La Crepe en Haut has crafted fine French and Nouvelle cuisine for more than three decades. Customer's senses pique upon entry into La Crepe's elegant dining room, enveloped in warm lighting, lunar-dust-lined walls, and rich green accents, before being greeted by a menu of entrees made from fresh meats and seafood in a variety of traditional French preparations. Vichyssoise, a cold potato and leak soup ($8.50), sets the stage for the main event of blackened fillet with blue cheese and cabernet glaze ($36.95), or canard à l'orange or au poivre rouge, a roasted duckling bathed in orange sauce or peppercorn brandy ($29.95). La Crepe en Haut slakes fermented thirst with an extensive wine list, which doubles as a yearbook for varietals graduating this year.
Sweet Marlays' Coffee takes its moniker from the middle name that owner Tammy Kozinski shares with her four daughters and granddaughter. Visitors find members of the family hard at work behind the counter, brewing up coffee from hand-selected beans and baking delicious pastries and desserts. Guests sip coffee drinks spiked with Ghirardelli chocolate and butter pecan, or Irish cream and English toffee, pairing cups with homemade pastries, desserts, bagels, turkey-pesto paninis, and flaky-crust spinach pies.
At Ivy Lane Bistro, chefs blend international recipes into a uniquely American menu. At breakfast, they design daily quiches, crust french toast with Frosted Flakes, scoop mascarpone into crepes, and customize eggs benedicts to order. At lunch and dinner, they draw from European and Asian culinary styles to layer flatbreads with duck and hoisin sauce, hand cut 8-ounce fillets, and roll up lasagna noodles with prosciutto and ricotta. The aromas of their simmering and baking fill the café-like space, bouncing off the chalkboards on the bright-red walls and wafting out to greet guests dining alfresco on the historic brick-paved sidewalks. These aromas join the complex bouquets of wines from North and South America, Europe, and New Zealand and mingle with music during evenings with local musicians, Sunday jazz brunches, and Whistle-to-Yourself Wednesdays.
Café Rouge sprinkles worldly charm all over its selection of salads, sandwiches, and house-made entrees. Culinary concoctions, such as a warm poached egg and crispy bacon salad ($9) and olive-oil-baked garlic and chili shrimp ($10), prepare flavor savorers for main dishes, including crispy salmon on sautéed asparagus with lemon and tarragon mayonnaise ($17), and shrimp and scallops over honey Sriracha fettuccine ($17). Just like the young substitute French teacher, Café Rouge is upscale and European, but at the same time, laid-back and soothing.