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Atelier Crenn [San Francisco]

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My wife's 35th is coming up next weekend (Sept. 20/21) and I wanted to treat her to a special dinner at Crenn. Unfortunately, I didn't plan ahead and it looks like reservations are full for the Saturday evening.

I was wondering if it's worth visiting on another night and if it's possible to get the same experience on a Thursday or Friday? I ask because it's my understanding (according to details posted on the website) that the seasonal Chef's Tasting Menu is only available on Saturdays, which is undoubtedly why it's so difficult to get a reservations as all dates are booked through to the new year!

Can anyone tell me what the main difference between the Saturday chef's tasting menu and the regular degustation menu is? Why would Crenn only be offering their full course tasting menu on a Saturday night; I can't think of any other Michelin restaurants who do anything similar?

Assuming it's impossible for us to get into Crenn, could you please offer some other similar alternatives? She was at French Laundry with friends several months back; I was considering Meadowood perhaps?

I'm looking for a very special ocassion dining, either destination or within the Bay Area and price is not a factor or consideration.

Our best (Stateside) meal to date has been Eleven Madison Park in NYC this past June. I'm not sure that there's anything in Northern California that can come close to replicating such an experience, however that's been her benchmark ever since.

Which of the Michelin ** dining rooms in the city are as strong as Crenn and offer as unique an experience in terms of innovation inside the kitchen while maintaining a balance with end results (over pretense and experimentation) and with equally interesting plating and great atmosphere to match?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!!

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  1. Did you call the restaurant to check this?
    I've never heard of the limitation that you can only get the chef menu on Saturday.

    I think you can get it all nights, and there's no indication of the limitation on their web site.

    I'd go with Crenn if you can, it's delightful.
    If that won't work out, I'd go to La Folie, or possibly Saison...

    2 Replies
    1. re: pauliface

      What Pauliface said -- I go to Crenn once a year (sometimes mid-week and sometimes on weekends) and have never seen a difference. I would call the restaurant.

      That said, it is an EXCEPTIONAL experience.

      1. re: CarrieWas218

        I think the language is confusing. I think they mean that the only thing you can order on saturday is the grand tasting and that the degustation is not available (on saturday). Difference between "only the chef's" and "only on saturdays"

    2. It's not that booked up. There are tables this Saturday.

      For better or worse, their plating is in a class by itself.

      1. Went in January and absolutely loved it. One of the best meals of the year.

        1. There was some great discussion about other dining options around Point Reyes and Tomales Bay that we split out into its own thread. Check it out here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/916832 !

          1. Have you considered Manresa? I was there a couple of nights ago, and it was excellent.