Last Saturday night I was fortunate enough to be escorted to Spruce, a new hot spot on Sacramento Street by my favorite metro-sexual friend who understands the subtle complexities of mineral content, humidity levels and clay based soil in the cultivation of wine; and ultimately, the scrupulous and sometimes tedious task of impressing me with a wine list in San Francisco.
Upon arrival, not only was I impressed with the facade of Spruce, but the entire interior design was everything delightful. It was designed by Stephen Brady for Owner Tim Stannard. From the soft amber lighting, the warm mahogany wood and chocolate mohair walls to the cool marble bar, the design was polished and appropriate. Although we debated intensely on whether the large format impasto oil paintings, by contemporary Japanese artist Shiraga could in any way be inspired by Franz Klein or not (I say not!) and whether the photograph in the dining room is the third triptych by Annie Liebovitz of Architect Philip Johnson, is still up for debate.
The wine list is so impressive I found myself unable to finish perusing it without completely neglecting my friend and my glass of 2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, which would be a shame indeed. German Rieslings from Kabinetts, Spatlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese to a huge selection of Spanish reds including an entire page devoted exclusively to Rioja's. They have 15 different Barolo's, several Chataeuneaf du Pape's (ranging from $68-$700 a bottle), and a whole section of Oregon Pinot Noir's as well as Pinot Noir's from New Zealand and South Africa.
I love the lists of Red and White "bottles under $50" of which I recommend, the Cote de Brouilly, Chateau Thivin, 2006 for $38 (what a steal!), Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2006 for $50, or the Chinon, Les Granges, 2006 for $50. They even have a rare 1989 Chateau Mouton Rothschild for the bargain price of $722, and if things couldn't get any more exciting, they offer a bottle of 1955 Ferreira port for $660 to compliment their beignets (with sugar granules, not powdered sugar) avec crème anglaise and orange compote, which we happily devoured along with an ultra dark Costa Rican coffee from their extensive coffee selection.
Although my friend had a Sazarac, which complimented the bartenders black and white suit and his 1930's slicked back hair and the tasteful selection of jazz swinging through the bar, I couldn't imagine coming to this place and having anything but wine. It's so rare to find a wine list of this delicate compilation and magnitude, it would be a disservice to not partake in its splendor. --Eve
Spruce Restaurant and Bar
3640 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94118