SF Birthday at Atelier Crenn

Atelier Crenn Menu

Atelier Crenn Menu

It’s been an absolute dream of mine to dine at Atelier Crenn (3127 Fillmore St.) and I felt incredibly lucky to be able to celebrate my birthday there last month. If you have not seen Netflix’s Chef’s Table (Season 2, Episode 3), stop and watch it immediately (full disclosure: you may cry). You’ll be taken on an incredible journey learning more about Chef Dominique Crenn, what inspires her cooking and all the effort that goes into maintaining her restaurants. Chef Dominque Crenn is the first female chef in the U.S. to earn two Michelin stars and it is well earned. Each dish is a feast for your eyes, as much as it is for your stomach, and the service is impeccable.

First Courses

First Courses

The meal starts with a poem, which is your narrative for the night’s menu. All guests are welcomed with their first bite, chef’s take on a Kir Breton. White cocoa butter surrounds a sphere of apple cider and it’s topped with crème de cassis. Chef Dominique’s Bretagne roots really shine throughout the night as there were a lot of seafood courses. Her take on fish and chips were fried potato chips dusted with seaweed and served with swordfish marrow in a cucumber sauce. I really loved her tomato memory (watch the Netflix episode and you’ll understand the reference), which were small tarts filled with tomato compote and roe. On the side, different peeled tomatoes were served with tomato dust and tomato raisins. One of my favorite dishes of the night was Japanese-inspired. Delicate uni is served over toasted Japanese rice mixed with seaweed and sesame seeds. What truly elevated this dish was the white wine, shallot and fennel broth. The sauce was so clear and flavorful.

Caviar and BreadNext came caviar with rice cream and shiso leaf oil, served with delicate root vegetables. The homemade brioche bread with A5 wagyu beef fat butter and herbed butter is the definition of decadence. I had to refrain from devouring the whole loaf so that there’d be room for the rest of the courses. Grilled abalone (not pictured) came with egg yolk jam, seaweed dusting and grilled oyster cream. The abalone was so tender and the waiter let us in on the secret– beating the abalone for 30 minutes to an hour.

Mushroom Dish

Foraging Mushroom Course

Continue reading

Advertisements

Hong Kong: French Michelin Dining at Pierre

Blue Lobster Aiguilettes Served with Summer Cabbage and Frozen Raspberries

Blue Lobster Aiguilettes Served with Summer Cabbage and Frozen Raspberries

Pierre in Hong Kong is the famed restaurant inside the Mandarin Oriental, coming from French chef Pierre Gagnaire. Years ago, I had his six-course dinner at his restaurant in Las Vegas, Twist. It was an absolutely sublime meal and I was excited to repeat this experience at his two Michelin star restaurant in Hong Kong.

Inside Pierre

Inside Pierre

Beautiful Plate of Amuse Bouche and Bread

Beautiful Plate of Amuse Bouche and Bread

I came for an early birthday dinner celebration and partook in the seven-course summer tasting menu. The service was superb and they even gave me a menu to take home (perfect for my blog!). I apologize for the low-lighting photos. I didn’t want to disturb everyone’s meal with my camera flash going off at every course.

Pierre: First Course

First Course

Summer Tasting Menu by Pierre Gagnaire 2013

Crab meat, baby squids and cucumber coated with button mushroom jelly. Stuffed brioche with spider crab and grapefruit. Sardine infusion, olive oil sherbet.

Poached line-caught sea bass lightly salted with fresh herbs. Eggplant and coarsely chopped tomato; emulsified green bell pepper juice.

Borloti coco beans timbale thickened with velvety foie gras/green curry soup. Pan-sautéed girolle mushroom with fresh almond.

Blue lobster “aiguilettes” almost raw. Summer cabbage with parmesan/pistachio/frozen raspberry.

Roasted rump of veal flavoured with oregeno, sweet onion purée with smoked lard. Tiny artichoke poivrade, arugula and celery sticks. Minted garden peas ice cream.

Roasted goat cheese with rhubarb, elder flower jam/aged white balsamic vinegar. Fourme d’Ambert, stuffed Bergeron apricot with ricotta. Ossou-Iraty and aged Cantal, celeriac cream, Izarra granita.

Pierre Gagnaire’s grand dessert.

Continue reading