Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

April 2, 2011 11:53 AM

Restaurant: Spruce


3640 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, California 94118
Peggy, Debbie and I went to Spruce for lunch, at Peggy’s suggestion.

The restaurant is quite bright, even though it seems that every possible surface is done in black. The ceilings are very high, and there is a center island that is both a bar with about a dozen seats and a visible wine cellar. The chairs are extraordinarily comfortable. The main restaurant seats about 85, and there are a couple of private rooms that seat up to 20 and up to 40 respectively.

The restaurant prides itself on its always fresh ingredients from local farms and ranches. As an interesting benefit to its customers, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Thursdays Spruce operates a farmers’ market. This is done in partnership with County Line Harvest, a provider operated by a number of farmers. Subject to availability, the farmers’ market sells a box of selected fresh fruits and vegetables at a cost of $25. If you want to be certain of availability, it is recommended that you pre-order.

Peggy ordered a French Omelet with Parmesan Broth, Spigarello and Brie De Nangis. Debbie selected Fisherman’s Mussels and Garlic Crostone. I ordered a Beef Tongue appetizer and Saffron Fazzoletti, Braised Rabbit, Lentils and Carrots. For dessert we shared an order of Beignets and Chocolate Ice Cream.

The service was a little odd. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. The whole place has a cheery tone. One of our party mentioned to our serving person that whatever she ate had to be gluten free. A few moments later, a person other than our server brought us an amuse boche and specifically mentioned that it was gluten free indicating that our server had passed on that information.

On the other hand, as noted, I ordered an appetizer of beef tongue. I was the only one who ordered a starter. It did not come and it did not come. I decided that I would not remind the server. And then our entrees arrived and it still had not come. I mentioned it to the server, who was very apologetic, and then it still took a particularly long time for several excellent slices of beef tongue to show up at our table. I am sure it tasted as good after my entrée as it would have tasted before.

You enter the men’s room through a heavy black wood door with a large, waist high, opaque window. The floor is covered with large grey/white tiles. There are two wash basins in a heavy grey/white marble with a very large mirror over the wash basins. The walls are covered, floor to ceiling, by large white tinged marble tiles. There is a large, fully-enclosed commode room with one strategically placed wall bar. In the open part of the room there is a large, comfortable chair similar to those in the dining room.

They provide valet parking after 5:00 p.m.

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