|Opening Notes, Foie & Pumpkin caviar...|
Some people are born possessed of a boundless desire to make beautiful things and to share that beauty with the world around them. It is how they communicate. I have always identified myself as an artist. When I was younger I envisioned my future self living in a dark and barren garret, filling canvas after canvas with mood, beauty and emotions — my world view would be realized in oil paint. I imagined I would sell these paintings to earn my way in the world. I took every class offered in high school and applied to be accepted at what was then the California College of Arts & Crafts. For a young painter, it seemed the Julliard of its time. Though I was accepted, I never made it to art school. When it came time to put down the deposit, my father casually informed me that he could no longer afford it. He’d paid an overdue bar tab with the monies in a trust account reserved for my tuition. Visions of my garret faded as life took me on another journey.
|Crackling fish skin |
and bits of caviar
|A tiny bubble of chocolate, |
more fragile than an eggshell,
meant to be lifted to the mouth
where it exploded in a burst
of liquid ambrosia
spilling across the palate
Unable to live a life absent some artistic endeavor, I now use language. My labor of love is to craft a sentence precisely, to capture the essence of the emotional flavor of everything I experience, and to share that joy with others. There is no success greater than having made the effort. No matter the medium, the process of translating life to art has always felt familiar, coming to me as naturally as I breathe. I am connected to it, and it to me.
|The infamous Foie Gras Log. Nuff said|
|Magic Mushrooms. Flavors varied from woodsy|
to something perhaps reminiscent of marshmallow
then to an herbal acidity... mind-boggling
in its complexity
I recognized something of myself in that simple little painting. I have small canvases tucked away in corners of my home, recalling a time when I sat in my mother’s house and created for creation’s sake. It is easy to imagine a young Dominique standing at an easel in her father’s atelier, painting to pass the time, sharing a passion with a parent. My mother was a painter. That’s how it starts. If one is inclined, any exposure to art leads to that self-awareness: the knowledge that this is what one was born to do. Starting a fire that burns for a lifetime. I smiled in the realization that she’d been born to it, too.
|The Alchemy Machine|
prepares a warm concoction
of cinnamon and citrus
Chef Crenn succeeds on a grand scale. The thoughtfulness in her dishes dares her diners to travel down that forest road beside her. I could hear the wind in the trees. I felt the roar of a campfire. I experienced this meal with a sense of wonder, at her almost alchemic skill with ingredients. Maybe her mushrooms were, indeed, magic.
|Re-purposed Pear... in appearance a faux fruit, |
in taste a heavenly ice cream
in a bed of powdery goodness
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Go. Treat yourself to an experience that will last a lifetime. For myself, I can’t wait to see where she’ll take her diners in the Spring. A budding garden? The French countryside? Wherever it will be, it will be an adventure not to be missed.
Atelier Crenn - Poetic Culinaria
San Francisco, CA
Note: Parking is non-existent, so the restaurant shares valet services with the Balboa Café at Filbert and Fillmore for $16.
Noise level: Perfect for conversation
Price: $125/pp for pris fixe - excluding wine