Nearly 15 years ago, Chuck Silverston was vacationing in Paris with his brothers when he experienced his first taste of the city’s famous street food—crepes. Silverston had an immediate predilection for the simple, traditional French fare. A plate of fresh crepes dished out by a street vendor in a flamboyant food truck inspired Silverston to bring a taste of France back home with him to Boston.
Silverston opened up his restaurant—The Paris Creperie—just over 10 years ago in Brookline’s historic neighborhood of Coolidge Corner. The quaint cafe has become a staple in the area, offering various crepes as well as coffee, smoothies, and Nutella chocolate drinks.
“Our product and branding have improved ten-fold since we moved to Coolidge Corner,” said Nick Mallia, the catering and events manager of The Paris Creperie. Mallia has been working at the restaurant for 11 years, and represents all of the operations that happen outside of the front door—from catering to corporate clients, lunches, dinners, parties, and other local gatherings.
The small cafe is tucked in an intimate space on Harvard St., offering a traditional Paris setting. The jam-packed restaurant gives customers the ability to see the young staff work in an open kitchen. Behind them, the creperie prominently features two clocks—one providing the local time, the other set six hours ahead to Paris time. The large menu, which spans the front of the cafe, is written in red, blue, and white—the colors of the French flag.
The creperie offers a wide variety of crepes—ranging from breakfast options, to savory dinner choices, to sweet sugary crepes. One of the most popular dishes is The Storming of the Basil, which is an oregano-infused crepe with chicken, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, and pesto sauce, referencing the famous Storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. Some of the sweeter options are filled with treats like fresh fruit toppings, dulce de leche, S’mores, and Nutella. The restaurant also has gluten-free crepes, as well as a “You Be the Chef” option, where customers can select a combination of cheeses, meats, vegetables, and infusions to make their own crepe.
“We changed our menu entirely six months ago,” Mallia said. “Each quarter, we take our sales reports and we switch out some options on the menu, looking to keep offering new and improved options.”
Throughout October, The Paris Creperie is presenting a special, known as the Don Creper. The crepe includes grilled green peppers, caramelized onions, and sliced roast beef, all under a layer of melted provolone cheese, finished off with a chipotle aioli.
The restaurant’s latest project has been to create New England’s first crepe truck, aptly titled “la Tour Eiffel.” The bright pink truck resembles the traditional street vendor Silverston discovered years ago on the streets of Paris. Offering a smaller, but unique selection of savory and sweet crepes, the truck serves customers across Boston and Brookline, as well as privately catered events. “Kale ‘n It” is one of the truck’s most popular dishes, which includes kale, chicken, parmesan cheese, and lemon poppy-seed aioli.
“While I’ve been operating the food truck, ‘The Speculoos’ has been a major hit,” Mallia said. “When I had it last, it tasted exactly like the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls I used to have for breakfast when I was a kid. It was impeccable.”
The Coolidge Corner neighborhood has grown over the past 10 years to include various coffee shops, pharmacies, bookstores, restaurants, a renovated movie theater, as well as an influx of major banks. Visitors are now able to turn a quick trip into a full day spent at Coolidge Corner. With the increased business, the neighborhood has become a prime destination for college students—with easy access off the main bus route stop and the MBTA train system.
“We mostly have a lot of college students working here, based on the culture of the neighborhood,” Mallia said. “A lot of college-aged students will come in throughout the day and say hello to people, and grab a cup of coffee and some crepes before heading over to see a movie.”
Based on the current success of the creperie, Mallia expects the restaurant to expand into the space next door within the next five years in order to increase its visibility and capacity that is currently tapped out nearly every weekend. The company is expanding its menu to offer a beverage program that will feature wine and cider, as well as other traditional French items.
“We are also hoping to expand to another location, similar to Coolidge Corner,” Mallia said. “Finding one that has a theatre, main street, and MBTA accessibility with a great college population like we have now is going to be hard find. All we can hope for is to keep serving our crepes to as many people as possible.”
Featured Image by Joseph Castlen / Heights Editor