이태원 (Itaewon) is know as one of the most heavily expat populated areas in Seoul. As such, it is also home to some pretty amazing eating establishments. If you’re looking to find a wide range of diverse and authentic restaurants, this is the place to be. Although I don’t visit Itaewon often, it seems like every time I do drop by there is a new restaurant to try. This time around, I stopped by a recently opened French restaurant.
P’tit Paris is a lovely little restaurant that specializes in French crepes. It’s located off the main restaurant congested road in 이태원 (Itaewon). The interior features a lovely color combination of golden yellow and cranberry red, trimmed in black. The dimly lit room holds only six tables, giving the restaurant a casual and intimate ambiance. Each table is draped with white and red tablecloths and topped with an Eiffel Tower candle holder. The overall look is clean and simple with a hint of romantic charm.
On this particular visit, I had the pleasure of meeting the charming Chef Elena Song. Originally from Russia, Chef Song has always had a deep passion for the culinary arts. Having been trained by both Korean and French Chefs, she is always striving to use any newly acquired skills to improve her cooking and expand her creativity. She likes to draw inspiration from food of every culture in hopes of creating unique dishes that will appeal to everyones tastes. Currently, she is working on original dishes to add to menu and explained to me that many of her “ideas come suddenly. Out of air.” Although her unique ideas do come suddenly, they can take weeks to refine and perfect. While our conversation was pleasant, she assured me that “cooking is a very serious job” and invited me into her kitchen to watch her creative process.
Having no clue what to order, I entrusted my meal choice entirely to Chef Song. So, she stared me off with the Spring Salad. The base of the salad consists of a hearty helping of savory smokey salmon topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, lima beans, red onion, string beans and mixed greens. The salad topping is marinated in a secret tangy sauce before being placed on top of the salmon, to help bring all the flavors together. Although it was “just” a salad… it was amazing! I could have never imagined this carefully selected veggie combination to have such a sensational flavor. It was almost too difficult to put down my fork.
For the main course, she prepared a savory crepe called “Poulet.” This dish consists of three different types of mushrooms and lightly seasoned chicken all prepared in a delicious cream sauce. A heaping serving of this mixed is then poured onto the center of a freshly prepared crepe, topped with shredded mozzarella and folded in. Finally it is topped with fresh green, cherry tomatoes and drizzled with a special sauce. Having never tried a savory crepe before, it was a delectable surprise that truly owed up to its title.
Finally it was time for dessert… the most anticipated dish (at least for me). Due to my not so secret love affair with nutella, Chef Song made me a delicious nutella crepe with fresh strawberries. Once again the crepe was cooked to perfection and slathered with hot nutella, which she prepared in a special way to hep bring out its rich flavor. Stuffed with fresh ripe strawberries, sprinkled with powdered and served with a dollop of whipped cream, it was sheer bliss to my tastebuds.
In addition to their signature crepes, they serve a variety of other appealing entrees that I wasn’t able to sink my teeth into because I was much too full. I can honestly say, however, that these crepes were phenomenal, not to mention filling. The price range is a bit on the higher side (₩6,000~₩14,000), but definitely worth your money. Their new menu, which will include many of the chef’s original dishes, is currently in the works With Chef Song hard at work, I can’t wait to see what other creative dishes will be awaiting me upon my next visit.