Atelier Crenn

French fine-dining poetry

Acclaimed chef Dominique Crenn’s signature restaurant, Atelier Crenn, is sophisticated, chic, innovative and cerebral. In short, it delivers poetry on a plate.

Located in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district, the esteemed eatery sits behind a nondescript and minimalist facade. Yet simplicity is elegance, and the lack of adornment puts the food at center stage.

A meal at Atelier Crenn is fine dining at its best: it’s an epic journey of discovery and deliciousness. You are welcomed into the luxurious and intimate destination as if you were a guest in Crenn’s home, and no detail has been spared. The restaurant is an extension of Crenn herself and every sight, smell, sound, taste and touch illustrates that the chef meticulously planned the dining experience.

Crenn’s prowess of classical French technique, her knowledge of local seafood and produce and her unique, otherworldly culinary point of view make a meal here pure poetry.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • Eating at Atelier Crenn is like getting a glimpse into chef Crenn’s soul. The San Francisco restaurant is a reflection of her life and an homage to her parents — her father’s paintings decorate the walls, while memories of her mother’s garden inspire the menu.
  • Instead of a traditional menu, the evening’s offerings are presented in the form of a poem written by Crenn, with each line representing a dish from the 14-course tasting menu. When each item is presented, the waitstaff explains its origin and Crenn’s thought process behind the plate, creating culinary storytelling and a magical, memorable meal.
  • Crenn has an impeccable eye for detail, a talent on display in her intricate plating. Each dish is presented in a particular way — one bite might appear on a circular ceramic plate, while another course will come artfully arranged over a branch of wood.
  • Although Atelier Crenn is very Californian, it is also incredibly French. The wine list has an exceptional selection of champagne, and you can expect the meal to progress as it would in France — think salad after fish, and if you’re lucky, a decadent cheese course before dessert.
  • The chef’s ability to go above and beyond ensures excellence in everything from the flower arrangements to the lighting. She greets most diners, and in many cases, if you’re eating in the second seating, will offer you a chance to tour the immaculate kitchen.

Things to Know

  • Like most fine-dining establishments, Atelier Crenn requires planning to reserve a meal. To book a spot at one of the two seatings (5 and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday), you’ll need to snag a ticket released on the first of the month, two months in advance. For example, on February 1, reservations for April will become available.
  • The Cow Hollow restaurant can accommodate special dietary needs, but must be notified of the request at least three days before your booking.
  • Next door to Atelier Crenn is Bar Crenn, the chef’s lounge and wine bar. You are encouraged to come early or stay late and enjoy a drink at the bar.
  • There are three menu options: a six-course tasting menu at Bar Crenn’s chef’s counter, a 14-course tasting menu in the restaurant and a grand 14-plus-course tasting that begins in the bar with champagne and small bites before heading to Atelier Crenn for the main event.
  • The dress code at Atelier Crenn is casual elegant. Dressing up is encouraged, but jackets are not required.

The Food

  • In late 2019, Crenn shocked the culinary industry when she announced that meat would no longer be served at any of her restaurants, including Atelier Crenn. However, seafood is in heavy rotation on the menu — a recent meal included geoduck, sea urchin, sturgeon, lobster, John Dory and abalone.
  • The menu is seasonally driven and features local produce from Crenn’s proprietary farm Bleu Belle in Sonoma.
  • Dreamy and whimsical items include her signature amuse-bouche, an orb of white chocolate filled with apple cider and topped with crème de cassis jam. Bursting in your mouth, it is meant to mimic an aperitif that she enjoyed in her native Brittany.
  • The food mixes things up. Some dishes (like the above amuse) are scientifically crafted and representative of Crenn’s technique, while other plates, like fresh-baked brioche and cultured butter, are homey and nostalgic.
  • Crenn’s longtime business partner Juan Contreras serves as a pastry chef. His divine creations and delectable contributions to the meal should not go unnoticed.

The Chef

  • One of the nation’s top female chefs, Crenn is a pioneer who is paving the way for young women all over the world and an advocate for equality. Her commitment to the environment is evident, as is her passion for the local restaurant community.
  • Crenn often hosts celebratory dinners that feature guest chefs from around the globe. With her Wake Up World Chef Series, each month, a different international toque will join Crenn in the kitchen for two nights to create a mesmerizing, one-of-a-kind meal.
  • She has two other dining destinations in San Francisco: Bar Crenn, which sits next to the Atelier, is a wine bar that serves upscale French classics like oysters, caviar and soufflés. Petit Crenn is Atelier Crenn’s little sister eatery, where a seven-course prix fixe is served nightly. Walk-ins are accepted at this lively small restaurant in Hayes Valley.
  • Another restaurant is in the works. Boutique Crenn is a patisserie set to debut in 2020 at the Salesforce Tower in downtown San Francisco.

Reservations required
Getting There
3127 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, California 94123
NeighborhoodCow Hollow
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