An episode of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" featuring the Canandaigua eatery airs

CANANDAIGUA — First came the hushed silence from the crowd as the TV show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” started Monday night.

Then came the applause for Simply Crepes, which took its star turn on the popular Cooking Channel show.

The eatery, which also has locations in Pittsford and North Carolina, hosted a viewing party Monday at its Canandaigua location to mark the TV appearance.

The get-together was meant to recognize friends, family and employees who helped make Simply Crepes successful, according to co-founder Pierre Heroux.

“I see friends, I see family and I see employees,” Heroux said. “It’s … wow! It’s overwhelming and exciting. Simply, joy.”

And to those loyal customers: “Without you, we’re not here,” Heroux said.

Crews visited the South Main Street restaurant for filming last September.

The restaurant’s Rugby crepe was “discovered” by Chef Fabio Viviani, a star of the show “Top Chef” and owner of Portico by Fabio at del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County. He shared his love for the dish on the show.

The Rugby is Simply Crepes’ take on the McDonald’s Big Mac and was created as a way to raise money for the Pittsford rugby team that Heroux’s son played on.

Viviani had a bit of fun with it, with lines such as “I don’t know whether it’s genius or evil,” but it’s clear he loves it.

When you close your eyes, “You are eating the best cheeseburger of your life,” he said on the show. He also played off comedically with Nicole Williams, a daughter of Pierre and Karen Heroux.

Her best moment may have come in refusing to give up the secret to the sauce that makes the Rugby what it is, which is awesome in the minds of many who sampled the crepe during the party. 

Stephani Reardon, who is an owner of nearby Peacemaker Brewing Co., said she appreciated that the Herouxs invited many of the downtown business owners to share in the restaurant’s success.

“This is exciting,” Reardon said. “What a great accomplishment.”

Chris Keys, who came to the celebration with his wife, Kelly, said this is exciting for the Heroux family, Simply Crepes and the area.

“We already know how wonderful Simply Crepes said,” Keys said. “It’s good for the rest of the country to see what a gem it is.”

Mayor Ellen Polimeni said the Herouxs have put a lot of work in their restaurant in Canandaigua, and served many people over the years.

“I think tonight it’s a wonderful example of the community sharing their support,” Polimeni said.

If you missed Simply Crepes' star turn, don't worry. The show is repeated regularly. And the exposure not only helps the restaurant, but it also is expected to help Canandaigua as a whole, especially when it comes to tourism.

“Canandaigua in the spotlight is a big deal,” Heroux said.