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The art of the crepe: J’aime Les Crepes opens new shop on Madrone Lane
For hungry islanders, buying authentic European-style crepes is about to get a lot more convenient as J’aime Les Crepes prepares to open a Madrone Lane location this week.
Creperie owner Paul Pluska said that opening a second branch of the popular Kingston-based business on Bainbridge had long been an aspiration of his, but the locations available just hadn’t been right until now.
“Bainbridge Island has always been the most natural location for us,” he explained.
“We have, for the last 10 years, provided crepes with a mobile operation for many island events. Many regular customers have come to our Kingston creperie from Bainbridge. I finally found the perfect space for us at Madrone Lane, next to Mora Iced Creamery,” Pluska said.
J’aime Les Crepes has placed in the top three in Evening Magazine’s “Best Crepes Award” for the past five years, and came in second place last year. The creperie serves primarily traditional French-style buckwheat crepes with a variety of custom menu creations featuring either sweet or savory fillings.
Pluska is particularly proud of his shop’s batter, which he says is the essential basis for great crepes. He makes his in accordance with traditional European recipes he learned while traveling through the region as a musician.
“I was a drummer in the NATO band, playing mostly in small jazz groups and big band shows all over Europe,” he said. “While living there I had a lot of time and the opportunity to learn all about how the French operate a small creperie. I learned all that we do from small, family-run creperies in Paris and throughout Brittany [and] Normandy. Many of these families helped me with equipment, recipes and advice. Our savory batter is just what you would find in many typical creperies in the Brittany [and] Normandy regions of France.”
Even the new location on Madrone Lane, Pluska said, emulates the style of a European bistro.
“The road being closed off is what really appealed to me,” he explained. “Having lived in Europe for many years, and being in towns where no cars [are] allowed, I clearly saw that the road being closed would be a huge plus for pedestrian traffic.”
The new shop is located at 143 Madrone Lane, next to Mora Iced Creamery.
“We are all very excited,” Pluska said of his staff and himself. “It is going to be a great little spot - a real, crepes-only, dedicated creperie on Bainbridge.”