A Dream Come True: New York City’s First Vegan Creperie Opens

Thursday, January 22, 2015

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Karen didn’t think anyone could possibly be as enthusiastic about crepes as she is, but she admits she’s finally met her match in Julia Kravets, who just opened Little Choc Apothecary, New York City’s (and perhaps America’s?) first vegan creperie in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. 

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Here’s the great news, crepe lovers:  Little Choc Apothecary doesn’t just make wonderful vegan, gluten-free crepes.  These vegan, gluten-free crepes are wonderful crepes period.  For being eggfree, the crepes have surprising richness, yet are balanced by a satisfying crunchiness.  We’d go so far as to say that these are some of the best crepes we’ve ever tasted, on a par with the best we’ve tasted in Paris and in Quebec.

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Karen’s excellent pot of Assam tea was accompanied by its own colorful hourglass to alert her to its steeping time, while Andrew enjoyed his crepes with a well-made cup of coffee — both are served gratis with the crepes

After learning of the restaurant’s opening via yesterday’s Gothamist.com post (we owe you big time, Nell Casey!), we paid a visit and ate our way through three savory crepes — including, above left, the Room for Mushroom (herb-roasted mushrooms + spinach + walnuts, which typically comes with basil though they substituted parsley today) and, above right, The Breakfast (scrambled tofu + coconut bacon + tomato + cucumber).

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Shown above is the Khail Seitan (homemade seitan + kale + caramelized onions + roasted red peppers + homemade BBQ sauce), a hearty dinner-y combination of warm seitan, and soft-cooked onions and peppers that we could imagine only enhanced by wilting the kale as well.

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The Chocolate Chip Goji (Berry) scone was a textural and flavor revelation on its own, but simply irresistible served with “clotted cream” (texturally a cross between whipped cream and coconut pudding, made from homemade coconut milk + agar + a touch of maple syrup) and jam in tiny Mason jars with tiny spoons.

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After you’ve placed and paid for your order downstairs, you can bring it (or have it brought for you) upstairs, which is modestly though charmingly decorated.  One main wall (kitty-corner from “The Loo”) features jars of herbs, spices, and teas.

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We loved the idea of Little Choc’s rotating chalkboard art display on another upstairs wall, which is expected to change regularly.  The opening display features the work of local artist Peiyung, whom the blackboard notes can be followed via Facebook or Instagram.

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Little Choc Apothecary owner Julia Kravets holds her brand-new copy of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE

“Charming” is the word we’d have to use for Little Choc’s owner and entire staff.  We were so impressed with the food and the experience that we decided to leave our copy of THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE as a gift for Julia (who turned out to be a fan of the original FLAVOR BIBLE, though she wasn’t yet aware of the vegetarian edition), where it was spied by a woman behind the counter who exclaimed, “Oh, I love that book!” even before she was aware that we were its authors.  Way to make an impression that your team is gastronomically well-read.

Oh, and the Chocolate Mud Cake (above) was dense yet moist and well-complemented by its peanut-flavored icing…as if we needed to have yet one more reason to love Little Choc Apothocary.  Which we didn’t.  But we’re glad we do.

Little Choc Apothecary is at 141 Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn, NY 11211. (Closest subway stop:  Lorimer St., on the L line.)  Phone: 718.963.0420.  Website:  www.chocny.com

Categorized: New York City