Saturday, October 20, 2007

The seven coffees of Spruce

October 18

My calves hurt.
I walked from the Prescott hotel to Spruce for lunch. It's just a couple of miles, which is no trouble for a tough New Yorker like me, except in San Francisco. I think visitors to the City by the Bay should be issued topographical maps so we know where the hills are. I suppose I could use the workout, though.
I'd been meaning to go to one of restaurateur Tim Stannard's restaurants since I met him in Aspen a few years ago, but I have never had any occasion to go to Woodside, where his flagship restaurant is, so Spruce would have to do.
It's a surprisingly formal place for laid-back San Francisco, especially considering I was sitting at the bar. Bartender Evan (he was much too couth to have introduced himself, but the hostess mentioned his name) walked around the bar to pour me my 2006 Domaine la Bastide Viognier (from Pays d'Hauterive in France's Languedoc region) from the right. He did it with enough style to make that potentially quaint move charming.
His apology seemed quite sincere that they were out of boudin blanc -- a recent favorable review had resulted in a run on that particular dish. No biggie. Instead, after my salad of lettuce and herbs with banyuls vinegar and a green olive crostone, I had the crispy preserved duckling with green lentils and sherry glazed apples.
Spruce offers seven different coffees, not including decaf, and none of them are flavored. They each have different origins, are priced differently, and are arranged according to darkness of roast. They are roasted in-house and drip-brewed to order. I had the lightest roast, an Ethiopian Sidamo, which Evan once again came from behind the bar to serve from the right.

No comments: