Spruce, San Francisco


Spruce, in the Laurel Heights area in San Francisco, was a big surprise for me. My wife actually decided to take me there for a nice dinner, but I had no idea what to expect. I actually vaguely heard of this restaurant.

We were in the car when we decided to go there. We called the restaurant to ask if they had a table available, and were told that they had nothing for us, except maybe a sit at the bar if we were lucky. Wait! That was a Monday evening. A restaurant fully booked on a Monday evening? That must be a good sign…

As we arrived there, the valet parking guys (even though we didn’t valet park with them!) welcomed us and were extremely polite. A nice gentlemen opened the door for us and we entered the world of Spruce. It’s really fascinating. Dark colors, big paintings, high ceilings, mirrors… It has its own style. Even the music was kind of unique.

We managed to get a table in the bar area, which was full of ladies with Hermes and Gucci purses! The minute after we sat down, a waiter came by and asked us what we would like to eat. We chose the scallops as a starter to share, my wife picked the sole as a main, and I had the halibut. All this, of course, with a nice glass of white wine.

Before they started to bring our food, they gave us a nice amuse bouche to eat. If you remember my post on Jack Falstaff, you know that I hate fried amuse bouche. Well, this one was baked. And so tasty that it did exactly what it’s supposed to do: trigger your appetite.

The scallops were from out of this world. They were caramelized, and serve with a fantastic pea soup and some brandade of cod. Hard to beat, and there is no way I’m going to be able to make this at home. The haddock was all right. I wouldn’t say amazing, but well cooked haddock is always good. On the other hand, the sole was fantastic. It was poached in fennel and served with nice mushrooms, and spinach in cream sauce, it was plain delicious. I absolutely recommend that dish to anyone!

We didn’t have desert, but I asked for the cheese plate as I really wanted to taste it. They offer a European selection or an American selection. Guess which one I picked? And I was not disappointed!

So yes, the place is far from being cheap. But I don’t think it’s the kind of place you go every night. If you have a romantic dinner to plan, or want to do a very good meal in the city for a special occasion, Spruce is definitely a place to consider.


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