La Crepe Nanou
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
It's the quintessential French bistro, environmentally and culinarily. The goodness of the cooking and the underpricing of the menu has always kept the sixty or so seats full, while hopeful diners wait in the bar or out on the sidewalk for their turn. For the many regulars, the people they meet during the delay is part of the charm.
Long before French bistros were all over New Orleans, La Crepe Nanou felt and tasted like a dislocated slice of Paris. The food is classic bistro fare: fresh, French, inexpensive, and more delicious than you anticipate. The place is intensely social; at most tables, people order more food than they usually do, and pass it around among themselves. Crepes--both entree and dessert varieties--remain a specialty that few other local restaurants purvey.
La Crepe Nanou began as its name implies: a crepe shop, serving both savory and dessert crepes, but little else. Over the years it grew into adjacent buildings, and increased the breadth of its menu. Although the owner is very French, for a long time the kitchen was staffed mostly by Vietnamese.
The restaurant fills what were once three small buildings. Walk more than a few feet and the decor changes. Recent renovations have removed the worn-out Parisian feeling the place used to have, but added more charm with the new comforts. The tables on the sidewalk now serve food, too.
»Salade tropicale (lettuce, avocado, hearts of palm, artichoke, cucumber and tomato)
»Avocat à la vinaigrette
»Soupe à l'oignon
»Duck pâté maison
L'assiette de fromages
La fondue (swiss emmenthaler)
»Les moules marinières (small or large, with pommes frites)
»Gratin de fruits de mer
»Les escargots de bourgogne
Crêpe à la crabe
Crêpe florentine (spinach)
»Crêpe provençale (ratatouille in a crepe)
Crêpe au poulet
»Crêpe aux ecrevisse (crawfish)
Crêpe bourguignonne (beef tips, mushrooms)
Crêpe aux crevettes (shrimp)
Crêpe coq au vin
»Whole grilled fish
»Saumon frais grillé (salmon with bearnaise)
Les crevettes du jour (shrimp chef's way)
»Le poulet maison (roast chicken)
»Les cailles (quail)
»Le filet mignon
L'escalope de veau (veal medaillions, pasta, cream or red sauce)
»Les cotelletes d'agneau (lamb chops, cognac sauce)
Le gigot d'agneau (leg of lamb)
»Le ris de veau (veal sweetbreads)
»Crêpes (a dozen variations)
Mousse au chocolat
FOR BEST RESULTS
Count on waiting at least a little while for a table. You'll probably run into someone you know, and soon you're attending an ad-hoc Uptown cocktail party.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
It's a little too hard to get a glass of wine or a cocktail at the bar when it's busy. The no-reservations policy is inconvenient.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +1
- Consistency +3
- Value +2
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar +1
- Hipness +1
- Local Color +1
- Sidewalk tables
- Open Sunday dinner
- Open Monday dinner
- Good for children
- No reservations