Lexington, KY - The Lexington restaurant scene has a new player that will enrich the area on both a cultural and culinary dimension. In late June, Lexington Francophiles Shannon Arnold and Linda Chambers opened La Petite Creperie, which is a French casual concept with authentic French crepes, sandwiches, and other products at their location at 191 Kentucky Avenue. It is directly across from Woodland Park at the old 6 Friends Cafe location.
Shannon and Linda took different routes on their journey that resulted in this venture but both were grounded in their affinity for French food and its underlying culture. They met at Sayre School where they both taught French but discovered they both had a love for French food and an interest in a restaurant venture.
Shannon Arnold lived and studied in Strasbourg France and developed a love for Crepes. They were a unique and delicious meal and affordable on a student’s budget. In 2010 she opened a mobile food stand call La Petite Creperie and became a popular fixture at Lexington Farmer’s Market where she quickly developed a loyal following. A common sight was long lines of customers wanting her unique product. It was here she kept getting questions about when she would open her own restaurant.
Linda Chambers is a native of France but has family roots in Morocco. She grew up in Nancy, France where her family is in the restaurant business. She later earned a degree in Tourism and Hospitality from the AFPA in Epinal, France. While in school she worked in the Pizza Hut system gaining valuable knowledge about restaurant systems and procedures. After college she worked in the travel, event and hospitality sector. Restaurants and hospitality are in her blood and she is passionate about it. She is also fluent in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Moroccan).
The centerpiece of the concept and menu is the crepe. A crepe is a thin pancake, which originated the northwest region of France known as Brittany. Crepes are popular throughout France, Quebec and other areas of the world. They are a very versatile product concept since it can and is served with a wide variety of fillings from sweet and fruit combinations to meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces. The product is prepared using a cooking device from France made specifically for crepe making.
The menu offers Savory Crepes with cheese and their house signature Sauce Maison. Customers have a choice between a La Louis (one filling) or a Lafayette (3 veggies/1 meat). The veggie choices include fresh spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, onions and cranberries. Meat and cheese options include eggs, bacon, ham, turkey ham, Swiss, Gruyere and Blue Cheese. These crepes are wonderful, filling and very affordable. There are also Sweet Crepes with the Deauville with Sugar Cinnamon, the Versailles with one sweet Garniture and the Paris with two sweet Garnitures. Garniture options include brown sugar, jam, caramel, Nutella, pecan, walnut, peanut butter, strawberry, banana, lemon, chocolate ganache, whipped cream, mandarin orange and apple. Additionally, a customer can add toppings to a crepe. A garden salad is available and toppings can be added to this as well. The food menu is rounded out with authentic French sandwiches prepared with Bechamel Sauce. Bechamel sauce is one of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine. These sandwich options include the classic Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese) and the Croque Mademoiselle (vegetarian – grilled cheese and fresh tomatoes). Authentic French crepes and sandwiches will be a welcome addition to the Lexington food scene.
Beverages options are available with coffee (organic fair trade), espresso, flavored coffee, and gourmet tea. A variety of beers are offered including Stella Artios, Kronenbourg 1664, Hoegaarden and West Sixth.
The decor and ambiance incorporates a classic French bistro look and feel plus patio seating out front. The decor, music, and overall attitude of the place will be about imparting French culture.
La Petite Creperie has a Facebook page and their hours of operation are 7:30 am – 9:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sundays. This little gem of a locally owned restaurant is well worth a visit. This is also a great example of a food venture that tested and fine tuned their business with a mobile concept for three years before making the step to a “bricks and mortar” location. It also enabled them to “pre sell” the concept and establish a customer base from day one. Many people love French cuisine but not everyone has the time or budget for traditional higher end French restaurants. La Petite Creperie offers a wonderful affordable option for a variety of eating occasions.