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French Fries and a Drink at Spruce

pane Aug 7, 2008 12:56 PM

Some days the only things I want in life are french fries and a drink. Such was the case yesterday, and I happened to be in Laurel Heights for a meeting, so I met a friend and ate at the bar at Spruce.

We'd both been to Spruce before for business meetings and been impressed by the quality of the service, the selection of wines, and the size of the tab. Probably I won't return to the dining room when I'm footing the bill, but I very much enjoyed our snack at the bar.

Spruce serves a lovely version of my favorite drink, the Aviation, with Creme de Violette, so it has a pale purple hue with an almost phosphorescent glow from the bar lighting. I have known and loved Aviations at Nopa, COCO500, and Range; both this version and the one at COCO500 rank at the top. Perfectly balanced, nice gin tang.

The french fries were amazing. Perfectly crispy and fatty, served alongside a deliciously garlicky aioli. Really, this was french fry perfection. I think they are cooked in duck fat, which seems like a unifier among fries I like best.

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Spruce
3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

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  1. rworange RE: pane Aug 7, 2008 02:21 PM

    Ohhh ... I like purple drinks like the one at Nizza La Bella. Thanks for the report. I'm going to have to try the Aviation ... at all three places.

    6 Replies
    1. re: rworange
      chaddict RE: rworange Aug 7, 2008 04:54 PM

      Spruce is a hell of a sexy bar, very pretty dining room.

      1. re: chaddict
        pane RE: chaddict Aug 7, 2008 07:31 PM

        and: YES.

      2. re: rworange
        pane RE: rworange Aug 7, 2008 07:30 PM

        most versions do not include the violette--spruce is the only place i've seen it.

        normal components are gin (aviation gin, in particular), maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice. it's the color of fog, lovely to admire and to taste.

        1. re: pane
          f
          Fig Newton RE: pane Sep 9, 2008 03:23 PM

          Presidio Social Club does it with the violette:
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenmaise...

          1. re: Fig Newton
            pane RE: Fig Newton Sep 9, 2008 03:46 PM

            Good to know! I had one at Beretta, and they do as well.

          2. re: pane
            Robert Lauriston RE: pane Sep 10, 2008 10:14 AM

            Nizza's does.

        2. r
          Rich RE: pane Sep 10, 2008 06:12 PM

          The best Aviation ever was made by David Nepove (Mr. Mojito) at Enrico's. Used to be the only place in town to get a decent one (sans Violette).

          1. Senor Popusa RE: pane Sep 10, 2008 09:13 PM

            I had dinner last month at Spruce for the first time and certainly last time in the dining room. As you mentioned, the tab was huge. The portions were too big, perhaps to justify the price point.

            The main issue was the lack of flavor in the food. Bleh.

            The 2 good things we had were our drinks at the bar beforehand and the french fries we ordered as a side with dinner. I'd probably go back to try the burger at the bar as it looked good but never again for a whole dinner, especially if I am paying.

            1. s
              Sallie RE: pane Sep 11, 2008 01:08 PM

              I love their charcuterie. I love that I can take a semi-kosher friend there and there are a bunch of duck options on the charcuterie platter. I love that there are a ton of by-the-glass options so you can progress with the courses. I love that you can eat in the bar area and get a real table and the full menu and a real server who talks to you like a real person. Everyone on the staff I've dealt with has been very very cool. Am very high on Spruce right now. I'm even trying to manufacture a reason to rent that small private room up front.

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