Atelier Crenn Dominique Crenn Atelier Crenn

Atelier Crenn

3127 Fillmore St. (Pixley St.)
San Francisco, CA 94123
Cuisine: French / Eclectic
Chef Dominique Crenn’s “poetic culinaria” tasting menu features luxurious ingredients and unique presentations.
Openings: Dinner Tues.-Sat.


Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, CA

Atelier Crenn Restaurant Review:

Atelier Crenn is on GAYOT's 2016 Most Adventurous Restaurants.

About chef Dominique Crenn: French chef Dominique Crenn's adoration of her father has influenced her life. He was an artist, bringing his ideas to life in his workshop, which is called an "atelier" in French. That should help you understand the name and concept of the restaurant: a place where Crenn creates food that she calls "poetic culinaria." Not only is she a creator, she is also a poet. The menu is written in the form of a poem where each line is the evocation of a dish. On a winter menu you may read "Fall has come with its cool breeze," then "See this --- most adored gift from Neptune, an aureate bloom." It is music to the ears, before the notes hit the palate. As years have gone by --- we have been following her for quite a while now --- Crenn's cuisine has evolved from a sonata to a symphony. How did she do it? We are guessing it is the expression of lots of thinking and meditation, drawings and experiments. This is a supputation as Crenn is very secretive; even if the kitchen door onto the restaurant is always open, she won’t let us enter her sanctuary. We are fine with it. The poetry works and that is what counts.

Watch our exclusive video interview with chef Dominique Crenn who is one of GAYOT’s Best Female Chefs in America.

Likes: Creativity is THE word.
Dislikes: the reservation system. Tables must be booked online via Tock; however, the restaurant can still assist with making reservations over the phone.

About the experience & the menu: When making your reservation at Atelier Crenn, there are a few things you should know. You are going in for a long evening that you should not rush. Take the time to enjoy the long list of dishes from the Grand Tasting Menu, which is priced at $450, plus add-ons. There is only this menu and there is no à la carte. Everything is unconventional in Crenn's studio. The plates, silverware and dishes (a wood log, for example) are so out of the ordinary that they directly imply and require unique and unusual presentations. Crenn uses noble ingredients like caviar, truffle, scallops and sea urchin, resulting in a luxurious feast. What you won't find, however, is meat, which she has phased out of all her restaurants. Chef pâtissier Juan Contreras has collaborated closely with Crenn for years, dating back even before this restaurant originated.

About the décor: The dining room can accommodate up to 24 guests at eight handmade walnut tables in dark shades of brown. We like the contrast brought by the beige wood chairs and their light blue cushions. You will almost feel at home as the tables are set on rugs of different colors. On the walls are some quotes from her poetry.

About the wine: Curated by head sommelier Courtney Olson, the wine list presents nearly 2,000 references. They are strongly rooted in the classic French regions of Champagne and Burgundy, with a selection of smaller Old World regions and rising stars from California. All producers sourced to pair with chef Crenn’s cuisine have an emphasis on organic and biodynamic viticulture, aligning with the restaurant’s values on sustainability.

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