At the end of 2011, San Francisco chef Elizabeth Falkner announced she was closing Citizen Cake and Orson. The former had been open for 15 years. If you see a pattern in the restaurant names it's because Falkner, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, was an aspiring fillmmaker before she became a chef. After 25 years in San Francisco, Falkner set her sites on New York City, where she landed on Atlanctic Avenue in Brooklyn and opened Krescendo in the former Downtown Atlantic space. The restaurant has an Italian menu with a heavy lean towards pizza and it showcases her ability in the kitchen as a chef and baker.
Falkner has appeared on Top Chef, Iron Chef America, and The Next Iron Chef for the first time on season four, where she lost in the finale to Geoffrey Zakarian. The last out-of-town chef to have spent time on TV and open a restaurant in the city didn't fair so well, but today, history doesn't repeat itself. Pete Wells awarded two stars to Krescendo.
"The Finocchio Flower Power is the pizza version of the sparkly oven," writes Wells, "a lavishly constructed detail that lets you know that Krescendo is much better than the neighborhood Italian joint it is trying to pass for. I do not know why Ms. Falkner and Nancy Puglisi, the restaurant’s owner, camouflaged the place so thoroughly, but the result is that not enough people are talking about Krescendo." Wells is a big fan of the restaurant's consistency and thorough execution. "The quality of a restaurant’s pizza often correlates negatively with that of its pastas and salads. Ms. Falkner," he reveals, "brings the same quiet focus to all her cooking at Krescendo."