For Dominique Georgas, it’s been a long journey from her career in international business management to opening a crêperie in Simpsonville last September. The Casablanca-born French woman landed in South Carolina in 1994 to attend business school at Winthrop, where she earned a bachelor’s in management, as well as an MBA.
After college, she moved to the Greenville area to work with Faurecia, where she met her husband. In 2006, his job transferred them across the country to Silicon Valley in California. When they moved back to South Carolina six years later, Dominique started considering a calling outside the corporate world in order to spend more time with her two daughters.
Discovering several crêpe restaurants had popped up in her absence planted the idea. So, she purchased a small building in the center of Simpsonville and transformed it into a cozy 32-seat dining space. Bordered by a petite back patio where dogs are welcome, the crêperie is furnished with French bistro chairs and turquoise tables. “I wanted to share something,” she says. “I think of this place as my gift to the community.”
When Georgas says “authentique,” she’s not kidding. Before opening, the fledgling restaurateur traveled to Brittany to study crêpe-making. Three French billigs, traditional cast-steel griddles used to make crêpes in France, form the centerpiece of her self-designed kitchen. You’ll find no ketchup here, nor iced tea. “Those things aren’t part of my vision,” Dominique insists. “I want to provide an authentic French crêperie experience.” Accordingly, she offers French wine, beer, and hard cider, the pairing of choice in Brittany, a region hailed for both its crêpes and dry cider.
In her lilting French accent, Georgas tells me she strives for taste, crispiness, and color in her galettes, the moniker for savory crêpes. To produce paper-thin galettes and dessert crêpes, she uses a small wooden rake-like rozelle to spread the batter across the piping-hot billig.
Gluten-free buckwheat flour gives the galettes an earthy, nutty flavor, enhanced by fillings like mushrooms, Brie, and duck prosciutto. Her galettes and crêpes appear in lightly browned squares on the plate. When people ask why her crêpes aren’t served in triangles, as they do elsewhere, Georgas explains that the triangular shape is used in France for street crêpes, wrapped in paper and sold from walk-up windows for easy eating on the go. Her restaurant, she cautions, is not the place for fast food.
According to Georgas, the secret to making the perfect crêpe is putting love in it. “I don’t use a machine to mix the batter, I whisk it by hand,” she states. “You need to have good ingredients and you have to put heart in it. A good crêpe is a chef d’hoeuvre.”
Authentique French Crêperie, 107 W Curtis St, Simpsonville, SC. (864) 757-8559; open Thurs–Sun, 9:30am–1:30pm; Fri–Sat, 5:30–9pm