Dominique Crenn in the kitchen at Atelier Crenn. [Photo: SF Wire/Drew Altizer]
A few weeks ago, Dominique Crenn added a 6-course $95 vegetarian tasting option to the menu at Atelier Crenn. The special menu can also be adjusted for gluten- and lactose-intolerant diners. Call it a sign of the time, Crenn was surprised by the amount of special dining requests she received since opening about four months ago. She fields about one a night. Crenn also has several gluten-free friends; so this new tasting menu is her way of including everyone, "taking away some of the intimidation," and offering an option that's healthful for diners with special needs. As one would expect, the courses will change often. Crenn passed on the current vegetarian menu, so you can see she's having fun with strawberry and rhubarb in a savory preparation and playing around with edible flowers and vegetables, "the rock stars of the food world right now," in her words.
As the menu evolves, the public and critical opinion about Atelier Crenn continues to take shape. (The project has been called "ambitious," "exquisite," "jarring" and everything in between.) Bauer and Kauffman weren't exactly won over by their experiences, but we hear GQ's Alan Richman had a very positive experience on a recent trip from New York, and Josh Sens' review and a profile on the restaurant will be coming out soon in San Francisco magazine. We'll keep an eye out and fill you in.
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