When your tastebuds beg for Dominique Crenn‘s cuisine but you can’t commit to the time it takes to enjoy her $220 per person tasting menu at two-Michelin starred Atelier Crenn in San Francisco’s Marina/Cow Hollow, you’ll soon have an option. The talented chef/owner is on track to open Petit Crenn on Aug. 11 in the former Bar Jules space in Hayes Valley neighborhood. The second restaurant for Crenn, Petit Crenn will be a casual, all-day café and restaurant serving Stumptown coffee, petit déjeuner and a five-course seafood-focused prix-fixe dinner.
“I really want to share the experiences and cuisine I grew up with in Brittany, but with no meat,” says Crenn, “The menu will be like home, like the food my mother and grandmother made but with local produce and all seafood and vegetables. I opened Atelier Crenn as homage to my father and Petit Crenn is for my mother and grandmother.”
Petit Crenn’s festive, dinner-party-inspired ambiance will feature family-style dishes like whole-grilled fish cooked over the wood-fired grill. The food will take influence from Crenn’s heritage in Brittany, focusing solely on seafood and vegetables, utilizing the bounty of California with classic French preparations and recipes.
Petit Crenn’s all-day service will include a morning menu of pastries, marmalade, fresh bread, omelette français, and oeuf à la coque; and lunch offerings such as a selection of crepes, salads and tartines. The family style prix-fixe dinner menu will center on seafood and vegetable offerings and change nightly; a sample menu will include items such as gougères, salmon en croûte, cheese, tarte tatin, and mignardises. Oysters and an a la carte menu will be available at the 10-seat bar for walk-ins throughout the night. The prix-fixe dinner will be $72, inclusive of service.
The restaurant’s beverage program, overseen by Wine Director Courtney Humiston, focuses on natural wines from France and includes a strong selection of grower Champagne, white and rosé wines to complement the seafood-driven menu. Staying true to its Breton inspiration, a variety of French and local ciders will be served in traditional hand-made ceramic cups by Issa Pottery in Sausalito.
Aaron Thayer will serve as Executive Sous Chef of Petit Crenn. Thayer, a graduate from Johnson & Wales Culinary School, was previously Sous Chef at Atelier Crenn. Thomas DeBiase will be at the helm of Petit Crenn as General Manager. DeBaise was most recently General Manager of Lancaster Estate Winery and, prior to that, was the operations consultant behind St. Helena’s beloved Goose & Gander.
The restaurant’s fresh, simple and breezy white interior is accented with walnut tables, vintage silverware and porcelain dinnerware, while local artist Tina Frey’s Champagne buckets will add a contemporary element to the space. Overhead, rope-corded pendant lights offer a nautical touch —a nod to Brittany’s maritime heritage.
Petit Crenn is located at 609 Hayes Street and will serve dinner Tuesday through Saturday, offering two nightly seatings, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Breakfast and lunch service will be offered beginning September 2015. For more information, visit www.petitcrenn.com.