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“Fine food in the suburbs of San Francisco”
Review of Atelier Crenn

Atelier Crenn
Ranked #295 of 5,665 Restaurants in San Francisco
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Marina District
Cross street: Filbert
Sydney
Level Contributor
102 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Fine food in the suburbs of San Francisco”
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Atelier Cren is amazing and overwhelming at the same time. The originality, ingenuity, flavours, and presentation make for an unforgetable food experience. The Sommelier is very experienced and friendly with great advice on wines. Madame Crenn is in the kitchen all evening and visits each table at least once. She has trained the staff well and they certainly exude her attention and care to service and detail. The food is literally a poem and sometimes an obscure reflection to the actual food itself. If you are travelling to San Francisco, have a lot of cash in your pocket and want a food experience to remember, then Atelier Crenn is the place.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PaulLouSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    121
    27
    15
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
184 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
“Down the rabbit hole.”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Be prepared to leave all inhibitions at the door and enter a world of fantastical imagination in the culinary sense. This is not dining, this is theatre for the senses. Some dishes may not be to everyone's taste but they are all created with such imagination and artistic finess that it is difficult not to be impressed.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank fleetoffoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“One of the best restaurants in the world, and we have been to many”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Atelier is amazing. The ingenuity, the flavors, the presentation. The chef comes out to speak to you personally and she is there in the kitchen the whole night. The staff is attentive and caring. The courses are unbelievable. A must if traveling to San Fancisco.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kidzot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amaizing experience”
Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

I think this is one of the best places to expirience amaizing, non convencional food not only in San Francisco but anywhere. Service just as good as well as wine! Hoping for the third Michelin star!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Chef T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London W.8.
Level Contributor
96 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“The Emperor has no clothes”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

A foodie friend in NYC booked us in - he usually hits the spot but I'm now worried about him. This place is a nonsense. From the menu which isn't really a menu - simply lines of excruciatingly poor poetry 'oceanic of yummy feeling' which only gets worse - to the final flourish of a beetroot sorbet delivered on a hideous clunking great glass bedpan of a dish, this restaurant defies belief.

It's a pleasant enough room, certainly nothing to draw attention away from ones meal. There is one tiny and unremarkable still-life painting hanging by the front desk and some interesting clear glass wall lights. That's it. Chairs are comfortable, the table wobbled. As for the staff, I did rather wonder if Mlle Crenn had given them all a mighty wigging before service began - they were a miserable bunch, not a smile, no attempt to interact and the sommelier seemed haunted by something. Maybe it was just a bad day and some ghastliness had befallen one of their number. Whatever the cause of this malaise, it did not help us with our enjoyment.

The first item produced with solemnity was an utterly absurd pair of what looked like eyeballs perched on individual little stands. The instruction was to down them in one. We obeyed. Crisp white chocolate with apple liquid interiors and a blob of cassis jelly on the top. Absolutely not the way I want to start a meal. My taste buds in the early evening are limbering up for something savoury not confectionary. This was swiftly followed by a large heavy ashtray of a dish containing 'toasted seeds' at one end with a couple of artfully placed leaves atop and our waiter then, with a flourish, poured a couple of spoonfuls of a tepid clear broth (?) which tasted of nothing into the centre of the bowl. I tried, I really tried. I simply couldn't get the stuff down. My jaws chomped, my teeth (which are all my own - veneers might have helped) became clogged. I gave up. My husband, I thought quite wittily, told the disappointed looking waiter that he'd bought his wife out to dine not his parrot. Not a glimmer but news evidently got back to the kitchen and Mlle Crenn very kindly sent out one of her other signature dishes - her spin on French onion soup - which was, indeed, delicious and cleverly devised. By Jove, we thought, maybe we are going to finally get to the root of why this place receives such plaudits. She herself then hove into view, stopping to chat at each table - an attractive woman, neat as a pin, heavily tattooed arms and with alarmingly white teeth. I bet she takes no nonsense. I felt the fear. We were polite to each other.

The meal progressed through a dalliance with the sea. Another large plate, 9 to 12 on the clock face covered at the rim by a pretty arrangement of clams, sea urchin, tiny mussels and a dab of this and that and a tendril of seaweed draped across. The rest of the plate was an ocean of white porcelain. Next a walk in the forest, feel the poetry, a thin rectangle of a dish that dipped and rose - I guess that we're supposed to imagine an uneven path - and more artful arrangements of minute mushrooms, pickled fungi with notes of hazelnut and so on and so forth. Do you know something, by this time I've lost the will to live. Food, in my amateur head, should be about nurturing, comfort, joy, amusement. I've eaten enough times at seriously highly rated restaurants to know that the finest chefs manage to hit most of these buttons viz Heston at The Fat Duck. There's always a level of joy involved. This is vital. Here at Atelier Crenn you get none of it - a bit of artful placement, a lot of dismally bad poetry, the occasional flash of taste and absolutely not an ounce of joy. Lighten up, mademoiselle!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
7 Thank Shellfire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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