Top: ricotta, fig, and honey crepe. Bottom: sausage crepe of the day.
In case you haven’t noticed, Chelsea Market has been gradually changing from being primarily a provisioner of raw materials for cooking, to being something like an upscale food court. This is partly for the good, since the general quality of pre-prepared food available has gradually improved, so that now you can depend on getting a decent lunch or dessert there, which is what the tourist hordes washing in and out most desire. Not for them: the live lobster, the fruity green olive oil, or the $30-per-pound block of cheese.
One area that use to be used for trade shows and the like has become food court central: I’m talking about the step-down side area, once mainly derelict, now occupied by several businesses, including Lucy’s Whey, Jacques Torres Chocolates, People’s Pops, Nut Box, and Lucky Duck — the latter a haven for vegans and raw foodists, one of the few in the city.
To this mix has been added, somewhat predictably, a crepe place called Bar Suzette. The crepes are pretty good, but the service is slow, the range of choices is a bit pedestrian, and the prices are on the high side. Nevertheless, a friend and I enjoyed a couple of good crepes there, and if you get some coffee from Ninth Street Espresso, this could be your new brunch spot.
The crepes are divided into Savory and Sweet, and cost between $5 and $12, with the more substantial, nearly-meal-size items in the upper part of the price range. They are produced on a pair of round flat griddles such as you often see in Paris. The pancakes are cooked brown and crisp thereon, folded over a choice of ingredients, then folded over twice more so that a wedge representing one-sixth of a full round crepe is produced, then deposited in a checked piece of paper.
My main complaint about the sweet crepes is the dull range of fruit fillings available, which have been confined mainly to strawberries and bananas. That’s OK, since most peeps seemed to be ordering some combo featuring nutella.
Bar Suzette’s crew at work in the new Chelsea Market stall.
We ordered ricotta, fig, and honey ($9), which contained fresh figs, good ricotta, and a dribble of honey, plus, somewhat unaccountably, cucumbers. It was quite good, but listed on the Savory menu, though it seemed like it belonged on Sweet. Also from Savory, we chose the sausage crepe ($10) of the day, which featured andouille sausage, Muenster cheese, chipotle aioli, and — once again, oddly — lettuce. I guess the idea is to make the crepes as much sandwich substitutes as possible. Both tasted good, but left us wanting more. Other crepes show Asian and South American influences.
Next: The Sweet and the Savory menus.