|The Poem is the Menu|
|Chef Crenn and her Sous Chef|
|Chef Crenn and Maxime|
We were staying near Union Square, so we hopped into our Lyft ride to Fillmore Street in Cow Hollow. We were dropped in the middle of the block and hunted down 3127. It took a few minutes but we then found the door tucked in the building with a tiny Atelier Crenn sign. The windows seemed to be covered in butcher paper and I initially assumed the space was under renovation, but I pulled open the door and was greeted to what was going to be one of the greatest evenings we have had experienced since starting Top Chef Trail 7 years ago.
with reeds to give you a feeling of an outdoor area letting in subdued light. There are poems on the wall which set the tone of the evening representing the Chef's desire to marry the earth and the sea in her culinary experience. The wall ornaments and light fixtures look like large birds nests built with twigs and branches. We were greeted and handed a glass of Champagne to toast our arrival for a great night of dining. Several Hor D'oeuvres including Swordfish Jerky were brought by to sample. Swordfish lends itself to being great for Jerky with a high fat content that makes it moist and to retain great flavor.
|Smoked Trout Roe|
|Chef is the pretty one|
|The Poem and the first Bite|
The first dish was Chef Crenn's take on a Kir Breton which is a French cocktail consisting of Creme de Cassis and dry Cider. Her mother used to prepare the cocktail when she was growing up and this is one of the many homages to her parents. Chef Crenn freezes cider into a sphere and dips it into a mixture of Cocoa Butter and White Chocolate to form a perfect casing to present this dish. When you bite down on the sphere there is an explosion of sweet, tart, chocolate and apple in your mouth.
The server came over to the table and placed a small bowl of liquid in front of us. She described it as Fish and Chips, we were all stunned. How can a liquid be Fish and Chips? It is not easy but they pulled it off. There was a small paper thin piece of fried potato beneath a liquid that tasted like a traditionally deep fried piece of cod with malt vinegar all done with liquid ingredients. This was wonderful and was paired with an Eisele Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.
The Uni was sitting on a crispy Koshihikari Rice cake and Barigoule Sauce. There were toasted sesame seeds on the Uni. The Roe is creamy and settled in the middle of the tongue. The rice cake provided texture and crunch and the Barigoule sauce brought everything together. This was an incredible mixture of texture and taste. It was paired with Taiheikai Pacific Ocean Sake.
Why not keep me on my toes with Caviar, so far I was 2 for 2 in the roe love department so why not try this dish. This was a do it yourself bite. You had a pickled Daikon disc that acted as a cracker which you added Caviar and Koji (Fermented Bean Paste). When you popped this in your mouth you had tart, fermented bite and the sweetness of the caviar which popped when you bit down. This was paired with Domaine Leflaive Chardonnay.
|Brioche and Wagyu Butter|
Fat whipped into a butter spread. It is like a butter that tastes like Prime Rib.
Abalone is very difficult to get these days it is regulated so it is not very common. Chef Crenn slow cooked the Abalone so it melted in your mouth, it was served with a Quail Yolk and a Smoky Creme. I slowly enjoyed this with the wine pairing from Domaine de L'Arlot 'Les Suchets' Premier Cru. I liked this dish because it made a large statement in a small serving.
|Matsutake and Dungeness|
Wagyu beef has become a phenomenon. It seems like everywhere has a Wagyu burger or steak. But there are different Grades of Wagyu Beef the best being Grade A-5. An ounce of A-5 cost more than a pound of Prime Rib Eye. We were served A-5 with a Bearnaise Sauce and Umeboshi Sauce (Pickled Plum) topped with Micro Greens served on a square crystal plate. This beef literally melts in your mouth and coats your tongue. The sauces added another layer of fat that put this bite over the top. Paired with Bovio 'Vigna Gattera" Nobbiolo this was a great wine to compete for the tongue.
|The Pulque volcano|
Before dessert we had Masa Chip it was served in a Mayan inspired bowl. The chip had a crest of Chichen Itza emblazoned on it. It was a great little palette cleanser with a fun taste, plating and theme.
Our first Dessert was a play on Mexican Cocktail, Pulque. This was
|Mignardise Peanut is the best|
To end the evening a wooden Gourd container was brought out with 4 Mignardise and Chocolates my favorite was the Peanut, it tasted better than a peanut. My other favorite the Chocolate Bark with nuts.
|My new Sous Vide Cookbook|
Remember the conversation at the beginning of the article where
Chef Crenn said she would send me the Sous-vide book. I received it yesterday and am trying my first dish of Short Ribs.