My friends and I stumbled upon Le Grainne Café in Chelsea after discovering we were not going to get a table at the restaurant we originally intended to go to (failed to make a reservation, but a review of that restaurant will come :)). It looked like a quaint café right out of France and the menu had light café fare: salads, crepes, sandwiches and pasta inspired entrees. As a lover of crepes and the promise of something fresh and possibly light (the heat wave is killing me), we decided to give it a shot.
The food was exactly as I imagined it would be with fresh ingredients and great flavors. And on top of the quaint, realistically European décor, the café runs in a European style – water is served room temperature in a vase (though unlike Europe it is constantly refilled) and the check is only delivered upon request at the end of the meal. An added bonus to note… the wait staff is very nice to look at! My friends and I were very taken by our waiter and the other men working there. So next time you’re in Chelsea, go to Le Grainne Café to feel transported far from the bustle of Manhattan!
Bread and Butter: I’m only mentioning this portion of the meal because I love when real, fresh butter is served this way.
Crepes Maison: They have a Crepes menu where you can choose one of their suggested crepes or make your own (very reasonably priced around $10). I chose to make my own with spicy sausage, goat cheese, and sautéed onions. Often times I find that there isn’t enough balance of the different ingredients, and I tend to feel skimped especially on whatever cheese is in the crepe, but this had just the right proportions. The goat cheese in this was perfect and creamy and spread throughout the crepe. The onion was sliced thin and the sausage was dried and cured. I guess I was expecting hot sausage, but I was pleasantly surprised and delighted by the cured sausage the way it was. The side organic mesclun salad was good too!
Nutella Banane: We split a nutella and banana crepe for dessert. This was pretty standard but obviously good… you can’t mess up nutella and bananas! The photo doesn’t look quite as appetizing because I forgot to take a photo until after we cut it!
Though I didn’t try any of the other dishes my friends ordered, they all said they were really good and they looked delicious:
Salade de Chevre: Warm goat cheese croutons, tomatoes, walnuts, and grapes on mesclun salad.
Club Sandwich: Roasted turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese, tomato and mayo on a baguette.
Linguini: Linguini with spicy shrimp, mussels, tomatoes, and broccoli in a garlic and olive oil sauce.
Le Grainne Café: 183 9th Avenue, New York, NY ($-$$)