Le Beau Monde is a beautiful creperie located one block below South Street. Candles on each table flicker and reflect on the windows to create an intimate, romantic atmosphere. The most eye-catching part of Le Beau Monde’s interior are the stunning gold leaf panels illustrated with foliage that decorate the walls. Le Beau Monde is definitely the perfect place for date night.
My trip to Le Beau Monde, however, was girls’ night out with my mom and sister! We had come to the restaurant just for dessert, but decided to start off with two light appetizers. I’m really glad we did, because they were delicious! The Soup a l’oignon ($7.50), or French Onion Soup, was served with a piece of French toast and melted Ementhal cheese. I have had many renditions of this soup, and I’ve ironically found that usually the fancier the restaurant, the less I like the soup. Hence, my favorite French Onion Soup until this point had been Panera Bread’s version… but then I had Le Beau Monde’s!! Unlike most versions other French Onion Soups that I’ve had, Le Beau Monde’s was not greasy. The flavor was the perfect combination of sweet and smoky, the latter probably created by the cheese. It was reaaaaally good! The only complaint I had was that there was a bit too much cheese in the bottom of the bowl.
The Beau Monde Pizza ($11.50) was a buckwheat crepe topped with spinach, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, goat cheese and leeks. It was phenomenal!! The toppings, namely the tomato sauce, were incredibly flavorful. The leeks gave the pizza a touch of sweetness. I loved the innovative use of the crepe; I will definitely be making this pizza at home!
I recently claimed that the pizza at Jack-Tar in Marblehead was the best pizza I have ever had. This crepe pizza may top Jack-Tar’s, but it definitely isn’t substantive enough to have as a meal. It makes a great light snack and disappears from the plate very quickly!
And now for the dessert crepes! The menu offers house recommendations and the option to create your own sweet or savory crepe combinations. The sweet create-your-own menu includes ingredients such as chocolate and Nutella, fresh fruit and compotes, flavored butters and ice creams and sorbets. The base price is $2.75, and then each topping has its own price. All the sweet crepes are topped with a dollop of chantilly, or whipped cream. My mom, sister and I all ended up creating our own crepes.
My crepe was filled with baked pears, chocolate and caramel ($12.50). It was a variation of one of the house recommendations, which came with pears, chocolate and creme Anglaise (a sweet, vanilla cream). The crepe was both filled with the ingredients I chose, and garnished with them as well. The crepe was crispy on the edges.
The risk of ordering your own creation is that the ingredients you choose don’t work well together. My sister thought that my crepe tasted “confusing.” The chocolate was a bit bitter and the caramel didn’t help alleviate that like I thought it would. The crepe was still scrumptious, but there were definitely better crepes on our table.
My sister’s crepe was filled with strawberries, raspberries and creme Anglaise ($11). It was definitely the best crepe of the three we ordered. The crepe was a warm version of berries and cream, a classic British dessert made famous stateside by a hilarious Starbust commercial. The raspberry flavor was wonderful when combined with the creme Anglaise. I highly recommend this crepe combo!
My mom ordered a crepe filled with chestnut cream and brown sugar ($6.25). I had previously only had chestnut in a paste form in the popular Serbian dessert, kesten pire (chestnut puree). This chestnut cream was sweeter in comparison and had a runny consistency and woody flavor. It worked really well with the brown sugar.
Le Beau Monde is really a Philadelphian treasure. It’s a great place to go for a date, especially because above the creperie is L’Etage, a nightclub and cabaret venue. This means that you can enjoy a meal or dessert and then see a show! Check out L’Etage’s calendar for upcoming events.