Lunch at Spruce

Mitch and I were in San Francisco yesterday, Thursday, January 19th on business. We ventured into one of my favorite neighborhoods, Laurel Heights, and tried lunch at Spruce. I would like to highly recommend Spruce! From the moment we walked in to the moment we left, the hospitality was welcoming and professional. The ambiance - chocolate brown accents, spacious caramel colored leather chairs and rich brown velvet drapes - set the stage for the simple elegance of the dining experience.

Bar at Spruce

 

It was a cold day and just beginning to rain in San Francisco when we arrived - we were ready for a warm meal! A French omelet tempted me from the start - harkening back to my days growing up in Sonoma County’s restaurant business. Mitch ordered the Spruce Burger. 

Now, I will have to qualify this report by saying that an omelet is a particular favorite of mine, and it is very, vary rare to find a restaurant that gives the omelet the proper respect - and preparation. It is hard to describe the perfect omelet: it is custard-like, simple - not overly spiced or greasy - and the height of comfort food meets gourmet pleasure. Placed on a bed of delicately wilted spinach and topped with a slice of Brie, the simple traditional flavors played off each other beautifully, each bite a delight of the senses. Mitch’s Spruce Burger pleased him as much. Being something of a red meat enthusiast, Mitch can be fussy about something as basic as a burger. The Spruce Burger was a thick patty of high quality beef topped with white cheddar cheese. The bun was slightly under-sized, making each bite more meat than bread - a not-so-subtle delight for any meat lover! The condiments included homemade pickles and French fries. Like my experience with the omelet, the burger was a humble and common menu item elevated to Spruce’s standards of perfection! Even the French fries were fried to a golden crispness, making them an absolute treat that I couldn’t help but snitch right off of Mitch’s plate!!! 

As those of you who know me can attest, I am a lover of great Brie and we often serve it at wine pairings and when entertaining. We had brought along a bottle of our 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; the little topping of Brie insured a magical match. The rich earthiness of the spinach, the creamy texture and deep rich, fruity, slightly mushroom flavor and subtle saltiness of the Brie met the balance and acidity of the Cab like a symphony. And, of course, the burger and the Cab, with its balance and range of flavors, were a pairing of traditional excellence.

After our meal, we happened by the kitchen which is framed by a large glass picture window.

kitchen at Spruce

We were in awe. The kitchen was as clean as an operating room and I believe there were more kitchen staff than wait staff. One sous chef was carefully, perfectly, slicing skins off mandarin oranges, while another peeled carrots. The look of concentration on the faces inside that picture window spoke of caring attention to detail - I know that look - it is the look we have at the winery when we sample wines from the barrel. Careful, attentive concentration on a subject of culinary mastery. 

Throughout our experience at Spruce, the wait staff was kind, friendly and attentive without being too present during our meal. Sommelier Haley Moore took the time to stop by our table to say hello and we sent her back with a sample of our wine in hopes that you, too, can soon discover what a divine pairing our Biodynamically grown wines will be with the artfully prepared menu items at Spruce!!!

 
Hawk and Horse Vineyards