When I saw that Atelier Crenn had expanded their takeout offerings to include a Crenn Kit Luxe, I knew I had to reserve one! I’m a big fan of Chef Dominique Crenn and thoroughly enjoyed my last meal at Atelier Crenn back in 2018. Bookings for the kit are available on Tock. Optional add-ons include wine pairings, bottles, a cheese course, and chocolate. The 7-course pescatarian kit comes cold for you to heat and assemble at home.
Of my takeouts thus far, the Crenn Kit Luxe was the most process intensive to prepare at home. In lieu of printed instructions, there were detailed online videos which I appreciated. While I found it fun to prep, I will say this probably isn’t for everyone due to the intricacies. Stovetop and oven heating are involved, and there is quite a bit of plating. Between the assemblage and eating, my solo meal took me about two hours.
The meal started as always with Kir Breton. Instead of the iconic white chocolate sphere though, this kit had the actual cocktail. I enjoyed sipping on the lightly sweet drink while making the starter courses. I also got a bottle of Lelarge-Pugeot organic grower champagne with the kit, which paired great throughout the meal.
The first bite was a caviar and koji rice tart. The white sturgeon caviar was a generous nine grams in a glass jar. A pearl spoon was included to scoop the caviar out. I put the koji rice cream on half and the caviar on the other half. This delicate, one-bite tart had a great balance of smoke and brightness.
Next was Grains and Seeds, which I was the most excited about as it was literally my favorite dish I ate in 2018. While the takeout version had a nice contrast of textures, I felt that it was missing something. Perhaps more fat, acid, and umami would have helped recreate the symphony of flavors that I loved so much.
The brioche was another fond highlight of my 2018 meal. I remember the fluffy and decadently buttery brioche with a side of cultured butter. Butter on butter heaven. This time, the brioche was a little dry (perhaps due to user error from heating too long). I did like the butter, which was cultured with blue cheese. If the video didn’t mention blue cheese, I wouldn’t have known. It added an element of interest without the sharp funk.
Course five was two parts – Dungeness crab tartare and crab broth. The crab tartare came in a paper cup that was perforated so the top could be removed as a ring mold. The apple butter was in small piping bag to easily create dots. Foraged seaweed added a final garnish. I didn’t have food tweezers, but my fingers did the trick.
This was my favorite course. The crab tartare had brightness from the vinaigrette, which went well with the delicious sweetness of the crab and apple butter. Vadouvan curry in the apple butter also added nice warmth. The accompanying broth of crab shells with coffee was umami goodness.
After finishing courses 1-5, I prepped the last savory course. The trout mousse was actually a solid square form with squid ink to resemble fish skin. It came in an oven-safe container for heating. The smoked mussel cream was warmed on the stovetop. While I appreciated the fun take on the mousse, the texture wasn’t my favorite – it was like a firm marshmallow and a touch too salty. The spring vegetable salad of asparagus, peas, and fava beans was refreshing.
All the assembly gave me good practice for the ultimate test – the caramel apple choux dessert from pastry chef Juan Contreras. The apple-shaped pâte à choux (even had a chocolate stem) came with six different components for the filling. I got the order a little mixed up (the champagne probably didn’t help haha), but it still tasted great in the end. With layers of pecan praline, salted caramel, toasted pecans, apple compote, and chocolate crémeux, how could you go wrong?
7 Course Crenn Kit Luxe Menu, June 2020:
Caviar Tart, Koji Rice
Grains and Seeds
Brioche, Cultured Butter
Dungeness Crab Tartare and Broth
Trout Mousse, Spring Vegetable Salad
Caramel Apple Choux