As I’m sure lots of you have noticed, Tracy and I have been trading off Kuisine Korner this semester as an experiment to see how column splitting works. What that means is to all the HATERS you can consider yourselves DABBED on, I’ll still be here every other week. More importantly, given that we live in two towns right next to each other, we thought we would take this time to explore our respective neighborhoods – bringing me to Kraverie, right off Marin Boulevard, in downtown Jersey City.
If you go to Bwè or Elysian Café and consider yourself a cosmopolitan city person, prepare for a master class in hipster cred; Kraverie might be one of the hippest places in our area. A Korean fusion restaurant specializing in sweet and savory crepes, Kraverie is a rare find for a downtown scene dominated by classic American cuisine and popular Asian trends. While they close woefully early even on the weekend (Kitchen closes at 9:30pm!), and the locale itself is small enough to make even a party of two feel tight, the small space feels more intimate than cramped with its warm lighting, charming décor, and wood floors. Needless to say, the servers are also attentive without being overbearing.
After showing up maybe half an hour before the kitchen closed, my friend and I were lucky enough to get a table that had just opened up. Looking at the menu, the place catered to a wide palate, having truly unique dishes that make two pages of menu into an extended bucket list that demands multiple visits. Each dish could also be ordered with one of five different meats or vegetarian, making Kraverie an excellent place to go if you or your friends have dietary restrictions. On top of that, the prices were way more affordable than I had thought given we were in downtown Jersey City, to the point I thought we were guaranteed to get ripped off with a small plate. Fortunately, I was very wrong!
Since Kraverie is known for its crepes, how could I order anything but a crepe? Going big, I went with the Korean Crepe, a signature, filled with spicy pork, Monterey Jack, mushrooms, onions, and sour crème all served in a scallion kimchi garlic crepe along with house fries. Needless to say, I was blown away. As the child of Europeans, it was a delight to try such classic flavors and motifs touched by the zings and spices of Korea, launching the typically heavy, savory fulfillment of European style pork into the stratosphere with unique sour notes, heat, and astringency. My friend, who had the Jap Chae Noodles, was similarly blown away. The combination of glass noodles with a stir fry approach to vegetables like…spinach made for a dish that left them speechless and only able to describe it as “Yum!!!”.
Kraverie is a cheap, intimate restaurant that deserves to be experienced. Few restaurants can claim to have successfully innovated as well as they have, and the results are served to you on massive plates with wonderful sides. While it might seem far, the Light Rail and scenic downtown make it so you won’t even notice the trip. Come here for a nice night out when your pocket book is hurting, or when you’re feeling adventurous but don’t want to go to the city. I recommend it.