The latest edition of our Delicious Space series is a seriously stunning new wine bar that I’m thrilled to report is in my own backyard. Bay Area readers, take note. Famed chef Dominque Crenn has just opened a new and seriously beautiful space in San Francisco’s Marina district. Situated next door to her two-Michelin starred flagship restaurant Altier Crenn, the small, intimate and lush Bar Crenn is intended to be a place to gather over classic French food, amazing wine and hopefully stimulating conversation. This isn’t your run of the mill pick up spot. Bar Crenn is meant to be like a home away from home for a wine and design enthusiast.
I have long admired Chef Crenn and my girl-crush only grew after I watched her on Chef’s Table (yet another show you must watch). While an amazing chef (best female chef in the world in 2016 in fact), Dominique goes beyond her dishes, taking a very creative approach to both her food and her restaurants. She is driven by her vision and the holistic experience she wants to create for her patrons. Bar Crenn is an awesome example of this.
When concepting her bar, Chef Crenn was inspired by 1920’s Paris – when the city was a cultural, literary and art epicenter. She wanted to recreate that salon-like environment where luminaries would gather and discuss the day’s pressing issues. When I first walked into Bar Crenn I could immediately image Gertrude Stein holding court in the corner. I would gladly wile away hours in this space.
Decorated by Dominique’s friend, Karan Brady, the room is shrouded in thick green velvet curtains, shielding the space from the street and giving the feel of the private club. Even the entrance is down a walkway off the sidewalk so you almost have to know its there to find it. Seating is limited to luxe settees and Louis VXI armchairs clustered around green marble-topped cocktail tables to further foster conversation. This is not a space where you pack shoulder to shoulder. This is where you come to sit, relax and enjoy. Everything in the room has a vintage patina like you stepped into the Nashville filter. Crystal stemware line the back bar and antique chandeliers dot the ceiling. Sheepskin topped stools line the bar. There’s a hint of femininity in the old world glamour, but it also doesn’t feel overly girly.
Bar Crenn’s menu centers around timeless french dishes that Dominique actually sourced directly from her directory of famous French chefs like Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy. Must be nice. Plan to get a real education on French wines. Glass pours will range from $14-$50.
I was lucky enough to preview Bar Crenn and taste test its menu in conjugation with a special event hosted by American Express Platinum. Last year American Express launched their Global Dining Collection – exclusive partnerships with a team of Platinum Card Members’ favorite chefs from around the world – think José Andrés, Massimo Bottura, Stephanie Izard and Thomas Keller – to provide Card Members with exclusive access to one-of-a-kind dining experiences and events.
American Express hosted an exclusive dinner with Dominique at Bar Crenn the week before its grand opening and apparently they offer other events throughout the year. I’m going to add all the dishes I tasted to my Instagram story archive so you can see all the amazing bites we enjoyed. And I guess I better start paying better attention to my email to be sure I know when Platinum offers these crazy cool dinners. But I’m just thankful I can head down to Bar Crenn any old time.
Bar Crenn is an elevated, curated and thoughtful addition to the San Francisco food and bar scene. Dare I say this is a bar for grownups (yup, I’m officially SO old). You can make reservations for table seating up to a month in advance (apparently the first month sold out in the first 10 minutes reservations opened up online,) but they will also reserve half of their seats for nightly walk-ins. Reservations for the month of April will open up on March 20 at 11AM. I know I’m going to be clicking refresh to get myself a table.
3131 Fillmore Street
Open Tues – Sat 4:30pm – 12:00am
For our archive of Delicious Spaces – aka rurl prudy restaurants, CLICK HERE