By Amanda Rae | May 22, 2015 | Food & Drink
Crêperie du Village sizzles with the alpine flavors of France, Austria, and Germany.
The Crêperie’s specialty? You guessed it: crêpes, offered in varieties both savory and sweet, with fillings ranging from boeuf bourguignon to sweet berries and crème chantilly.
Crêperie du Village, on the bustling corner of East Hopkins Avenue and Mill Street, brings one range of mountains to another. The Alps-inspired sublevel restaurant has fast become a favorite haunt for authentic food and wine from the European high country. First-timers are wise to look past the name, though, as new Executive Chef Andreas Neufeld—veteran of Elevation and Ute City restaurants, formerly down Restaurant Row—has expanded the original menu of gourmet crêpes, fondue, and raclette to include a slew of elegant dishes that evoke the specialties of the finest bistros in Paris and Lyon.
Traditional standouts include slow-braised veal cheeks, seared sea scallops with pea purée, smoked trout rillettes, and a silky, Sauternes-soaked foie gras torchon with cherry-shallot compote. Neufeld’s twist on chèvre chaud sees Colorado’s own Haystack Mountain goat cheese baked into an ooey, gooey, shareable appetizer, while his escargots en brioche hews true to the classic, while benefiting from a boozy splash of pastis.
Summer specials will feature fresh farmers market bounty—veggie crêpes, naturally, plus an airy yogurt mousse with passion fruit or seasonal berries. True to European tradition, rosé—some four bottles span the spectrum from citrusy to floral—Champagne, and effervescent cocktails will f low from lunchtime on.
Now with German native Neufeld, Crêperie du Village may be the only Aspen restaurant with an all- European cast; proprietors Raphael Derly and Karin Schwendtner hail from Marseille and Austria, respectively. The couple has furnished the cozy, 50-seat subterranean space with artifacts and other petits trucs from their travels around the globe. As such, crossing the threshold transports diners to a chalet tucked high in the Alps, infused with the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle led by the trio running the show.
“It’s about the culture of the food,” Derly says. “And creation. We want to challenge people a little bit.”
Nighttime diners will hope to snag one of seven stools at the bar, a prime spot to soak in the theater of Neufeld’s tiny open kitchen. Though, those who get even luckier will snuggle into one of the most coveted sidewalk tables in town: the corner patio table upstairs, with twilight views of Aspen Mountain—and complimentary linen blankets. 400 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-925-1566
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF LA CRÊPERIE DU VILLAGE/RAPHAEL DERLY (CRÊPES)