Cari Taylor-Carlson

Seven Swans Creperie Is So Lovely

Cozy, artsy atmosphere, and savory and sweet crepes that are delicious.

By - Jul 27th, 2023 04:34 pm
Seven Swans Creperie. Photo taken June 1, 2023 by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

Seven Swans Creperie. Photo by Cari Taylor-Carlson.

At Seven Swans Creperie in Riverwest, they serve sweet and savory crepes four days a week in two cozy rooms that have been transformed, from a longtime Riverwest bar and restaurant, into a cozy, colorful, light-filled space. Dino, the original owner of the establishment who was usually found behind the bar, would not recognize his place with its mismatched chairs and delightful patchwork wall covered with squares of wallpaper in multiple colors and designs.

In a conversation with the owner, Kate Bryan, I learned that she collaborated with Fred Kaems, a local mural artist to create the wall. Bryan had collected old rolls of wallpaper which Kaems, using his artist’s eye, placed on the wall. If you look carefully, you will see that the organization of designs and colors in the wallpaper are not random. It was carefully curated to create a delightful wall of art in this inviting room.

In this happy place, you order and pay at the counter. Plan to use your credit card; they do not accept cash. After you order, a server will bring your food as soon as it is ready, which guarantees your crepe did not wilt under a heat lamp.

After two recent lunches with friends, I have sampled all but one of the savory crepes and found each crepe had its own unique flavor combinations. Our lunches received unanimous and unqualified praise, starting with the presentation on a variety of old-fashioned plates that looked like they were partnered with the mis-matched chairs and quilt-like wallpaper. If we eat with our eyes and you order the crepe named Italy, then you are on the path to the clean plate club at Seven Swans. It was artfully presented and decorated with cherry tomatoes, basil, and balsamic, while inside there was pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. It was like a Margarita pizza with pesto and it was delicious.

For her Goodfellas crepe, my companion requested her sunny-side-up egg on the side instead of layered on top of her crepe. She was presented with the perfect egg on a warm plate. The Goodfellas included six hefty bacon slices, melted cheddar, and for contrast, strawberry preserves. Bacon, Cheese, and strawberry are not a common combo, but the overall flavors were umami-rich, salty, sweet, and buttery.

The presentation of the Bruncher was equally impressive with pickled red onions and sprouts on the plate suggesting something delicious would be revealed inside the crepe. And so it was. This was a meal-and-a-half thanks to the combination of tender smoked salmon, dill-flavored cream cheese, and arugula. When the generous filling met the pickled red onions and the sprouts, magic happened. Damn, it was good!

If you want it all in your crepe, order the Farmer’s Market, an overstuffed delight with cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Top that with a sunny-side-up egg and you have breakfast and lunch, a feast for a hearty eater. By contrast, my Frenchie was basic, caramelized onions and gruyere, but the abundance of both made this a filling meal.

You can satisfy your sweet tooth with one of several choices including the Paris: Nutella, strawberries, and bananas topped with whipped cream. Or the Clean: lavender lemon curd topped with whipped cream, berries, and candied lemon. But my dream choice is the Campfire: marshmallows, chocolate ganache, and house made grahams and once again, topped with whipped cream.

Instead of going all out with a sweet crepe, you can balance the savory with less elaborate desserts: rosemary tart, lavender shortbread, or a brownie which you might confuse with flourless chocolate cake because it was that rich and decadent.

We also enjoyed the drink selection, especially the Lemonade made with real lemons, the Blueberry Mint Sparkling Soda, and my favorite, the Fresh Mint Sparkling Soda. There are also multi espresso choices including Chai Latte and Matcha Latte. All the drinks may be prepared with almond or oat milk for people who are lactose-intolerant, or not.

Both times friends and I visited Seven Swans, we were delighted to note the restaurant was filled with customers. Whether you come from Riverwest or River Hills, you will fit in here. This is a fine addition to the Riverwest neighborhood, something new and different with a welcoming vibe and beautiful food.

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Categories: Dining, Food & Drink, Review

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