Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.

RED BANK: GROWING MENU AT WHIPPED BITES

whipped-bites-15-500x356-3979492Nick Napoletano gives PieHole a sneak peak of the new savory crepes menu at Whipped Bites.  (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels-medium-220x95-4831765Whipped Bites is busy. The dessert café and creperie on the corner of Broad and Monmouth streets in Red Bank has been in a near-constant state of transformation since this summer, when Nick Napoletano and his girlfriend Erica Lieberman took over the lease on the space from chef Marc Fontaine, who had been making crepes in the location.

When the couple first took over the space, it was a hodgepodge collection of tables and chairs, with empty refrigerator cases and a small sign in the window that read “crepes.”  Despite the less-than-inviting space, the Nutella crepes were enough to keep PieHole coming back again. And again.  Though frankly, we’d eat Nutella crepes while crouching over a cardboard box in a shipping container and still ask for seconds.

But over the past few months, the couple has revamped the café into a comfortable, welcoming space that invites you to take a seat and leisurely enjoy a coffee with your crepe or dessert.

Napoletano says the café is doing a brisk breakfast business, especially for Sunday brunch when it offers specials like Grand Marnier French Toast or Champagne-infused Belgian Waffles, and draws a steady after dinner crowd on Friday and Saturday nights.

Now, after sweetening up the space and honing the dessert side of the business, Napoletano is in the process of revamping the savory spectrum of the cafe’s menu. PieHole caught up with him as he was finalizing the new menu.

Napoletano says that while the menu has been geared towards dessert items like gelato, pastries, crepes and coffee, the cafe has always had savory crepes on the menu, they just weren’t the focus.

“Now we’re switching gears just a little bit to focus on them a bit more,” says Napoletano adding that it will give customers more options for a lunch or dinner crepe.

He says part of the problem has been the dizzying array of menu options for savory crepes – with additions like bacon or lox or proscuitto and mozzarella – was just too complicated.

“People got a bit overwhelmed putting all the options together with the crepes, so I’m doing a new menu now that will have some suggestions on it but still allow you to customize your lunch or dinner crepe,” he said.

Napoletano was just putting the finishing touches on the menu when he offered PieHole a sneak preview. When it goes into effect “sometime this month,” according to Napoletano, the revamped menu will feature about a dozen savory crepe suggestions such as ham, brie and raspberry jam or the braised short rib with mushroom and blue cheese crepe.

As the menu is changing, so too has the staff.  Fontaine, who had stayed on for several months after Lieberman and Napoletano took over the lease, has moved on.

“Marc is a great chef,” says Napoletano. “Cooking is his great passion and he’s moved on to pursue that passion.”

Desserts will continue to be a focus for the cafe though. Napoletano says being a sit-down dessert cafe is part of what’s made the business so successful. “That’s what’s been working for us,” he says. “Offering something that no one else has. That, and staying opened late and opening early.”

“This is a walking town,” he says. “A lot of people are out to eat and they could eat dessert where they had dinner but –even myself I’m like this– if I go to dinner somewhere and I know that there’s a nice dessert place around the corner, I’m going to take that walk.”

While Whipped Bites may be among the few places to walk to for dessert after dinner in town, it’s one of an increasing number of shops offering sweets and baked goods — from the newly opened Antoinette Boulangerie to the colony of cupcake stores.  But even the recently opened Carlo’s Bakery isn’t perceived by Napoletano as a threat.

“The Cake Boss came into town and it didn’t effect us,” he said. “We have people sitting here with his bags on the table eating our crepes and drinking coffee because—again, we’re just different. They went to [Carlo’s Bakery] to buy their cake or three dozen cannoli. I have those items but they’re here for you to sit down and enjoy with a cappuccino.”

“I don’t look at [The Cake Boss] as competition. If anything,” says Napoletano, “he’s helping me.”

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
DOUBLE DYLAN IN RED BANK
Trucks for a production company filming what one worker said was a Bob Dylan biography have lined Monmouth Street the past two days with cre ...
AFTER THE RAIN
A pear tree branch brought down by a brief overnight storm left a lovely tableau on the sidewalk in front of Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Pa ...
CONE OF UNCERTAINTY
Asked by a redbankgreen reporter why these cones were on top of cars, the owner of the car in the foreground responded: “That’s ...
RAIL RIDER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of Cooper's Bridge and the Navesink River from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank Tuesday morning.
PUT ME IN COACH!
Red Bank T-Ball kicked off at East Side park on Saturday morning. The brisk weather proved to be no deterrent to the young players, ranging ...
IT’S A SIGN!
Once proudly declaring its all-but-certain arrival in Spring 2019, the project previously known as Azalea Gardens springs to life again with ...
SPRINGTIME MEMORIES OF CARL
The Easter Bunny getup and St. Patrick’s Day hat that belonged to longtime Red Bank crossing guard and neighborhood smile-creator Carl ...
RED TRUCKS AT RED ROCK
A small dishwasher fire at Red Rock Tap and Grill was put out quickly by firefighters overnight, causing minimal damage. Red Bank Fire Depar ...
CREATIVE COVER UP
The windows of Pearl Street Consignment on Monmouth Street were smashed when a driver crashed their car through them injuring an employee la ...
THEY’RE BACK!
Ospreys returned to the skies over Red Bank this week for the first time since they migrated to warmer climes in late fall. With temperature ...
SPRING IS SPRUNG
RED BANK: Spring 2024 arrives on the Greater Red Bank Green with the vernal equinox at 11:06 p.m. Tuesday.
RED BANK’S FINEST – AND NEWEST
Red Bank Police Officer Eliot Ramos was sworn in as the force’s newest patrolman Thursday, and if you’re doing a double take thinkin ...
EASTER EGG MAYHEM AT THE PARK
An errant whistle spurred an unexpectedly early start to the Spring Egg Hunt on Sunday, which had been scheduled to begin at eggsactly 11am ...
PRESEASON DOCKWORK
RED BANK: With winter winding down, marina gets ready for boating season with some dockwork on our beautiful Navesink River.
CORNED BEEF AND DISCO FRIES?
It’s Friday, and smart Lent-observing Leprechauns know the pot of gold at the end of Red Bank’s rainbow is actually the deliciou ...
SURFBOARD DITCHED
It’s a violation of etiquette in surfing to ditch your board.  (it could hit another surfer and hurt them). But someone appears to ha ...
ELSIE, TAKE ME WITH YOU!
Soaked by pouring rain with the temperature hovering in the low 40’s, this sign in the window of Elsie’s Subs on Monmouth Street ...
WALK THIS WAY
PARTYLINE: Before-and-afters of a sidewalk cleanup on West Street.
SOGGY NOTION
RED BANK: Breezeway sculpture captured the mood downtown as heavy rains fell Saturday morning.
HOME DELIVERY
RED BANK: After a subdivision, an instant house rises on a new Catherine Street lot.