Astoria eatery pairs sweet & savory on menu

By Sarina Trangle

Yogurt La Crepe opened its doors in Astoria just in time for the heat wave ushered in by the summer solstice.

Salvatore Fragale, 33, said the crowds have been filing into his 29-02 Ditmars Blvd. shop since it opened about a month ago, but the frozen yogurt has been dished up constantly since the temperatures spiked last week.

The Westchester County resident said he was inspired to open a second outpost of his Tarrytown, N.Y., shop while noticing hallmarks of Astoria’s European culture when visiting a friend in the neighborhood last year.

Fragale, the first member of his Sicilian family born in the United States, said he thought the European flavor of Yogurt La Crepe’s Greek Frappe coffee and prosciutto and mozzarella crepes would jibe well on Ditmars Boulevard.

“There were a lot of cafés. When I was walking in the street, I heard a lot of different languages,” he said.

After a dozen years running diners and other food venues, Fragale decided to focus on “delicacies” by offering a smaller selection with better quality.

Health was also a priority when compiling the menu that debuted in his Tarrytown shop 2 1/2 years ago.

“I wanted to get into frozen yogurt, but to pair it with something healthy,” he said, ticking off the alternatives he considered when seeking to imitate the classic ice cream and waffles desert. “I decided on crepes. They’re light, they’re low in calories, there’s no preservatives.”

Recipes finessed in Westchester are now displayed on the pastel green walls of the Astoria shop.

Savory crepes include an avocado chicken option with lime juice for $8.95 and an offering stuffed with imported prosciutto and mozzarella and drizzled with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette for $9.95.

Their sweet counterparts include everything from a $6.95 dulce de leche crepe to an $8.25 s’mores treat complete with milk chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers and whipped cream.

The store offers several frozen yogurt flavors, including cake batter, Greek black cherry and apple pie, for 49 cents an ounce and dozens of toppings to accompany them.

Still, Fragale said he intends to switch up the flavors every few weeks.

Yogurt La Crepe’s bright decor includes white and green polka dotted booths, a textured wall lit by colorful bulbs and sleek stool and countertop seating complete with iPads for parents looking to entertain their children.

During the summer, the shop is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.