An atelier is a French workshop, and Chef Dominique Crenn (of Luce fame) uses hers to create dishes that are so intricate and whimsical that it’s wrenching to “ruin” them with that first bite. This is poetic culinaria at its best, complete with poetry for menus, and artsy plating with food served on slabs of bark, slate, and eucalyptus branches. With four menus per year to reflect each of the seasons, you essentially have two choices—five signature courses ($120) with wine pairing ($85), or the Chef’s Grand Tasting Menu ($195) with wine pairing ($150); on Saturdays, only the Grand Tasting Menu is available. It’s a unique concept, to be sure, but if you’re game, you might just experience one of the most thought-provoking meals in your life.
San Francisco› Restaurant
3127 Fillmore St (btw Pixley and Filbert Sts)
Our Rating Neighborhood The Marina/Pacific Heights/Cow Hollow Transportation Bus: 22, 30, 41, 43, or 45 Phone 415/440-0460 Prices 5-course menu $120, wine pairings $85; Chef’s grand tasting menu $195, wine pairings $150 Cuisine Type French/Californian Web site Atelier Crenn