Restaurants with a fixed menu are usually our favorite. There’s something so luxurious about sitting down and not having to read a menu, make decisions about what to eat, or what wine to pair with it. After months of talking about going to Petit Crenn and never finding the time (also, reservations book up pretty quickly), we set aside the time to go on a weeknight and made a reservation three weeks out. As it turns out, having a harder-to-get reservation on your calendar also gives you something to look forward to!
Petit Crenn is the second restaurant of Dominique Crenn, and is inspired by her family and home in Brittany, France. The location in Hayes Valley could not be any cuter, and they have recently moved from a two-seating per night schedule and added an extended tasting menu. We’ll have to go back for that!
Any wine pairing that starts with pink bubbles from a magnum is off to a good start, and the grilled flatbread with white bean puree is the perfect way to ease into the evening.
The grilled Monterey squid stuffed with bay shrimp and wild rice is something we’ll be recreating at home. It was served with grilled bread so we could eat every last bit of the tomato sauce. The Gnocchi a la Parisienne with Buerre Noisette and mushrooms was served with a view of the next course roasting over the wood grill.
After a few courses, we noticed a running theme throughout the menu: butter. We talked to the chef and learned that the squash puree in one of our favorite dishes (the grilled squash) is made by running squash through the blender and drizzling in melted butter until it glistens. Needless to say, it’s delicious, and also something we’ll be doing in The Taste SF kitchen.
After loads of immensely satisfying butter, the celery, fennel, and frisee salad served on a chilled plate was a welcome sight. Dessert was a cranberry tart with cinnamon cream cheese, and elderflower ice cream. Of course, mignardises finished off the evening.
One of our favorite things about Petit Crenn is that, being inspired by home, every dish seemed like something that could be made at home (if only we had a wood fire grill!), executed on a high level. It’s a place we could go back to time and time again.