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May 30, 2012 06:04 PM

Atelier Crenn 15-Course Vegan Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings

Have a reservation for Friday night. My dining companion is an omnivore, so we should get a good feel for what they can do. I'm really looking forward to this experience, and will report back.

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  1. I'd be very interested in this report. Thanks! I"m always looking for higher-end vegan meals.

    1. probably the only place i'd eat vegan - she can work miracles with anything. can't wait to hear about it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mariacarmen

        Let me say, briefly, that I was blown away -- simply astonishing food. I took lots of notes and will report more thoroughly when I return home next week. (My daughter's omnivore menu elicited the same degree of satisfaction.)

      2. I did the short course tasting with full dessert tasting last weekend and both my BF and I commented on the Kobe course that the meat was superfluous. Would love to go back for a full vegetable tasting!

        1. Uh, details forthcoming or were you looking for bragging rights? :)

          4 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I'm not sure I understand your comment, but I did promise details. I did not take notes of my daughter's dishes when they differed from mine (would have succombed to writer's cramp sooner had I done so), but I think I can remember the gist.

            Amuse was a quail-egg-shaped cocoa shell encasing a dram of Normandy hard cider, secured to a small porcelain pedestal with a cassis gel. (To eat this, you pick up the pedestal and slurp the whole "egg" into your mouth. This was served with a glass of the cider.

            Crisp yuba with dill and lovage cream, puffed black rice (really liked this and am trying to duplicate), accompanied by a small glass of rutabaga/grapefruit "tea," a rice cracker tuille-like thing with togarashi. I believe Kathleen had caviar and uni, as well. Cartha Chardonnay.

            Kathleen had oysters for this course, while I had for a sub -- oyster leaves! Incredible things, taste just like a fresh, briny oyster. It's always fun to discover something you've never heard of, let alone tasted. These were set on top of a sake and elderflower gelee, surrounded by a wheatgrass broth (very tasty), accented with touches of juniper/lime found. A knockout dish, accompanied by a superb wine, a Ryme Carneros.

            We both were very happy with our next course, which is where I think Kathleen's sashimi came in. Tiny spring vegetables in a delicate pea broth, accompanied by a disc of sweetened coconut/mint "pana cotta." ("Pana cotta" is my descriptor, not theirs; it's the closest I can come to describe the texture. The chef has obviously spent a lot of time experimenting with different gelling agents, as there were many interesting textures on display throughout the meal.) We were served a Provencal rose with this.

            "Alliums," charred onion, pickled red onion, onion marmalade, with a garnish of what our server claimed was smoke bulgar, but I'm pretty sure was smoked buckwheat. It was intensely smokey, with a pleasant crunch (going to try to duplicate this, as well. (At this point, I'd given up keeping track of the wines.)

            Palate Cleanser -- Shiso/Sake/Ginger granita -- as refreshing as it sounds.

            Palate "invigorator" -- Baby turnips with three different salts.

            Sous vide baby root veggies (no further notes on this course, for some reason).

            Sous vide salsify on a bed of dehydrated basil puree, with a wild rice tuille. I love this vegetable, and almost never see it. The basil had a nice crunchy texture that I will also attempt to reproduce.

            At this point, I believe Kathleen had her Wagyu beef, which she loved. I've cooked local Wagyu before, but she said that this was even more tender and delicious. I had amazing wild mushroom with a hazelnut cream.

            Kathleen had a sampling of cheeses, the best of which were a washed-rind Clisson, and a Tomme d'Aquitaine.

            A "pre-dessert" of eucalyptus/lemon/honey "ice cream" rounds served on eucalyptus spears.

            I know from a thread I started last month on GCT that there are many beet haters on these boards, so if you're one of them, avert your eyes and read no further. I thoroughly enjoyed this, although I know it will sound strange. I was presented with what looked like a red beet, sitting on a bed of chopped candied hazelnuts, accented with mandarin "wisps" (the consistency of this was between a heavy cream and jelly). The beet was actually a beet granita, encased in a very thin and soft beet "skin." I have no idea how the chef accomplished this one.

            My apologies to the chef for the liberties I've probably taken with terminology -- I simply don't have the vocabulary needed to describe accurately some of the things I ate during this 4-hour extravaganza, which will probably stand as the most enjoyable, most expensive meal of my life.

            1. re: pikawicca

              wonderful, wonderful report, pw! i somehow need to make it back there again, $$$ be damned!

              1. re: pikawicca

                Thanks for sharing the details of this lovely dinner.

                Liked the idea of salsify to echo the oyster on your daughter's menu. I'm not familiar with oyster leaf. Salsify is sometimes called oyster plant, the leaves?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  No, the leaves were not salsify; they are from the oyster leaf plant, a native of Scottish coastal lands, now grown commercially in the U.S. (I've been trying to obtain seeds, but everyone is out of stock.)