The last year and a half has been big here—it became the first restaurant run by a woman to earn three Michelin stars; wine-centric Bar Crenn celebrated its one-year anniversary; and, along with Beverage Director Courtney Olson, Chef Dominique Crenn embarked on a partnership to produce a Bandol rosé with Château de Pibarnon.
From The Sommelier: ‘Rosé Champagne—its time is now! The spotlight is beaming on still rosés and I’d love for some of the glow to shine onto rosé Champagne. We feature them front and center in our wine lists and often have two selections poured by the glass. From the rare Egly-Ouriet with its mind-blowing finesse, to the juicy intensity of Laurent-Perrier Rosé Réserve, all the way to the laser beam focus of Bérèche Campania Remensis.” —Courtney Olson, Atelier Crenn
Dish We Loved: Leek, fermented allium, and Périgord truffle
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Beverage Director Courtney Olson and Chef/Owner Dominique Crenn
Chef, your food is very personal. Do you think about wine when you craft a menu?
Crenn: When you design anything, it’s not just about the food, but the wine needs to be part of the story… There’s no good food without a glass of wine, right? And so the way that we’re looking at things is not just about the food being amazing—obviously it’s amazing—but the wine needs to be a part of the story.
Tell me about your partnership with Château de Pibarnon.
Olson: We just started working with them this vintage, so they’re selecting a special cuvée for the Crenn Dining Group that’s the 2018 vintage, which is just about to ship from Bandol, and then we’ll pour that in all the restaurants, Petit Crenn, Bar Crenn and Atelier. Chef loves rosé, and as we’re going into the summer, I’m super excited to be able to offer something special to the guests that come in.
Right, the bar! That’s the newest addition. How did it come about?
Crenn: I wanted to celebrate winemakers all over the world, and I think they deserve so much opportunity and for people to just put them in the limelight.
Do you go to wine country often?
Crenn: We have a farm in Sonoma. We produce our own vegetables… I go there all the time.
Olson: We work hard to get up there as much as we can, especially with the teams in the restaurant. We have taken the front of the house and back of the house out to wineries…to learn about how they farm the vineyards, and then get into the cellars and create the wines that they do.
One last question: What are you looking forward to drinking at the end of a busy night of service?
Crenn: This is very easy for me.
Olson: It’s easy for me, too, but they’re very different. I’m going to have a glass of Champagne, a blanc de blanc.
Crenn: And what am I going to have?
Olson: Chef is going to have a glass of Bandol rosé.