Survivor: Season 37.Posted: April 4, 2009
In this scary day and age when one walks into long-popular restaurants to find them 20% full, setting off sirens of doom in the head (and when one hears about businesses of all types which have weathered everything, including the Great Depression, now giving up the ghost), we should make note of places that are still, despite the odds, packing them in instead of packing it in. Last night after a movie at the local indieplex (Sunshine Cleaning — good flick, and one of the rare films these days not starring Kate Winslet), we crossed the street to a restaurant in Chicago called La Creperie. French, good wine and cheese, pates, escargot, and, of course, crepes. We went to this place frequently in the seventies, and have again become semi-regulars after a taking a two-and-a-half decade hiatus. It is absolutely unchanged since its opening in 1972. When we arrived, around 8:30, both the front and back rooms were filled to capacity, except for one table that happened to be a two-top, so luckily we could be seated right away. The restaurant remained full of happy wine-drinking, snail-eating patrons the whole time we were there, and when we left between 9:30 and 10, it was busier than before — now it was standing room only, with a crowd at the bar and small vestibule waiting for tables.
The snails were wonderful, fresh-tasting, bathing in garlicky goodness. The crepes were good as always. The wine was lovely. The continued success of La Creperie may have a lot to do with the fact that a twosome can dine in reasonable sophistication, have a cup of bisque, some snails or a salad after that, entrees, and a couple of glasses of good wine — and still get out of there for under a C-note, tax and 20% tip included.
Another reason might be it’s still owned and run by the couple who opened it in 72, when crepes were all the thing. (Can anyone say “Magic Pan”?) She’s from Joliet, he’s from France. Their story can be found by scrolling down a little here.