with UNLV’s music department to host jazz nights. It’s a win-win proposition. It will fulfill a requirement for music students and provide patrons a chance to hear up-and-coming musicians.
For more information, visit thecrepelv.com.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.