We’ll be honest: the likelihood that you’ll go to Atelier Crenn more than once in your life is very low. Unless you recently came into a large trust including several small islands and a food budget. A meal here involves a $315 multi-course tasting menu (service included, alcohol not) that is inventive, delightful, and French-inspired. The menu is in the form of a whimsical poem, and there’s a good chance you’ll be served mushrooms crafted to look like rocks or a unicorn or whatever the chef feels like today. This is the most special of special occasion restaurants, but if you’re into unique dining experiences and don’t mind spending the money for them, this is one of the best options in town.
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Petit Crenn in Hayes Valley involves not-stuffy French food that's simple and well-executed, both for a casual brunch or a tasting menu at dinner.
Berkeley’s Chez Panisse is famous for starting the whole "farm-to-table" movement, and it's still doing an incredible prix fixe menu.
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