Bar Crenn, the long-awaited spinoff from chef Dominique Crenn, will open on February 20. The concept, which is adjacent to Crenn’s two-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn was announced just over a year ago as a casual wine bar with a selection of small plates.
Now, however, Crenn has thrown in a twist: In an Instagram post over the weekend, the chef announced that the menu will be an “homage to the classics of French gastronomy,” with recipes “donated” by renowned French chefs like Alain Ducasse, Guy Savoy, and a cadre of other three-Michelin-starred restaurants like Assiete Champenoise, and Palais de l’Elyse will be represented. The menu will be shareable, with classics like tarte flambee, pomme souffle, and Petit Crenn’s own omelette à l’oursin, with some larger items, like a Breton lobster, available to order ahead.
It’s an interesting approach for Crenn (who was notably left out of the three-star club in the 2018 Michelin Guide), which she says is part of her mission to represent the cuisine of France. After cooking for French president Emmanuel Macron last year, Crenn says wanted to focus Bar Crenn on classic dishes, and decided to reach out directly to the masters of the cuisine. “I want to really keep the integrity of what French gastronomy is about,” Crenn told Eater SF. “All these chefs are the pillar of what French gastronomy is about and I’m just a student.”
The inclusion of recipes by other chefs is somewhat similar to that of In Situ, Corey Lee’s (Benu, Monsieur Benjamin) restaurant in SFMOMA that serves dishes from other top-tier restaurants around the world, from Noma to Osteria Francescana. According to Crenn, she and her team will contribute their own takes on French classics as well.
Atelier Crenn wine director Matt Montrose has put together a wine list that skews French and European. There will be low-ABV cocktails as well, which Crenn says will be a nod to French aperitifs (the chef already offers a Kir Breton next door as an amuse bouche, featuring cider and creme de cassis in a white cocoa shell).
The petite wine bar is going into a space formerly occupied by Cellar Door (3131 Fillmore Street), and shares a courtyard with Atelier Crenn. Karan Brady is behind the design, which Crenn says will be an extension of her home, with a warm, library feel, and chandeliers. “This is more than a wine bar, it’s my living room,” says Crenn. “It’s elegant and it’s warm and thoughtful. We want people to experience the best hospitality there, too.”
The new space will also serve as a starting place and end point for Atelier Crenn diners, where they can begin their meal with an aperitif, and finish with dessert and coffee. For those interested in a more casual environment, Crenn says the full tasting menu from Atelier Crenn will be available to a limited number of diners each night. Reservations for Bar Crenn will be available through Tock, and walk-ins will be available each night as well.
Stay tuned for more details closer to opening.