The crêpe divide

A review for fans and foes alike.

"YOU'VE NEVER BEEN to 611 Supreme?" marveled a neighborhood habitu頯f the three-year-old cr갥rie on Pine. "You're going to 611 Supreme?" asked a naysayer, equally incredulous. Some people love this place; some people don't. Having now made two visits, and being a Libra, I can understand both sides. To preempt furious missives, I've written a review for each. Simply select your predisposition and follow along, nodding vigorously, shouting "Amen!" and composing in your head a letter to the editor of rapt and reverent agreement. 611 Supreme

611 E Pine, 328-0292

Tue-Thu 8am-11pm; Fri 8am-midnight; Sat 9am-3pm, 5-midnight; Sun 9am-3pm, 5-11

V; wine and beer Review for People Who Love 611 Supreme Used to be it was Belltown that felt like Soho. Now it's increasingly the Pike/Pine corridor of Capitol Hill, with bohemian haunts like the one at 611 Pine. For French-press coffee in the morning or a candlelit dinner at night, it fires on every atmo cylinder: faux-groovy paint on the walls in warm tones of honey and russet, plank wood floors, a couch inviting coffee-klatchers, and just enough exposed brick for artistic legitimacy. Best, just inside the exposed kitchen stands a man pouring cr갥 batter over a hot griddle, lending the place a strong hit of Left Bank. It's simply a charming place to be. And they give you ample opportunity to be there: 611 Supreme is open most of the time. Except for Mondays, when it's closed all day, a body could visit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if she felt so inclined. She probably wouldn't, given that 611 Supreme is, with a couple of exceptions, all cr갥s, all the time—but she could. And here is what might keep her coming back: A cr갥 filled with saut饤 baby shrimp, tomato coulis, and herb butter ($8.95) is nice, savory and light, and livened with more pepper than you might expect. Part of what is so beguiling about dinner cr갥s is their interplay of savory filling and sweet pastry, and 611's pastry, made with sturdy buckwheat flour, is delicious. The cr갥s are served beautifully, folded over in halves or fourths and dusted or drizzled with toppings. The aforementioned shrimp cr갥 wears a light white wine sauce that plays well off the filling's flavors. Another, filled with smoked salmon, goat cheese, scallions, and herb butter ($9.25), also harmonizes well; its topping is cr譥 frae. One of many cr갥s a vegetarian could order, the Aubergine ($8.25), features eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and basil all chopped into a zingy dice. Better by a mile, however, are the sweet dessert cr갥s fashioned of plain, as opposed to buckwheat, batter. One is filled with dense chocolate mousse and bedecked with chocolate shavings, toasted almonds, and espresso-flavored whipped cream ($6.25). Another features the French chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella, with vanilla ice cream and more of that espresso chantilly on top ($5.50); the Paris expat who ordered this had to be restrained from licking his plate. The Sucre cr갥 ($3.25), spread with diner's choice of honey, maple syrup, or raspberry jam and drizzled with cr譥 frae, is simple and fine. Best, in my experience, is the pomme nord ($5.50), in which al dente apples, beautifully caramelized with sugar and cinnamon, fill a cr갥 topped with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream and more of that espresso whipped cream. As for service, it's like a dessert cr갥: sweet. On our visits, our waiters further scored by telling us what the specials were, along with their prices, before we ordered our dinners; a practice that, for some unfathomable reason, is rare in this town. Review for People Who Don't Like 611 Supreme Maybe the woman who answered the phone had just found out her cat was dying. "Like I said, we're open every day but Monday!" she barked, in non-answer to what I considered a reasonably unthreatening query about dinner hours that night. This is just to say that service at 611 Supreme isn't always as sweet as its dessert cr갥s. Sometimes it's as tough as the little French bread caps atop its French onion soup. More on that later. But mostly, God love them, the folks here are just their own brand of clueless. When we ordered hard cider to go with our cr갥s, the dear boy presented us with a big bottle of beer, and we had to point out the difference. When we ordered the day's special salad—walnuts, Stilton, apples, and greens in a hazelnut vinaigrette ($4/$6.50)—it came completely bereft of apples. (For flavor, they also should have toasted the walnuts, but maybe that's just picky.) So they're not the world's brightest bulbs . . . isn't all forgiven in the face of a good plate of dinner? Ah, would that we could have found out! The first disappointment arrived with the French onion soup ($3/$4.75), which featured hard, old bread and cheese that had absorbed a burnt flavor from whatever flame had been used to gild it. We ordered it on two successive visits just to give them a chance to improve; they didn't. More disappointing were the dinner cr갥s. As mentioned before, the flavor of the pastry was delicious; the texture, however, was off. Nicely lacy around the edges, the cr갥s lost their delicacy in the center, where they tended toward gummy and thick. Similarly, some of the fillings that tasted so nice—I'm thinking now of the shrimp and the smoked salmon—were in desperate need of more moisture; both could have used another ladle or two or three of sauce. One dinner cr갥—a daily special, of all things—failed even the flavor test. A saut頯f prosciutto, shiitakes, spinach, and white beans in an herby wine-butter sauce ($10.50) should have been delicious—doesn't it sound delicious?—but just wasn't, owing to a nondescript sauce that did nothing to showcase or marry the flavors. Dessert was infinitely better. One carp: A diner should probably be told when espresso in any form will be showing up in a dish, as it did—oddly, if you ask me—in the whipped cream atop my apple cr갥. SO THERE YOU HAVE this critic's two reviews. Forced to synthesize, I offer this: If you come to 611 Supreme, come for dessert and a dose of ambiance. Edith Piaf sounds just right in here. In the words of one particularly insightful companion, 611 Supreme is a great place for dinner. As long as you skip the dinner.

 
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