Chef Dominique Crenn says she wanted the design of her first solo restaurant, Atelier Crenn (3127 Fillmore near Union), to reflect a feeling of Europe, and to remind diners of the natural world. "I want it to feel like you're stepping into a friend's house," she says. "Atelier" is French for "workshop," and the namesake of the restaurant is Crenn's father, a politician who liked to paint in his spare time. A few of Papa Crenn's small paintings will be on display, and designer Nancy Nielsen has kept the design fairly spare, and warm, with a recessed ceiling that glows amber beneath a mat of thin reeds and branches, and hanging light fixtures that look like they're made of spun hay and twigs. For some additional wall sconces, the team turned to Oregon artisan Dylan Kehde Roelofs, who made custom fixtures of blown glass and single, bare filaments. Teak tables will remain bare, without cloths, and the palette is muted, and serene.
The main dining room in front seats 40, but there is also overflow capacity in a skylit private dining room in back for 40 or so more. The room is ringed by potted fig trees, which will eventually grow taller and form a sort of verdant canopy around the otherwise unadorned space, which can also be rented for parties.
Check out the opening menu here, and see our full slideshow of the space. Following a few test dinners next week, Atelier Crenn opens for service on January 21.
Earlier: Dominique Crenn Opening Her Own Restaurant in the Former PlumpJack Space [Grub Street]
At Atelier Crenn, There Will Be Peacock Meat [Grub Street]
Atelier Crenn - 3127 Fillmore Street - 415.440.0460 - Opens January 21, 2011