Plundering the appetizer menu is a smart move at Spruce, a masculine chocolate-colored boîte in Presidio Heights where neighborhood swells wash down grilled bavette steak and sinful duck fat–fried potatoes with big-ticket Cabs with prerecession abandon. Among the many reasons to love Spruce are a deep, serious Riesling list; chef Mark Sullivan’s awesome house-made charcuterie; and his knack for sneaking hyper-boutique bitterish greens even into meatier dishes like bacon-bolstered sweetbreads lyonnaise. Allowing guests to order the full affordable bar menu—great burgers and boudin blanc—in the fancy main room is a welcome populist gesture.
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From Food & Wine , JUL 2009
Go to a restaurant with an F&W Best New Chef in the kitchen, and you’ll likely find a great wine director in the dining room...MORE
From Food & Wine , FEB 2009
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From Food & Wine , JUL 2008
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From Food & Wine , APR 2008
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From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Although it occupies a sprawling space, Spruce is a hard place to get a table. <a href="/bestnewchefs/?year=2002&chef=EA57783A-D911-4DA5-97D6E296E5CED6DC">Mark Sullivan (an F&W Best New Chef 2002)</a> prepares seasonal American dishes using as much produce from the restaurant’s farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains as possible. Complementing his cooking is a dense 46-page wine list filled with cult labels.
We loved: Butter-poached lobster with gnocchi and braised lettuce; raw and cooked zucchini salad.