With my masculinity in shambles I was in desperate need of delicious food. A meal I could scarf down like a trucker at a rest stop after hauling for 16 hours straight—the whole eat your feelings thing. Fortunately, Jonathan’s aunt and uncle were in town from Potomac (Washington DC) and we had plans to join them for dinner at Spruce restaurant, which just happened to be a block away from the glassbaby shop where I failed to get that girl out of the bathroom.
With its Michelin star in tow, Spruce has earned its reputation as one of San Francisco’s staples. The restaurant’s interior is classic with a masculine color palette of rich grays and dark brown with pops of color in the modern artwork spaced throughout. The dining room is centered around a glass atrium for natural light during the day and dramatic effect.
For years I’d been hearing about their “omelet” like it was out of this world and something I had to try. They have it on their bar menu and since it’s in such high demand, they make sure it’s available during dinner service as well.
We started our meal with some cocktails. I had the Hierba Dulce which was refreshing and strong. The perfect start! It’s made with maestro dobel tequila, dimmi, aqua perfecta, agave, lemon, bitters, and a rosemary twig large enough I almost brought it home and tossed it in the fridge to use later.
To get us started we had a plate of Gougères. Little bites of heaven with their nutty gruyere cheese.
Then we pretty much ordered a sampling of the entire menu and everyone sort of shared, which isn’t something Jonathan’s uncle really likes to do, but he humored us. Here’s what we ordered:
Sautéed bay scallops with cauliflower, koffman cabbage, sherry gastrique. The scallops had a nice touch of smoke which played well with their natural sweetness.
Local black cod bacalao croquette, baby broccoli, poultry jus. The skin was crispy like it should be. A very light dish considering they really amped up the meatiness with the poultry jus.
Nettle and ricotta ravioli with lobster, peas, and cardoon broth. Spruce makes their own pasts in-house and it’s fantastic.
One of the more interesting dishes we had was the date soup with green strawberry granita. The balance of the gentle warmth of the soup and the frozen granita was really an interesting experience on the tongue. And the date flavor was intense, and very present, but not too sweet like I’d imagined it would be. We were practically licking the bowl.
House-made reginette avocado, sugar snap peas, grana padano. The pasta was perfectly cooked and infused with a lemon citrus note that permeated the entire dish.
Braised beef short rib pommes pure’, beets, and carrots. The meet was practically falling apart.
French omelet, parmesan broth, braised greens, brie l’original. The egg was perfectly light and fluffy just like everyone said it would be. The parmesan broth was nutty and salty. With a knife and fork, we each sliced through the brie and egg before scooping up some of the greens in broth. It’s definitely the best omelet I’ve had….ever! Unlike the omelet we had in Paris.
Fisherman’s mussel, garlic crostone and lightly roasted tomatoes. This was a delicious mussels dish. The broth was opaque and full of flavor, and yet light and free of debris.
And we finished the meal off with something sweet. The pecan tart with chicory ice cream and vanilla pastry cream was buttery like you want.
The caramelia mousse and devil’s food cake dulce de leche ice cream with citrus caramel sauce was amazing. I think I ate half of it before passing the plate.
And as a thank you for dining with them, they sent out some peanut butter candies with dark chocolate ganache and flur de sal. Pretty much gourmet Reese’s Peanut Butter cups.