As you enter Spruce, you walk through a lovely brick archway half enclosed by a black wrought iron gate. On the right, there’s a small bar area and on the left a coffee bar. Inside, you’re greeted by an imposing black wall against which the host area stands. The bar runs along the right wall, booths line the left. At the very rear of the space, there’s a semi-private recessed room. About half way back opens a large skylight (which allowed for the great light in the photo above at about 7:30 p.m.) The menus are leather. The silverware Christofle hotel. The stemware Spiegelau. I’ll call it casually opulent.
But before we did that, we enjoyed the amuse bouche — a crostini with greens, roasted beets and horseradish creme fraiche. In fact we had two of these, due to the wait staff just getting their bearings.
I also tried the American blue cheese selection. A smoky blue from Rogue River, OR, served with raisin toasts and accompanied by candied pecans and champagne grapes. Coupled w/ the Lancaster Estate cab, the night was off to a fantastic start. Such a fantastic start that right about here is where I lost all interest in photographs and just chowed down in a most dignified fashion appropos to the setting. Who am I kidding?? I just chowed down.
Pork tenderloin with a nice bit of pork belly there on the right. This was Wolf’s entree, so I can only claim one bite. Very tasty. Though there was a mix up and they first brought him sea bass. To accomodate for the mix-up they offered Wolf a glass of wine, which we were later charged for (so how is that a make good?) Anyway, it was the second night the place was open and I figure you have to roll with the punches. And for the most part, the excellence of the food superceded any kinks being worked out in the service.
Right about here is where I gave up on the photos. I had the braised beef short rib with greens. It was tender as can be, braise anything long enough and it’s sure to be tasty. But I was reminded how much I really love the short rib at Lucques in LA. And how that hint of horseradish cream in the Lucques version really kicks it up. And how whenever I have the short rib at Lucques I make yummy noises. Spruce’s was quite good, but no yummy noises.
Anyway – on the rest of the details – Mark Sullivan has brought a bar menu with him, including the Pub Burger and fries w/ remoulade. The Spruce additions to the bar menu include mussels and an herb omelette.
Desserts are a bit of a blur (no, not because of the wine!) – we had the brioche beignets with raspberry jam. Fine, but nothing knock your socks off. They were a bit small for my liking, though I think we got about 6 of them in the serving.
3640 Sacramento St.