I finally got to Atelier Crenn tonight, a couple weeks after it opened. It may sound strange to say that I felt Dominique Crenn was underrated, given her Michelin stars, Iron Chef appearances and Esquire Best Chef awards. But due to the Luce location, I felt she wasn't as recognized as she should be. This should change all that.
My friend and I had the Prelude to a Winter Night http://www.ateliercrenn.com/menus/Win.... In fact, the website (which doesn't reproduce the menu clearly) and the font size of the menu were my only criticisms. We couldn't read the menu clearly enough to see the prices.
I can't comment on each course but they were spectacular. Perfectly realized in almost every instance. The Truffle and Egg, for me, was perfection. My friend said that she would be content eating the Foie Gras, and nothing but the Foie Gras, for the rest of her life. The Walk in the Forest salad was spectacular and I usually eat salad as obligation instead of thrill.
Dumb Yelpers have complained about portion size. All I can say is, we both are completely full, satisfied but not sick. And the tastes will remain with me for a long time. I think this is cooking at an adventurous, yet earthy and authentic level. The atmosphere is lovely -- we could hear each other despite a full room -- and I plan to have a private party in the back room the next time I am celebrating something.
I have eaten at almost all the top restaurants in San Francisco, and there is no one cooking more interesting, personal and high-level food than this chef. I am thrilled to write the first Chowhound review, and if I'd had less wine perhaps I could give more details. :)
3127 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123