Across America, from Le Coucou in New York, to Bellecour outside Minneapolis, to Trois Mec in Los Angeles, the country is in the midst of a French dining revival. This is no longer the aughts. We’re not calling them freedom fries anymore. Give us pommes frites, we say.
And the current trend goes beyond just adding some French technique to a different cuisine. Yes, there are French elements in many restaurants that open because that cuisine serves as such a backbone to how chefs are taught in America, but there’s now some outright French comfort food happening from escargot to cassoulet.
Some of it could be attributed to us being at a time when we’re grasping for some nostalgia in our restaurants, like the Midcentury design touches in dining rooms, and the old school service methods of The Grill. But also, we’re just re-remembering how good French food can be.
For Dominque Crenn’s forthcoming restaurant, she’s announced that she’ll be heading in the direction of classic French as well—specifically, food she was steeped in as a child in Brittany. “I grew up in a very traditional French family, so the food was very traditional and very French,” she told the Daily Meal. At Bar Crenn, which will open next door to her two-Michelin-star Atelier Crenn, the menu should provide a contrast to the avant garde stylings of Atelier Crenn—where you may have a moss-covered twig arrive in front of you when you expected to get a plate of food.
At In Situ inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Corey Lee has built his menu with reproductions of some of the world’s great dishes. In a similar vein, Crenn has requested recipes from French masters Guy Savory, Alain Ducasse, and more so the menu will be a mix of dishes by modern masters, and the Bar Crenn’s interpretations of French classics.
When it comes to drinks, Crenn says wine director Matt Montrose is building a wine collection beyond just France, “that channel our shared philosophy of environmental responsibility, where vignerons and domaines are showcased that prioritize traditional methods of viticulture as well as careful and thoughtful stewardship of the land.” And the cocktail menu will have low-abv drinks as an ode to French aperitifs.
And in her Instagram post she also offered the exciting news that Bar Crenn will arrive on February 20.