If you blink, you might miss George Siganos opening a new restaurant.
His latest endeavor? La Petite Creperie, an appropriately named quick-serve stop that offers sweet and savory crepes, some of the best ice cream you will ever have and even Belgian waffles, all with Siganos’ signature flair to make people hungry with sights and aromas. And, like many of his other creations, La Petite Creperie has a European feel.
“I want people to savor the experience,” Siganos says. “I want them to taste, to smell, to enjoy. They can come here and be treated to something totally different. You don’t have to eat pancakes every day. When I put my name on it, it’s about three things: design, quality and service. They all go hand in hand, and that’s what makes my businesses successful. I always try to offer that European flair.”
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Located in a former yogurt shop in The Quarter at the Tropicana, La Petite Creperie defies passersby to not stop and watch crepes being made fresh and stuffed with goodies through the open kitchen layout. Observe for five minutes, and you will see children pointing and saying, “Mommy, I want one of those,” and adults poking their partner to go inside and get something.
Once you enter the tiny shop featuring six tables and photos of many of its scrumptious choices, you will never leave without trying something. The smells of Belgian waffles and fresh crepes combined with the visuals of people walking to their tables with colorful, culinary works of art would make anyone break their diet.
“I like to bring things that are new and different to Atlantic City,” Siganos says. “I look at the Tropicana and The Quarter like a street in a city. And when people come here for a mini vacation, they want to try something different for every meal. Like when you go to the Bahamas, you don’t eat at the same place every meal. You have to have options.”
Once you decide to order — and be patient: there was a line that went out to the hallway on a Monday afternoon — good luck choosing.
On your first visit, you have to get a crepe. If it’s breakfast you’re looking for, you can go simple with just bacon or sausage with eggs and cheese ($7,95); spend a few more bucks for a steak and eggs crepe ($10.95) with red onion; go traditional with lox ($11.95), smoked salmon, red onion, spinach and cream cheese; or get creative with the Monsieur ($7.95) featuring Gruyere cheese, black forest ham, egg and mustard sauce, or the Greek-inspired El Greco ($6.95) with spinach, feta and tomato.
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Hungry for something more savory? La Petite Creperie has you covered with the Clubbin’ ($8.95), grilled chicken, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and a great chipotle aioli; the Somewhere in Philly ($8.95) with steak, caramelized onions and American cheese; the popular El Bandito ($8.95) with chicken, fresh spinach, Monterey Jack cheese and chipotle mayo; and Siganos’ favorite, the Capri ($7.95) with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and tomato pesto sauce.
But as you would expect, the main attraction is the sweet crepes ($7.95). The most popular are the Nutella with bananas, strawberries and whipped cream, and the Banana Foster with caramel sauce, wet walnuts and whipped cream, but how can you not try the Tiramisu with tiramisu cream, lady fingers, cacao chocolate sauce and whipped cream, or my favorite, the Dulce de Leche with caramel sauce, dulce de leche chocolate sauce and whipped cream. The cannoli with cannoli cream, chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and whipped cream also sounds amazing.
The fluffy, hot waffles are just as appealing as the crepes, especially when you can pair them with ice cream. And although Siganos is known for his gelatos at some of his other locations, La Petite Creperie is offering some of the best-tasting, richest, creamiest ice cream you will ever have.
“It is from High Road Ice Cream in Georgia,” he says. “It has a very high butterfat content, and they make everything that goes in the ice cream from scratch right there, like the brownies and the cookies inside the ice cream. That’s pretty unheard of. It’s luxury ice cream. And you can’t find it anywhere else around here. We tried so many, but this was the best. And I only want to offer the best.”
Sure, you can get a waffle with just syrup and butter for $5.50, or with mixed berries and whipped cream for $7.50, but why not take the plunge and add a scoop of ice cream for just 3 bucks. When you consider some of the flavors (like peanut butter chocolate, chocolate chip, cookies and cream, caramel pecan, bourbon burnt sugar and, Siganos’ favorite — cherry almond chip), it’s a no-brainer.
Siganos gives credit for opening the creperie to Tropicana President and CEO Tony Rodio.
“Tony always wanted to have something like this here, and we made his wish come true,” Siganos says. “And it’s exceeding expectations. He knew the potential was there, and he was right. It is one of the strongest openings we ever had.”
Siganos says La Petite Creperie works well because it has all of the elements of success.
“It’s like a show,” Siganos says. “When you see all of our staff in the window making these beautiful crepes, how can you not stop and try one? And then when you try it and you taste it and savor it, you keep coming back. No one else does what we do. We are unique.”