From designing and producing special events for the Hollywood elite, to creating crepes with flair in Royal Oak, Paul Jenkins will now bring his impresario talents to Birmingham with the opening of his second what crêpe? restaurant on Old Woodward Avenue.
Voted as having the best French cuisine by Hour Magazine in 2010, what crêpe? is far from stuffy, Jenkins said.
“We are a casual gourmet Euro-intimate destination,” Jenkins said. “All of our foods are made from scratch. That puts us in the gourmet category. But by making it casual, we lose the pretentiousness.”
what crêpe? will open in the former 's location, 172 N. Old Woodward, which closed earlier this year. The expected grand opening is November.
A quick glance at the menu reveals simple ingredients combined to make fanciful creations. Selections for build-your-own crepes include vegan items such as tofu and English cucumber, as well as salmon and turkey. There are several sauces to choose from, including Hollandaise and orange jalapeno.
If you’re not feeling too creative, the menu at what crêpe? makes it easy as well, with offerings like seared tofu, wild mushroom, spinach and truffle zip sauce crepe or the pan-seared ribeye, red onions, spinach, tomato sour cream and spinach crepe.
“For our Birmingham location, we will have a few signature items like spicy shrimp, some new and different products and different specials that will give Birmingham a flavor of its own," Jenkins said.
“You can tell the ingredients are fresh and the dishes handcrafted,” said Danielle Frazer, dining at the , 317 S. Washington, with cousin Jenny Nugent from Grand Rapids. Frazer said she’s been dining at what crepe? for a year. “This is a great place to come,” Frazer said. “I just know I’m not going to be disappointed.”
Jenkins began his restaurnt work at the Black Pearl in Ann Arbor, a seafood and martini bar owned by his family. With a showman's skill, Jenkins took over the day-to-day duties of the Black Pearl for six months in 2008 before opening the first what crêpe? in Royal Oak in 2009.