There's always a flurry of action behind the counter at Cr?pes C?lestes. That's because the chefs don't hide behind kitchen doors. Rather, they showcase their crepe-flipping, sauce-spreading, and egg-cracking skills directly in front of customers. They create a range of internationally inspired cr?pes, whether it's a simple version with cane sugar, butter, and lemon juice or a decadent dessert layered with Nutella, coconut, bananas, and a splash of Bailey's. For a special treat, they can even add scoops of ice cream that melt over the still-warm batter.
They don't just fill their cr?pes with sweet ingredients, however. They also create a full roster of savory cr?pes influenced by different world cuisines, from saut?ed vegetables in a spicy chipotle sauce to pesto chicken with red peppers. But whether they're whipping up a sweet or savory concoction, the chefs customize the batter with gluten-free flour on weekends to accommodate food allergies. Additionally, gluten-free macarons are available daily in a variety of flavors.
The peanut-butter slathered sandwiches at the Peanut Butter Blues Cafe happily swim in a sea of thirst quenchers and open-mic sound waves. Nutty connoisseurs can expand their palates with sandwiches including the Junglicious, which partners peanut butter with honey, cinnamon, and fresh bananas ($5), or the Guitar Hero, a concoction of peanut butter, wild honey, and blackberry jam ($5). The café also outputs heftier sandwiches, such as the Smoked Salmon BLT ($9) and the Hungry Man From Siberia, comprised of meat dumplings, mushrooms, sour cream, and dill ($10). For liquid fuel, open-mic enthusiasts can snag steamy espressos ($2), chilled orange-chocolate shakes ($5), or the too-cool-for-simple PB Blues house shake, which unites bananas, peanut butter, chocolate, and walnuts ($6).
At Bing?s Burgers, cooks focus their grilling talents into crafting flavors not found at a typical drive-thru joint. While diners at the newly opened Fort Lee location can indulge in four types of slider and Bing's own beer-battered fish and chips, the menu centers around a lineup of burgers topped with combinations of unique ingredients. The Cali Burger sports a dollop of fresh, homemade guacamole and low-fat ranch dressing, and Bing's Signature Burger layers sauteed onions, gouda, and garlic aioli while also signing for incoming shipments.
A teapot dangles from the ceiling, poised to pour tea into the three cups waiting beneath it. It's not a quirky new way to enjoy tea, but a light fixture in the homey space at Harmony Tea House.
Eccentric, yet charming, with mismatched chairs and tableware, teatime here is reminiscent of an afternoon spent in a cozy home, which is likely why the readers of Bergen Health & Life magazine named it Best Tea House 2013. Fragrant pots of tea in 23 loose-leaf varieties accompany just-baked scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets during tea time, which may also include servings of the two seasonal soups and salads offered every day.
In addition to traditional afternoon tea, Harmony Tea Room hosts events such as Mommy and Me teas and brunch every third Sunday of the month. And of course, it's a relaxing setting for baby showers, book clubs, and birthday parties for stuffed animals dressed in their finest tutus.
Nestled inside a Victorian home, Blooming Hearts Treasure Shop, a winner of Bergen Health & Life magazine's 2012 Readers' Choice Award for Best Gift Shop, tempts the quaint and the whimsical with shelves and cases full of heart- and flower-themed gifts for women, children, and the home. A kaleidoscope of color and cornucopia of scents, it offers handmade and wearable art and accessories, as well as indulgent bath and body products and garden tools. To put a finishing touch on each gift, the staff offers free giftwrapping, and the shop's tables and vividly colored play space for kids welcome guests to linger, relax, and enjoy the scenery.
Tazza Café's baristas serve a lively selection of handcrafted coffee drinks alongside light lunch fare and pastries that are baked fresh in-house. Express your support for the international caffeinated beverage of your choice, choosing from the Americano, cappuccino, and café au lait ($3.25+), or remain deliciously neutral with a steamy Belgian sipping chocolate. A refreshing iced tea ($2.25+) staves off summer's sweltering advances and a frozen hot chocolate ($4.35) bombards unsuspecting mouths with the oxymoronic warmth of an unlighted stove. Alternate caffeinated sips with fluffy mouthfuls of freshly baked treats, including scones, croissants, and jumbo muffins, available in flavors such as pistachio-walnut and cappuccino ($2.75).