The other night my daughter and I decided to try something new for Mommy/daughter night out and were downtown, so we thought we would hit Left Bank. I have read a few things about it and knew they had crepes, which always intrigues me. It is a little café right on the canal at Michigan and Indiana.
Left Bank is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner I believe, and my guess from our visit is that dinner is not their big money maker because we were the only ones in there. A couple of people stopped in for coffee or a pastry, but no one else sat down the whole time we were there. It was quite chilly the night we ate here, so we opted to sit inside which is very small and simple—my guess is the real appeal is sitting out along the canal during nice weather. They have a lovely outdoor seating area with quite a bit of seating.
I ordered the apple and leek crepe with walnuts, clover honey and a gorgonzola cream sauce that was served on the side. I also ordered a cup of French onion soup because it was so cold outside! The soup came out first and was extremely hot. Once it cooled down a bit, I enjoyed it. It was chock full of onions in the classic broth and had a round of toast and cheese on top, in classic French onion soup style. I liked the cheesy bread—it was nice and melty and tasted good with the rich beefy broth.
While I enjoyed the soup, I was let down with the crepe. I thought the flavor combination sounded quite intriguing because it was unique and because I love fruit with blue cheese. And of course, I am always a fan of leeks. The crepe looked like it had some buckwheat flour in it (it wasn’t totally white) which I generally like, but honestly, the crepe was so stuffed with the ingredients, you couldn’t even taste the crepe much. This is an example of the type of crepes I don’t like, and why I don’t order them very often. I like to be able to really taste the flavor of the crepe itself and have much less of the ingredients inside—I like them to be almost flat, and this one was as fat as a giant burrito. And while I liked all the ingredients in it, there was just too much of them. The gorgonzola cream sauce was nice, but could have used a little more of the blue cheese flavor in it to make it really stand out against the sweetness of the fruit. There was also a side of very cold pasta salad that didn't really excite me, particularly with how cold it was outside. It had a pesto-ish flavor once it warmed up a bit.
Our server was quite friendly and joked around with my daughter (who had a grilled cheese with a lovely fruit salad on the side) and was literally, right there when we needed something (remember, there was no one else there). However, at one point, my daughter came and whispered in my ear, “Mommy, this place is kind of slow!” And she was right. It took quite a long time to get our food. I am pretty sure there was only one person cooking in the kitchen, but really, with just two of us, I was surprised it took as long as it did.
I have seen a fair amount of press about this place, and most of it has been fairly positive—so of course I want to hear from you guys about it. And I am wondering if they get a decent crowd at lunchtime. Anyone else been there?
Left Bank Café
310 West Michigan Street