The employees at a rustic French creperie on the South Hill are already greeting some repeat customers by name. And they've been open only a week. The Fleur de Sel Artisan Creperie on Grand Boulevard is the little brother to the much-lauded Fleur de Sel restaurant in Post Falls.
The Creperie, with its wood-accented walls contrasted by bright and colorful metal chairs, is casual and quick, while maintaining good quality. If you're not familiar with crepes, think of them as an upscale, flatter burrito. Just as fast and just as tasty and versatile.
Laurent Zirotti and his wife Patricia had wanted to open something different, but with the same fine dining quality as their restaurant in Post Falls.
"We knew that if we wanted to expand we wouldn't be able to clone [Laurent]," says Patricia.
That's why Laurent Zirotti sometimes works from 3 am to 10:30 pm, going back and forth between the two restaurants. But the Idaho-to-Washington-and-back-to-Idaho commute is only temporary while training the staff.
Harry Crase came over to be the creperie's general manager after working in the Post Falls restaurant since its opening in 2008.
His favorite — also among the customers so far — is the savory bison meatloaf and horseradish ($7.50) filled with juicy North Dakota bison, horseradish cream, kale mix and fontina cheese. Sometimes he throws an egg into the mix.
Other menu items include salmon and capers, turkey and truffles, the classic Nutella, and lemon curd, the most popular of the sweet crepes. There are also daily soups and salads. The housemade lemon curd is a good dessert option for those who don't like overly sweet treats. Add organic blueberries to complement the lemon.
The Zirottis started serving crepes at the Post Falls restaurant about two years ago, trying to figure out what to offer at the creperie.
"The menu was created by basically the palate of the clientele at Fleur de Sel," said Crase, referring to the location in Post Falls.
Most of the items, from the rich creams to the sweet balsamic dressing, are made in-house. Crase noted how the idea of a crepe may seem foreign to some, but it's more familiar you might think.
"All of the burrito bars are popular, and crepes are a French burrito," Crase says. ♦
Fleur De Sel Artisan Creperie • 909 S. Grand Blvd. • Open Mon-Sat, 8 am-5 pm • 242-3725 • fleurdeselcreperie.com