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First Look: Minou

Cafe Chloe owners opening creperie and event space in East Village


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Cafe Chloe has been one of the city’s most charming bistros since opening in 2004, my go-to suggestion for anyone who wants to make a pass at their dinner date or stoke a long-term romance with a renewed flame. They simply know how to create and maintain the kind of Frenchified room that feels like you’re eating in some sort of period oil painting. And now longtime owners Alison McGrath and Jon Clute, along with new partners Jerry and Chrissy Reynolds, are opening their newest charmer a couple blocks away (721 8th Ave., at 8th and G Streets), called Minou.

McGrath credits the Reynolds for most of the design work on the new space—Jerry’s a professional theater set designer, while Chrissy brings back art and antiques from their annual trips to France.

So, unsurprisingly, Minou, a gluten-free creperie and event space, feels like an authentic bistro/living room just off some rue in Brittany with old stuff and books and a fireplace and emotions and feelings and romance. For the menu, Chloe chef Theo Dimitriou has created sweet and savory crepes, filled with housemade jams and chutneys. On the sweet side, expect fillings like honey-lemon-butter, rose syrup, a classic Nutella, and Dimitrou’s housemade ice creams. For savory, they’ll serve braised short rib crepes, prosciutto and ricotta crepes, gravlax crepes, ratatouille crepes, you name it. They’ll also have a French Onion soup, composed salads, and an espresso/coffee program.

Diners can order at a to-go window and walk the streets with their dainty almost-pancakes, or take a seat in their dining room that fits about 30 in packed, European style. Part of the room will be a small retail section designed after French flea markets, selling books and antiques that the Reynolds find in France, as well as Minou’s jams and chutneys.

Minou is set to debut in late September, and will be open 8am to 4pm. They’ll also be renting the room out for events.

Enough talk. Take a gander at the first known photos of East Village's new hangout.

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