The melting pot that is Southern Nevada serves us culinary experiences from around the world. One of the latest comes from France’s Brittany region — ground zero for the crepe — by owners of The Real Crepe, who dish up a superlative and charming taste of their homeland.
The Real Crepe upholds Breton tradition: Savory dishes are based on galettes, made with buckwheat flour, and white-flour crepes are reserved for sweet dishes.
While buckwheat appears in Asian staples such as Japanese soba, it’s rarely encountered in American fare. The relative rarity here stems from this misnamed peudocereal’s formidable flavor and texture that makes it quite apt for entree crepes and their more substantial fillings.
Order the Formula combo ($15) and you get both galette and crepe, plus a beverage. A Swiss cheese and ham galette (or chicken, $8 a la carte) brought thin slices of the meat with a gently melted and nutty cheese, the round wrapper folded onto itself envelope-style and served on a square, glass plate. A galette with Swiss cheese and creamy mushrooms ($8 a la carte) showed the forest fungi to advantage, leaving them sufficiently firm to provide textural balance, along with the wrapper, to the otherwise creamy filling.
Specialty galettes are served with a simple green salad dressed in a classic vinaigrette, the bitter austerity of the mache and arugula a counterpoint to indulgent fillings. La West Coast was wrapped around Swiss cheese paired with an assertive smoked salmon and creamy leeks, with just enough punch to balance the fish.
Compared to the galettes, the crepes were gossamery, suited to delicate fillings such as La Lemon ($5.50 a la carte), with its astringent-to-the-point of puckery sugar and lemon juice, and La Chestnut ($6.50 a la carte), wrapped around a swipe of silken chestnut puree.
Formulas include soft drinks, espresso, coffee or tea, but the chilled apple cider, another specialty of Brittany, is worth the extra $3. This isn’t the syrupy stuff from the grocery store (and it’s not hard), but a European-style, borderline-fizzy drink with bold apple flavor, served in the traditional tea cup.
As a lagniappe, we were served cubes of Far Breton, a dense, almost custardy cake with the punch of plums — yet another treasure from the region.
Along with galettes and crepes in numerous varieties plus design-your-own options (and a galette and crepe “of the moment,” listed on a slate outside the door), The Real Crepe serves quiches, croque-monsieurs, salads and bags of butter cookies.
The interior, like the food, is Brittany-specific, with depictions of the regional flag, its black-and-white stripes carried throughout other aspects of the decor. Tables graced with fresh flowers are named for famous French entertainers, and scenic photos decorate the walls.
It’s all very charming, but more to the point, The Real Crepe carries a slice of Brittany across the ocean to find a welcome home in Las Vegas.
The Real Crepe, 7595 W. Washington Ave. (at Buffalo Drive); 702-701-4516
The essence: Breton expatriates bring Las Vegas a taste of their homeland.
Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella onTwitter.