Dominique Crenn opened her first restaurant, Atelier Crenn, in 2011 in the Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco. Within two years, its enchantingly artistic cuisine had earned two Michelin stars, making Ms. Crenn the first female chef in the United States to hold that honor. A piece of artwork in Atelier Crenn’s kitchen—a girl holding two star-shaped balloons while a third floats tantalizingly overhead—hinted at her dream of an even larger constellation.
But for some time, she had been quietly tending another, more modest dream, of opening a restaurant that paid homage to the simple dishes prepared by her mother and grandmother at their home near the coast in western Brittany, where her family’s roots can be traced to the 11th century.
When Bar Jules, a popular spot in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, closed its doors, Ms. Crenn jumped. “In the course of a few months, everything came together,” she said. Her new venture, in that space, Petit Crenn, opened in August 2016.