I came home to San Francisco from Paris craving spicy mexican food, sushi, and Bay Area fusion but, instead I keep ending up at French restuarants. I don't know why this keeps happening!
The other night my husband and I booked a table at a new Japanese restaurant. We parked our car a block away and as we were walking to the restuarant we stumbled upon a hidden bistro called Chez Spencer. The little bistro was so inviting with an outdoor heated patio and tables softly lit by candlelight that we decided to go in...just to look. Needless to say, we gave up our sushi reservations. Dinner was perfect. The service was french & friendly (oh la la!), the menu was traditional french haute cuisine with a Japanese twist, and the wine list featured great world wines (including fabulous french wines by the glass).
The restaurant's head chef Laurent Katgely, is a French transplant to the Bay Area having lived in San Francisco for fifteen years and his sous chef is Japanese. This duo's magic shows in the attention to detail. I was very happy with my dorade (a rarity in the States) and my husband practically sucked the marrow out of his lamb entree. The Hog Oyster starter was out of this world. I nursed a Premier Cru Chablis (by the glass- how nice) while my husband slurped down a few french cocktails (the blood orange lillet cocktail was delicious).
The next day we were invited to lunch at Chez Papa in Potrero Hill. This bistro serves the classic French fare of moules marinere and steak frites but also adds a small plates selection featuring inseason treats. I ordered their butternutsquash soup with parmesan and truffle oil for a starter and followed with a small plate of baby artichokes wrapped in prociutto and filled with herbed goat cheese. Tasty! We splurged on a warm chocolate cake for dessert.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em...
Chez Spencer: 82 14th Street, SF, 94103 tel: 415. 864. 2191
Chez Papa: www.chezpapsf.com
also check out Chez Mama and Pink owned by the same people