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.
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.