Great Neck has seen many Japanese eateries open and close throughout the past decade, each restaurant approaching the cuisine from a different angle to impress clientele. Most of these places have experimented with a type of sushi, noodle bowls or bento boxes, yet none have introduced a new trend in Japanese cooking—crêpes. Borrowed from French recipes, these Japanese crêpes are the highlight of the peninsula’s newest dining establishment, T-Swirl Crêpe.
After three years of planning, the staff at T-Swirl Crêpe opened its doors on Dec. 11 and had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 7, as the aromas of fresh fruit and savory bacon filled the space.
Located at 71 Middle Neck Rd., T-Swirl Crêpe appears to cater to every diner. With the availability of both sweet and savory crêpes, each made with 100-percent gluten-free rice flour batter, the eatery hopes that its “phenomenal customer service, quality, consistency, cleanliness and convenience” will impress the community.
With more than 15 locations in seven states as well as one in Canada, T-Swirl Crêpe has seen great success in the New York area. When staff at the Flushing location realized that much of its loyal clientele actually came from the Great Neck area since crêpe shops like this had never opened in Nassau County, T-Swirl decided to open a Great Neck location so Long Island customers could enjoy these delicious crêpes closer to home.
The shop’s decor is inviting and captivating: Decorative crêpes in clear glass containers line the window area, wooden tables and chairs are arranged spaciously and huge circular grills fill much of the open kitchen, as chefs pour on their signature crêpe batter in front of customers. The cozy ambiance allows for diners to chat with friends or complete work while devouring crispy and flaky crêpes made to order.
With a selection of 11 sweet and 11 savory crêpes as well as some specials, T-Swirl prepares the delicacies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, using locally sourced products.
Served in a custom-made metal crêpe holder, prices range from $6.95 for a standard strawberry-banana crêpe to around $10 for a short-rib crêpe. Though some may parallel traditional French crêpes like tuna Nicoise or banana chocolate, many others such as Lychee Romantic and Matcha Azuki Bean incorporate Japanese ingredients like Pocky sticks to add an element of authenticity.
The Blueberry New York Cheesecake crêpe includes a sweet and tangy blueberry reduction, luscious custard cream, toothsome vanilla gelato and crispy chocolate Pocky sticks all wrapped in a delectable thin crêpe. The fresh blueberries add a nice vibrancy to the dessert and the gelato has a rather subdued vanilla taste to let the blueberry reduction shine.
The Fruit Cocktail crêpe has a similar preparation as the blueberry, but incorporates more fruit, including strawberries, bananas, raspberries and mango, with chocolate pearls for added sweetness.
Perfect for lunch, the smoked salmon crêpe with baby spinach, raw onion, string beans and capers works rather well, the salty salmon having a silky and buttery texture in contrast to the crunchy texture of the onions.
Other staff recommendations include the Chicken Teriyaki crêpe with sesame dressing and organic boiled eggs, the Vegetarian Lover crêpe with edamame and tofu, and the Crêpe Brûlée with choice of fruit.
T-Swirl also offers freshly prepared salads and drinks, like Honey Cucumber Iced Tea, Mango Green Tea and Strawberry Banana T-Slush.