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Chef Mark Sullivan Spruce
Chef Mark Sullivan of Village Pub fame proved to be a master of upscale seasonal American cuisine at his long-awaited neighborhood restaurant in Presidio Heights. Read More
Originally published on July 30, 2007
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
If you live in Presidio Heights, it’s always a beautiful day in your neighborhood (pushing your stroller, chatting with the butcher at Bryan’s, dinner with friends at Garibaldi’s).
Now you can make believe that you live there, too, when Spruce opens on Thursday.
Built in an historic auto barn from the 1930s, the 5,000-square-foot space welcomes you in four ways. Kick back with 70 wines by the glass and a newspaper in the cozy library lounge. Clink cocktails with grown-ups at the dapper bar. Then pick how you want to eat: Chef Mark Sullivan’s menu can be dressed up or down.
Go fancy with turmeric-poached blue foot chicken with farro garganelli and pepper-and-eggplant ragout or seasonal five-course tasting menus. A burger on a homemade English muffin hits the spot from any seat in the house. If you don’t feel like cooking (ever), grab takeout (paninis, cheese, house-made charcuterie) at the adjacent cafe.
The restaurant starts taking reservations today. So when doors open, it will still be a neighborly day in the beauty wood.
Spruce, 3640 Sacramento Street, between Spruce and Locust Streets (415-931-5100 or sprucesf.com).
Nate Appleman and Daniel Holzman SPQR
Co-executive chefs Nate Appleman and Daniel Holzman taught us to eat and drink as the Romans do at the sister osteria to A16 on Fillmore. Read More
Originally published on September 21, 2007
Rome if You Want To
Kerouac’s clan traveled the world for sheer love of the road. But modern day bohos need wine, cheese, and good atmosphere to get them off their bums.
The next destination for the well-fed set: SPQR, the Roman eatery from the folks behind A16, which opens for business tomorrow.
The former Chez Nous space in Pac Heights has been transformed into a tidy 45-seat osteria with dark wood accents and vintage posters suggesting a Eurotrip down memory lane.
Open for dinner (lunch and a weekend brunch start early October), the rustic menu focuses on antipasti like suppli al telefono (fried rice balls stuffed with mozzarella); marinated salt cod; and sardines alla piastra with breadcrumbs, capers, parsley, and chives. Take your taste buds on Roman holiday with traditional pastas (cacio e pepe) and entrees (saltimbocca) plus more than 60 Italian wines.
Chefs Nate Appleman (A16) and Daniel Holzman (Campton Place) are also braving the offal frontier. Look for oxtail in your cannelloni and guanciale in carbonara.
When in Rome. By way of San Francisco.
SPQR, 1911 Fillmore Street, between Pine and Bush Streets (415-771-7779 or spqrsf.com).
Anna Weinberg, Liz O'Connell, and Luke Mangnan South
Owners Anna Weinberg and Liz O'Connell joined forces with Sydney superstar chef Luke Mangnan to bring the fresh flavors of antipodean food and wine to SoMa. Read More
Originally published on October 3, 2007
South Food + Wine Bar Opens
You might be an Australian if: in any given two-hour period you’ve eaten a three-bean salad, a chop, and two serves of pav washed down with someone else’s beer flogged from a bath full of ice.
To translate that, take a walkabout to South, the new SoMa hotspot devoted to Antipodean fare.
The intimate 50-seater feels like the home of your hippest mate Down Under. Blue leather ostrich benches, wooden chandeliers, antique bird prints, and Maori-inspired tiling on the bar define rugged chic.
Owners Anna Weinberg and Liz O’Connell imported Sydney superstar chef Luke Mangnan (Salt) to create the menu. The result: clean, simple dishes with subtle Asian flavors and ingredients from both near and far.
Start with salmon sashimi drizzled with curry oil or fig tart with Roaring 40s blue cheese. Fragrant mint chimichurri goes with lean NZ lamb chops; drool-worthy salsa verde dresses grilled snapper. Off-menu specials are not to be missed: This week it’s barramundi tempura and chips with wasabi mayo. Wrap it up with a palate-cleansing licorice parfait.
With twenty Aussie, Kiwi, and South African wines by the glass, you’ll be back before you can say fair suck of the sav.
South Food + Wine Bar, 330 Townsend Street, between Fourth and Fifth Streets (415-974-5599 or southfwb.com).