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Fodor's Northern California 2014
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One of the hottest reservations in town from the day it opened, Spruce caters to the city's social set, with the older crowd sliding into oversized faux ostrich leather chairs in the early hours and the younger set taking their places after 8 (there's also quite the lunch club during the week). The large space, a former 1930s auto barn, shelters a high-style dining room and a more casual bar and library lounge. Charcuterie, bavette steak with bordelaise sauce and duck-fat potatoes, and sweetbreads reflect the French slant of the modern American menu. The wine list is a star here (especially a delight for Riesling fans). If you can't wrangle a table, stop in at the take-out café next door, which carries not only sandwiches, salads, and pastries (like the exquisite palmiers), but also anything from the dining room menu to go. And if you are watching your pocketbook, you can graze off the bar menu (which includes their excellent burger and boudin blanc) and watch the swells come and go over a well-crafted cocktail.
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